Filmmakers Emily Mackenzie and Noah Collier’s divinely off-kilter documentary explores the world of psychedelic carpets that line our hotel hallways, casinos, and convention centers can be traced to one town: Dalton, Georgia, the “Carpet Capital of the World.” In this bastion of American manufacturing we find an interwoven set of locals who are the unsung creators and developers behind the majority of the country’s carpets, always looking at the ground for their next big break. Among them is Roderick James, a Scottish expat and freelance textile designer living his life as a modern-day cowboy with an ambitious slew of eclectic business ventures. Through Rod’s journey chasing after The American Dream and the experiences of his peers in Dalton, CARPET COWBOYS explores the tensions between personal and national identity, and the rapidly changing global economic model of theUnited States that too often leaves so many behind. Where does the myth of American identity begin and where does it end, and who ultimately gets to cash in? Co-directors Emily Mackenzie & Noah Collier stop by to talk about the circumstances that brought them to Dalton, Georgia, meeting Roderick James and the other very colorful array of people who call the “carpet capitol of the world” home, and why it was vital that all the people we meet in Carpet Cowboys are be seen as authentic.
About the filmmaker – Emily MacKenzie is a New Orleans based director and producer. She is a graduate of Bard College and the New School’s Documentary Media Studies program. MacKenzie co-wrote and edited Nina Davenport’s feature length HBO Documentary FIRST COMES LOVE (2010) and has produced and directed for Vice, MTV, Fuse, Animal Planet, and WEtv. MacKenzie’s short documentary SCAR STORY was featured on The Atlantic’s website in 2016 and was viewed over 80 thousand times. She is currently completing TAPESTRIES, a feminist audio series depicting queer breast cancer narratives. For more go to: memilymack.com
About the filmmaker – Noah Collier is a director and cinematographer born in New York City. As a Director of Photography, Collier has primarily created non-fiction work, including the Sundance Special Jury Award -winning JAWLINE (Hulu 2019), SANTA CAMP (HBO 2022), and THE COME UP (Freeform 2022). For more go to: noahcollier.online
About the filmmaker – Executive Producer John Wilson is a documentary filmmaker most well known for his HBO show “How To With John Wilson”
“If Errol Morris, circa Vernon, Florida, Ricky Gervais and Christopher Guest, after a night of heavy drinking in 1990, having reckoned with the burden of the death of cinema, chipped in to make a movie together about carpets, this would be it.” – Rick Alverson, Director of: The Mountain, Entertainment, The Comedy
“Truly fascinating look at the far reaching American myths and symbols and the fibs that all that represents” – Bill Ross, Co-director of Empty Nose Bloody Pockets, Western
“What a gift to experience a movie exploring dreams, decay and homoeroticism through the lens of delusional “straight” white men… with a healthy heap of cringe to wash it down.” – TJ Martin, Oscar winner Best Documentary 2012, LA92