Short Film Showcase Q&A – Corn Dogs and Crushes: Teen Love at a Fair in the American South


Teenagers engage in the age-old rituals of courtship at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair in Dudley, North Carolina. Filmmakers Kelly Creedon, Sami Jorgensen, and Callaghan O’Hare capture endearing interviews with young couples who earnestly believe they’ll be “together forever.” I spoke with Kelly Creedon about the making of the film.

Why did you choose the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair in Dudley, North Carolina as the backdrop for Love Is in the Fair?

When Callaghan (O’Hare), Sami (Jorgensen), and I produced this film, we were students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and were actually scheduled to shoot a story at a dirt track racing competition not far from the fair. The race was called off last minute, but we were still on a deadline to produce a story for our documentary film class. We scrambled to find another setting for our film and, on a fortuitous whim, decided the fair would be a great, visually rich place to find characters.

How did you get your subjects to open up and talk about their relationships?

I think what works for me in getting folks to open up is being genuinely curious and interested in their experience and perspective, taking the time to be a really engaged listener, and of course being respectful and taking them seriously. I think it could be easy when talking to teens to write off their experience as naïve or silly, but we really tried to treat them as experts who were helping us understand this whole nuanced world of unwritten rules of adolescent love and courtship.

Was there a reason you choose to center the piece around teenagers?

I think when we started seeing the hordes of teen girls and boys scattered around the fair, primping and stealing glances at each other, all three of us immediately were —> Read More