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‘Barbershop Punk’ draws filmgoers into Web rights debate

Filmis latest in Art Council's independent series

POSTED: February 2, 2012 12:30 a.m.

"Barbershop Punk," the fourth of six films in The Arts Council's The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers series, will be screened at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Gainesville State College.

The tour showcases six award-winning independent films and their filmmakers.

The movie will be followed by a "Meet the Filmmaker" Q & A reception.

Tickets are $7 adults; $5 students and seniors (65 and older). They may be ordered online at www.theartscouncil.net or by calling the Arts Council at 770-534-2787.

"Barbershop Punk" is a thoughtful piece of advocacy journalism from first-time filmmakers Georgia Sugimura Archer and Kristin Armfield. It concerns the deregulation and privatization of communication channels in the electronic age.

Robb Topolski, a middle-aged software engineer, discovered that his attempts to share vintage barbershop quartet recordings were meeting roadblocks. He ran some tests and discovered that his Internet service provider was interfering with his uploads.

After publishing the test results online, the Associated Press picked up the story and First Amendment proponents brought their complaint to a sympathetic FCC.

"Barbershop Punk" shows how punk rockers, the Christian Coalition and abortion rights organizations have joined forces to keep the Internet from becoming an unregulated free market ruled by corporate interests that limits users' access.

Trailers for each film in the series may be viewed at the Arts Council's website.

The series is a program of South Arts. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Special support for Southern Circuit was provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.



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