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Piano Man Pictures hits the road to Gateway for the first time

Piano Man Pictures is a collective of filmmakers, writers and artists screening their short films to connect with people on a more personal level. Credit: Courtesy of Chad Allen Barton. Credit: Courtesy of Chad Allen Barton

The Piano Man Pictures Roadshow is heading to Gateway Film Center for its second stop on a six-city tour throughout the Midwest.

Piano Man Pictures, a collective of filmmakers, writers and artists, will be screening four of its directors’ short films on Sunday to connect with people more personally in its first-ever tour.

“We thought we’d put together our own roadshow,” said Chad Allen Barton, co-founder of Piano Man Pictures. “We’re treating this like a band that’s going to go across the country to see new people and meet new people and show them what we’re doing.”

The roadshow will showcase short films, including Shelby Baldock’s “Faceless, But Remembered,” Chad Allen Barton’s “H.I.D.,” Rachel M. Taylor’s “Avarice” and Stephen Teague’s “The Price of Air.”

From the horrific story of a kidney transplant patient to the comedic conspiracy about charging people to fill up their tires, all the films connect in one way.

“They have a weird, cohesive message — not that we planned it that way,” Barton said. “There are strange, dark worlds inhabited by people who are trying to figure out what’s going on, and half the time, they fail.”

During the event, there will be a Q&A in which Barton and Baldock will Skype in the other directors to talk with the audience and preview trailers of their current projects.

“The filmmakers are going to talk about their film, talk about their creative process, maybe talk about things that they are working on,” said Scott Vezdos, director of communications for Gateway Film Center. “To have that extra layer of context … really adds to the experience.”

Eventually, Barton is planning to organize another tour later in the year to show these films, either in the West or South, and find people who are interested in what Piano Man Pictures is doing.

Piano Man Pictures is a group of creatives from Memphis, Tennessee, that collaborate to bring stories to life in a variety of mediums, including feature films, short films and albums.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to present new filmmakers, compelling movies, movies that reach a wide audience,” Vezdos said. “[The roadshow] is something that there’s an audience for.”

The event will take place 7 p.m. Sunday at Gateway Film Center. Admission is $10.

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