2/9/18 ASHLAND, Ohio – Screenwriter and film director Robby Henson, who has directed films starring Academy Award winners Billy Bob Thornton and Patricia Arquette, will present a public screening of his new documentary, “I Come From,” on Monday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Ashland University’s Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium. Following the film screening, Henson will speak about the film and lead a question-and-answer session.
“I Come From” illustrates the mission of the Voices Inside program, which is to develop empathy, compassion and trust, and to nurture a desire to help others. Founded by Henson, this inspirational inmate writing and theatre program is housed at Northpoint Training Center, a medium security prison near Danville, Ky.
It uses theatre arts and creative thinking to increase communication skills, build self-esteem, humanize and enrich the lives of those closed off behind bars. Incarcerated writers in the program have won national awards and their works have been performed at Actors Theater of Louisville and NYC theaters.
The public film screening is an event in the Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences’ biennial Symposium Against Indifference. The theme for this year’s series is “Building Bridges Through Dialogue.” Henson's visit is co-sponsored by the Department of Theatre and is free and open to the public.
Henson received his M.F.A. from New York University's graduate film school. His films have been seen on PBS, the BBC, at Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris and at film festivals in Canada, Ireland, France, Yugoslavia, Australia and Poland. He has directed over 30 theater productions and has made five award winning documentaries shown on PBS including “Spalding Gray: A Life in Progress” and “Trouble Behind,” a film about a Southern race riot that was shown at the Sundance Film Festival.
His dramatic first feature, “Pharaoh's Army,” with Academy Award winner Chris Cooper, Academy Nominee Patricia Clarkson and music legend Kris Kristofferson, was released theatrically by Lions Gate Films and was shown on PBS. In 2002, he wrote and directed “The Badge,” a southern crime drama starring Billy Bob Thornton, Patricia Arquette, Thomas Hayden Church and Sela Ward for Starz Pictures and Lions Gate Films that was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award (Gay and Lesbian Alliance) and won Best Drama at the Breckinridge Film Festival. He also has directed the thrillers “The Visitation,” “There” and “House” for Fox and Lions Gate. He currently teaches media at the University of Kentucky.
Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###