Filmmaker seeks crowd cash for Possum Drop doc


Filmmaker Mindy Keeley is seeking $1,000 to help fund her documentary project called The Possum Drop: A Documentary. The Possum Drop Kickstarter campaign is here.

The Possum Drop has been a New Year’s Eve tradition in Brasstown for 20 years. Last year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, which had issued a permit allowing the event to use a live possum in its event. The New Year’s Eve party culminates in the lowering of a possum in a box hung from a pole.

PETA’s lawsuit thwarted the use of a live possum last year, but in March, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law allowing the Possum Drop to use a live possum in its event.

Keeley, in her pitch for the public’s cash, says this:

“The Possum Drop” is a comedic, heartwarming film that reveals the age-old tale of outsider influence on a close-knit community. This 28-minute documentary will leave you rooting for the underdog. The traditions of Brasstown, NC, a rustic but artsy town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, are being threatened, but the residents will not give up without a fight.

The town’s New Year’s Eve festivities of the past 18 years could come to an abrupt halt because the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants to stop the annual possum drop. One resident has said, “The possum drop is the best thing that has ever happened to this town.” The possum drop is an annual event where the folks in Brasstown lower a possum, placed in a glass box with air holes, during their New Year’s Eve countdown and celebration.It’s their version of the ball drop in Times Square.

Clay Logan, the owner of the local store named Clay’s Corner and founder of the possum drop event, says that it’s a lot of good clean family fun, alcohol free, and not harmful to the possum, which is released back into the wild after the drop. Clay Logan is a free-spirited businessman who loves to share a joke and swap gossip with all of the local townsfolk and tourists who visit his corner store to buy a soft drink or some possum paraphernalia.

“The Possum Drop” seeks to show how Brasstown’s population is handling the news of potentially losing the cherished possum drop through observational footage and interviews. It becomes apparent that the possum drop stands for a lot more to this community than the actual lowering of the possum. Instead, it stands for holding on to a local tradition and not giving in to pressure from the outside world.


Mindy Keeley May 28, 2013 - 12:07 pm

Hi Jason Sandford,

I just want to say thank you for always writing about and supporting the arts! We have met our goal on the Kickstarter campaign and are looking forward to what’s next! Thank you!

Jason Sandford May 28, 2013 - 1:52 pm

Congratulations, Mindy! Keep me posted!

Murphy May 15, 2013 - 1:44 pm

wait, is that possum suit made from real fur ….

Nate May 15, 2013 - 8:44 am

I’d be much more inclined to support a more cynical, outsider look at *both* sides, since the event is a pale imitation of an actual small-town tradition, ridiculous and genuinely a little bit cruel (although possums deserve it), while PETA’s objection to it is equally ridiculous. To be honest, this story would probably be best served by a short Daily Show piece rather than a focused documentary . . .

luther blissett May 15, 2013 - 3:41 pm

It’s a local tradition in the way that Goats on the Roof along 441 in Tiger, GA or South of the Border off I-95 are local landmarks. Maybe she can do a followup on outsider influence on the traditions of Maurice’s in Columbia?

Lexingtonian May 14, 2013 - 5:03 pm

Um….if you have extra money to give, MANNA food bank is trying to feed the hungry!

adam May 15, 2013 - 8:06 am

don’t tell me how to donate my money!

lexingtonian May 16, 2013 - 1:42 pm

Sorry Adam,

Just thought feeding the hungry was a more important fundraising opportunity.

You go ahead and do whatever you like with your money.

And I will give mine to help out those that really need it, not someone who wants to make a buck for themselves.

Murphy May 14, 2013 - 4:05 pm

Maybe the producer should approach the NC General Assembly for an incentive; since they’ve passed the “possums’ right to work” law …

oh snap, they’re planning to defund the NC Film Commission too … along with everything else.

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