“Service to Man” Viewing at the Bama Theatre

Film cover for "Service to Man"

Film cover for “Service to Man”

You’ve heard about the film. And now it’s coming to Tuscaloosa for a free public viewing.

University of Alabama theatre professor Seth Panitch’s first feature-length film, Service to Man, which was awarded the grand jury prize for best film at the 20th American Black Film Festival in June, is picking up speed. Following its initial success, Service to Man has been featured as an official selection at more than seven film festivals across the country, and most recently it has won Audience Choice Best Narrative Film at the Sidewalk Film Festival, Best Film at the North Carolina Black Film Festival, and Grand Jury Best Film at the International Black Film Festival.

To see the show and meet the cast and crew, visit the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa Thursday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The cast and crew will be present for a short Q&A after the show.

Panitch, who directs the Master of Fine Arts acting program in the Department of Theatre and Dance, said the film is based loosely on his father’s experiences as one of the first white students at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1968.

He said the film depicts white and black medical students communicating and working together during a time of great duress in the country, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“With all the difficulties people of different races dealt with back then, they somehow found a way to communicate that has been, perhaps, forgotten in many circles today,” Panitch said.