Included within shorts film block
The 30th Of May
Directed by James William Theres
United States | 29 min | 2016
For as long as anyone can remember the citizens Vidalia, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi have come together over the Memorial Day weekend to honor black military service to the country. They pray, they march, they celebrate and they remember. Virtually unknown outside the region, this annual patriotic event is passed down from generation and dates back to the end the Civil War.
On Memorial Day, May 30, 2016, film makers and Jackson State University alums, James Theres and Chris Windfield, filmed the event and turned it into an award-winning 28-minute documentary entitled, “The 30th of May.” Using animation, archival and aerial footage, and interviews with veterans, organizers and participants, the “30th of May”documentary brings to life the remarkable untold story of this African American-led patriotic tradition in the Deep South.
The film’s original score and original song capture the spirit of the 30th of May. It’s a tradition unlike any other on the country.
James William Theres
Director, Producer, Writer
James William Theres is an award-winning Public Affairs Officer and Speechwriter at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C. He has received 10 national awards for speech writing, feature writing, event planning and media affairs. “The 30th of May” is his first time directing a film. James has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and an MA in History from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. His graduate paper entitled, “The 30th of May” received two honors in 2016 for Best Paper at the Mississippi Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference and Winner of the Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander Award at the 10th Annual Creative Arts Festival at Jackson State University. “The 30th of May” documentary film is based on his research. Theres marched in the 2016 grand parade with his son, Dion, a U.S. Army officer, and co-producer and Cinematographer, Chris Windfield.