Birth of a Movement, a documentary about African-American newspaper editor William Monroe Trotter‘s 1915 battle against America’s first blockbuster movie – D.W. Griffith‘s infamous The Birth of a Nation – will have its broadcast premiere Feb 6, 2017 on Independent Lens/PBS.
The documentary film was produced and directed by Bestor Cram and Susan Gray at NLP in Boston, is executive produced by Sam Pollard and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (who is also interviewed in the film), is narrated by Danny Glover, and written by filmmaker Kwyn Bader and Edgar Award Winner and Pulitzer nominee Dick Lehr. Spike Lee and Reginald Hudlin appear in the film, as does Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, who provided the score. There are also premiere screenings – open to the public – in Boston and NYC on Jan 30 and 31st, respectively.
As D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation” contributed to the Ku Klux Klan’s resurgence nearly 100 years ago, pioneering Black newspaper editor and activist William Monroe Trotter fought to ban the film in his native Boston. An upcoming PBS doc will explore his battle against the infamous 1915 film.
“Birth of a Movement“ focuses on Trotter’s mobilization of community protests, which included an attempt to see the movie with supporters that ended in a scuffle and his arrest. These protests were part of a career spent critiquing segregationist policy that included founding and editing The Boston Guardian, criticizing Booker T. Washington, helping to create the NAACP and leading the National Equal Rights League. Trotter’s activism grew into a broader movement to combat the film’s violent aftermath.
The documentary premieres February 6 at 10 p.m. as part of PBS’ “Independent Lens” series.
Ever since actor/director Nate Parker‘s “Birth of a Nation” caused a sensation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival by landing the biggest distribution deal made thre ever, we have been waiting to hear and see more. Today is the day, as Fox Searchlight has released the film’s first teaser trailer. This drama about Nat Turner and the revolt he lead in 1831 is set to be released in theaters this October. Check it out:
Wiley College officially announced early Sunday that “Beyond the Lights” and “The Great Debaters” actor Nate Parker, who is also a director, producer, writer and musical performer, is starting a film and drama school there to help empower young people in East Texas and across the country.
(The film The Great Debaters depicts the black college debate team beating Harvard College in the 1930s, though, the team actually didn’t face off against Harvard. At the time, historically black Wiley College was David and University of Southern California was Goliath, and indeed David defeated Goliath in this matchup.)
KLTV reported on Friday that Nate Parker has been keeping tabs on the black college and “even using their a capella choir for the soundtrack of his film The Birth of a Nation,” as well as announcing his election to the college board of trustees, in which Parker said he’s “honored” to serve at the position.
Now when exactly does classes begin? Here’s what we know:
The first classes for the Nate Parker School of Film and Drama will be held in the fall.
Before that though, about 30 high school and college students, after being picked, will have the opportunity to join a nine day summer institute as a pilot program for the school.
In addition, ten current seniors at the black college have already been picked to serve at the institute this summer as staff.
But those are short-term goals for the school. Nate Parker also wants to “bring Hollywood back to East Texas” and to “create a pipeline toward filmmaking physically through developing the college, having filmmakers be nurtured and cultivated here, and then having somewhere for them to go with respect for them actually being able to engage in filmmaking here in East Texas, then it kind of serves multiple purposes,” he said.
“You control the moving picture, you control the masses. So really getting them rallied around the idea of re-claiming the narrative of America, specifically through the eyes of people of color,” Parker said.
“The Birth of a Nation” filmmaker Nate Parker will write the movie adaptation of the inspirational wrestling story “Carry On.” Walden Media will develop, finance and produce “Carry On,” based on Lisa Fenn’s memoir that’s due to be published by HarperCollins in August.
Fenn is an ESPN producer who went back to her hometown of Cleveland in 2009 to pursue a story about two disabled wrestlers who attended an impoverished public high school. Dartanyon Crockett, legally blind yet the best wrestler on the team, would carry Leroy Sutton, who had lost both his legs in a train accident when he was 11, to practices and meets.
Fenn formed a connection with the two young men and dedicated the next six years of her life to ensuring their success. Sutton graduated from college and Crockett won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games.