NTCC Webb Society presents at Nacogdoches – The Gilmer Mirror

Pictured (left to right): Michelle Calderon, Neida Perez, Sam Pollan, Aubrey Watkins, Keren Valencia and Victoria Matiz.

By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Director of Honors

The NTCC Webb Society, made up mostly of Honors Northeast students, presented its eighth trailer for an upcoming film at a State Walter Prescott Webb Society fall meeting Oct. 14 in Nacogdoches. The trailer and upcoming movie are titled “Texas Suffragette: The Minnie Fisher Cunningham Story.” The film was written and directed by Texas Heritage National Bank Fellow Skylar Fondren. The group is working to release this spring the first feature film on the surprising victory of the Texas suffragettes. In June 1919, through their efforts, Texas became the ninth state in the union to adopt the Nineteenth Amendment. It was also the first southern state to leave an anti-suffragette coalition led by the former Confederate States.

The Walter Prescott Webb Society, founded in 1973 by University of Texas professor Joe Frantz, is the collegiate auxiliary of the Texas State Historical Association.

Six first-year Honors Northeast scholars discussed the making of the Cunningham film and the development of its story. Michelle Calderon marked the film initiative’s debut with an early June 2022 trip to the University of Houston. Film scholar Keren Valencia discussed the indirect politics that made Texas women successful. Aubrey Watkins discussed student response to sudden imperatives to act. Victoria Matiz covered the role of the students handling camcorders and boom mics for the first time, and Neida Perez covered the film’s tight week-long itinerary that began at the Whatley Center and ended in Fredericksburg. Finally, Sam Pollan, the film’s producer, showed the trailer for the film that he had edited. The trailer highlights the challenges Cunningham faces.

The trailer for this year’s film once again owes a lot to Texas-based composer Kenny Goodson. He created the music for the film after viewing footage compiled by Pollan. Goodson also plays a role in the film as a minister who presides over Cunningham and her husband’s wedding. The trailer features honorary student Skylar Hodson, who played the lead role of Minnie Fisher Cunningham. but also features Sam Pollan, who played her ex-husband, BJ, Dr. Maryna Otero, now an NTCC assistant and also an ESL principal at Mount Pleasant High School, has a starring role in the trailer in as Annette Finnegan, who galvanizes Minnie Fisher Cunningham to lead the Texas movement.

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