Film Poster

Press Release


Lemke journalism film wins documentary award at Ozark Foothills FilmFest.

CONTACT: Scott Ramsey, Filmmaker, 479-595-0240,

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.-April 7, 2015-Courageous Journey:The Story of Dr. Joycelyn Elders won the inaugural “From Around Here” Arkansas Film Award in the documentary category at the Ozark Foothills FilmFest.  Lemke journalism students Kisa Clark and Scott Ramsey produced the film last year as part of the graduate level Documentary Production class at the University of Arkansas.

The film traces the life of the former Surgeon General and head of the Arkansas Department of Health focusing on her work to address the problem of teenage pregnancy in the late 1980s.  It includes interviews with Dr. Elders, her husband, and others who were involved in the effort to establish school-based health centers in Arkansas.

The Ozark Foothills FilmFest which is in its 14th year began it’s “From Around Here” Arkansas Film Awards this year with prizes for the top films in both narrative and documentary categories.  Eligible films each have an Arkansas connection with most being made by Arkansans in Arkansas.

Courageous Journey will be screened at the Kansas City FilmFest on Saturday, April 18.  For more information visit the film’s website.


New Documentary Tells the Story of former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders

CONTACT: Scott Ramsey, Filmmaker, 479-595-0240,; Kisa Clark, Filmmaker, 417-483-4594,

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.- The documentary short, Courageous JourneyThe Story of Joycelyn Elders, will premiere this September at the Fayetteville Public Library. The film tells the incredible life story of former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders from the sharecropping cotton fields of rural Arkansas through the halls of power in Washington D.C.

The film follows Dr. Elders’ story from childhood to her life today and focuses on her controversial work while serving as the Director of the Arkansas Health Department in the late 1980’s to establish school-based clinics and comprehensive sex education.

The film was produced in association with the Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism with some research and footage provided by the Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History. The filmmakers will be available before and after the screening for questions about the film.