A film about ironing clothes sounds as exciting as watching cement dry. But when filmmakers Conni Castille and Allison Bohl interviewed local women about ironing, they uncovered stories of family pride, history, patriotism and more.

"It has really touched people," said Castille, a graduate student in UL's folklore program. "When we started talking to people about this, they looked at us like we were stupid. They thought we said the word 'irony.'

"Then the women we interviewed would come in with a beautiful skirt that they had a story about. Everybody has one."

Those stories are in a short film, I Always Do My Collars First, which debuts today at the Bayou Bijou Theater in UL's Student Union. The documentary is the first release by the university's new Cinematic Arts Workshop, which matches students and faculty from different disciplines to work on digital media projects.

The film follows four Breaux Bridge women - Rookie LeBlanc, Gay Castille, Aunt Be Guidry and George Blanchard - who explain how their mothers did laundry in the 1930s and '40s and what the work means to them today. The documentary features original music by BonSoir Catin, Anya Burgess and Dirk Powell, whose work has appeared in movies by Spike Lee, Ang Lee and the Oscar-winning film, Cold Mountain.

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Herman Fuselier