WTAMU to Screen Fast Talk Documentary

Nov. 1, 2011

COPY BY:    Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU to Screen ‘Fast Talk’ Documentary

Filmmaker will join panel discussion following screening

CANYON, Texas—The Department of Communication at West Texas A&M University, in conjunction with the Guest Artist Series, will present a screening of the award-winning, saliva-spewing documentary Fast Talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Center, Recital Hall. A panel discussion with filmmaker Debra Tolchinsky will follow.

Fast Talk is Tolchinsky’s 59-minute documentary that examines modern college debate with a sharp focus on the Northwestern University debate team as it prepared to defend its national championship title during the 2005-2006 academic year. The film was named Best Documentary at the 2011 La Femme International Film Festival.

When Tolchinsky started filming the documentary, she envisioned a piece similar to 2002’s Spellbound about the National Spelling Bee. But when she witnessed Northwestern’s debate team at practice, the project quickly took a different route. She expected to see the students debating issues in a clear, concise manner but instead, she saw the students spewing words at the rate of 400 per minute. Their ‘fast talking’ was marked by spittle and gasps for air. The documentary contemplates the pressures of today’s competitive debate and what it says about our culture and the desire to win.

Dr. Leigh Browning, associate professor of mass communication, will moderate a panel discussion following the documentary screening. Panelists will include Tolchinsky, who is an assistant professor of radio, TV and film at Northwestern, along with Charles Mallard, an Amarillo attorney, Bethany Beck, WTAMU graduate student, Tyler Sweeney, senior broadcasting major from Corpus Christi, and Dr. Trudy Hanson, professor of communication studies and head of the WTAMU Department of Communication.

“We are so fortunate to screen this award-winning documentary for our students, as well as having an opportunity to engage in discussion about filmmaking with Debra Tolchinsky,” Hanson said.

The screening and panel discussion are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information, contact Hanson at 806-651-2800 or at thanson@wtamu.edu.



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