Tullahoma’s own local filmmaker will be premiering his first-ever feature-length documentary this weekend on the grounds of South Jackson Civic Center.

Colin Shuran, a Tullahoma High School student and amateur filmmaker, will see his latest film creation, “My Friend Karl,” screened outside at the civic center free for anyone to come and enjoy.

The grounds will open to viewers at 7 p.m. Friday, June 19. Introductions to the film will be made at about 7:30, with the film screening to begin at 8 p.m. once darkness falls.

While Shuran is no stranger to film screenings – he’s participated in a number of film festivals and had his creations premiere at them – this will be the first public premiere of one of his creations.

“The feeling of having my first feature film screened in my hometown is pretty surreal,” he said of the premiere event. “I have been a part of various film festivals throughout Tennessee; however, this community event differs from those festivals because rather than having hundreds of films screened all week for an audience, only one film is screened in one night, and the event solely encompasses the messages and themes of the film.”

Additionally, Shuran said, this is the worldwide premiere – no “large audience” has seen the film yet, which is an added anticipation for the premiere.

Shuran said he was looking forward to a number of things Friday, including the outdoor “theater.”

“When I was a lot younger, I would watch movies with my family and friends on a bedsheet in the backyard with a projector,” he said, “so this is exactly that, but 100 times larger and more professional. The idea of an outdoor movie event will definitely bring back memories for me and hopefully establish some memories for others.”

In addition to the film premiere, Shuran will also host a question-and-answer session following the film for anyone with questions about the subject, the process or the major themes of the story, he said.

“My Friend Karl” is Shuran’s first feature-length film. In the film, Shuran tells the story of “an unlikely friendship” through his eyes. It includes discussions on mental illness, homelessness and advocacy.

The Tullahoma premiere of “My Friend Karl” is free to the public, although donations will be taken for Shepherd’s House, Tullahoma’s own homeless shelter. The shelter asks participants to bring paper plates, cups, napkin and utensils. Cash donations will be accepted as well.

Giving back to the community was important for Shuran with this premiere.

“The idea for this event was to give back to the community, because if there is anyone who has been my biggest supporters of my creative endeavors, it has been the people of Tullahoma,” he said. “So I feel ecstatic over the fact that this event is in Tullahoma, for Tullahoma. I’ll never forget where I came from.”

Speaking on Shepherd’s House, Shuran lauded its mission in the community.

“The organization is a wonderful program [run] by amazing people who have a heart for those in need,” he said.

Concessions will be available for purchase and will benefit South Jackson Civic Center. Shuran will also have official merchandise for sale, he said, which supports his filmmaking career and “hopefully, one day” have another free, public premiere.

“Don’t forget to bring your lawn chair or picnic blanket,” Shuran said to all those interested in attending the premiere. “Social distancing will be an option if anyone pleases.”

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.

Staff Writer

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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