“Our Town: Gallipolis” Producer/Director Talks About the Making of the Film< < Back to
Our Town: Gallipolis will premiere virtually Thursday, September 17 at 6:30 p.m. via Corporation for Public Broadcasting streaming platform OVEE. You can find the link to the stream right here: ovee.itvs.org/screenings/g5m5f and register for the free screening here.
Initially the screening of the seventh WOUB Our Town documentary was scheduled to take place March 22 at Gallia Academy High School, but that screening was cancelled due to the intensifying COVID-19 pandemic.
The series of historical documentaries that focus on the communities that WOUB serves date back to the first Our Town documentary, which profiled Lancaster in 2014. They’ve also won awards — both Our Town: Jackson and Our Town: Nelsonville won Emmys.
The documentaries are always very popular with the communities they profile, largely thanks to the fact that director Evan Shaw allows members of those communities to explain their history in their own voices by conducting numerous intensive interviews. Shaw also attributes the popularity of the works to their positive content.
“So often the stories we hear about our hometowns are about poverty and opioids, and those are very important stories that need to be told, but there is a lot more going on in those communities than those negative stories tell us,” he said. “By focusing on a small town, like Gallipolis, and talking about the incredible people who come from there who went on to do things literally on the national stage, it gives people a sense of pride in their hometowns. That’s important because I think it is easy to lose track of having pride in where we are from.”
Listen to WOUB’s conversation with Shaw about the making of the documentary, the impact the COVID-19 crisis had on it, and how his understanding of history has changed after years of making regionally focused historical documentaries, above.