The first installment of the Chapel Hill Public Library and Carolina Public Humanities’ First Thursday Film Series took place on Thursday, Sept. 1.
The film series will feature a documentary screening on the first Thursday of each month with expert commentary from one scholar and one community member. The events are free and open to the public with no registration required.
Last Thursday's documentary was "Vaccination from the Misinformation Virus," which explained the development and importance of vaccines and the misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.
The film was screened at the Chapel Hill Public Library. A portion of the documentary was also filmed at the library, which was a factor in choosing it as the debut venue for the event, according to Library Director Susan Brown.
The film is one of many events the library will host in the coming months that are geared towards adults.
One of the expert speakers for the Thursday film was Brian Southwell, senior director of the Science in the Public Sphere program in RTI International’s Center for Communication Science. Southwell said he is also currently an adjunct associate professor in health behavior at UNC and an adjunct professor of internal medicine at Duke University.
The second expert speaker was Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart. She said she has worked in the field of public health for over 20 years and has firsthand experience combatting vaccine misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think the timing for this film is perfect,” Stewart said. “As we continue to respond to COVID cases, and here today on the brink of having a new vaccine option that specifically targets the circulating Omicron strains, BA.4 and BA.5, I hope we are able to have a great discussion this evening to dispel myths and misinformation.”
Hannah Olson, marketing and communications coordinator for the library, said the goal of the series is to bring documentary films to Chapel Hill alongside expert discussion for context— making sure the films are in some way related to the Town.