Why Did I Intern for Indie Grits?

Jul 11, 2015 by Nickelodeon on The Nickelodeon Blog

Was it for the free t-shirts? The chance to see Toby Lou, the Nasty One, twerk atop a stack of folding chairs? Or perhaps to enjoy the simple pleasures of operating a boom mike for the festival video crew, knowing that at any moment I may be responsible for turning an interview with filmmakers into a full-size game of audio-equipment Whack-a-Mole? The truth is, I can’t really speak to my original motivations for joining Indie Grits. They all seem so very distant from the purpose I came to recognize as a member of this extraordinary organization. For a person who has spent most of his (admittedly very short) adult life feeling adrift and unwelcome in the place that he came from, you cannot possibly imagine what an intense relief it was to have finally found a tribe in the purple-haired, cowboy boot-wearing feminists, activists, writers, painters, musicians, and gymnasts of The Nickelodeon, who reminded me daily—and continue to remind me—of our shared responsibility to dream the South forward.      

So, why did I intern for Indie Grits? Because I believe, as my comrades do, in what the poet Jane Kenyon calls the miracles of art. Because I believe that film is a tool, not a luxury or a diversion, and that the South—its people and its stories—are infinitely worthy of our attention. My favorite memories from Indie Grits have absolutely nothing to do with film or art and everything to do with the people that only these tools can bring together. Have you ever seen a grown man scream when Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” comes on at a dance party? I have. Indie Grits made that happen, and so much more.

-Luke Hodges, Indie Grits Intern 2014-15