Apr 8, 2014 6:30 PM by UL WRITER SARAH SPELL
Conni Castille, a documentary filmmaker and assistant director of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Moving Image Arts program, arrived in China Sunday for a weeklong tour promoting Cajun culture.
The trip was organized by American Routes, a public radio show hosted by Nick Spitzer, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University. Stops include American Cultural Centers, U.S. consulates and clubs in Guangzhou, Harbin, Nanjing and Shanghai.
Castille will show and discuss two of her documentaries, "I Always Do My Collars First, a film about ironing, and "T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story."
"Collars," uncovers family life and domestic rituals in Castille's hometown of Breaux Bridge, while "T-Galop" reveals the role of the horse in Southwest Louisiana and includes an interview with famed jockey and Acadiana native Calvin Borel. "T-Galop" was chosen Documentary Film of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment of the Arts in 2013.
A Cajun band, "Jesse Lége, Joel Savoy & Cajun Country Revival," is also part of the tour. In addition to the films and musical performances, Spitzer will conduct oral history workshops and give lectures on French Louisiana culture.
Support for the tour, which concludes April 12, is provided by the U.S. State Department, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Institute of Technology, Tulane University and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
To learn more about Castille and her films, go to www.connicastille.com.