Black Privilege. White Power.


TYPE
: Hybrid Feature
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Development

LOGLINE

A young white Smith College student joins with an activist group to fight for civil rights in the Jim Crow era South and ends up taking part in one of the great protest movements in American history, inspiring her peers and strangers along the way.

SYNOPSIS

A stirring and topical period drama that examines the courageous work of courageous people, fighting, unrestrained, against injustice. This is a historical story, but these important issues are still very relevant even today, and the script brings them to life with passion, outrage, and insight. As harrowing as the systematic prejudice and seemingly endless violent bigotry is, it is impressive and inspirational to see the resolve and courage of those who would not stand down.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

One of the key aspects of what we are doing with this project is teaming up with Bridgebuilder Cinematic Arts Program. A non profit organization designed to teach, train and mentor minority and underprivileged youth in the film making proccess. Weare all EXTREMELY EXCITED about how this will not only effect the program participants and their futures but also how the overall dynamic will effect the outcome of the film!

I am an unconventional african american screenwriter. I earned my G.E.D in prison when I was 21 years old. I was Adopted into an upper class caucasian family when I was two years old. My mother told me that when I was four, I came upstairs and I was reading. Complex aspects of my upbringing compelled me, are intertwined and can be found within my creative writing . My aunt Posy Lombard who I found out marched with Dr. king, was a real American hero. I didn't actually know that as a kid, but I could feel it whenever she would come visit from Atlanta. She was white with a black husband. My personal struggles with race brought me to this story. Although I am black, having a white family gave me certain privileges. I now know that it was the courage and sacrifice of young white students like my aunt, that helped pave the way for black Americans liberations. In my writing I strive to unite the races with the same energy that my aunt and Fannie Lou Hamer implored. It was that energy that caused 50,000+ people to march on the capitol of Alabama on March 25 1965. I intentionally interjected the Rabbi and his family because although we were never taught it in school, the fact remains, Jews, Latinos, Asians and whites came together to fight Jim Crow in the south. Some gave their lives and because of that negroes were aloud to vote. Knowing how important the 2020 election will be I wrote this script about a vital period of time in American history. A time that is rarely talked about anymore. A time that we may need to reflect directly on when it comes to gathering the masses for the presidential election of 2020.

KEY CREW

Hollis Meminger - Director of Photography

HOLLIS MEMINGER

Cinematographer/Camera Operator and filmmaker whose credits include The Blacklist (NBC), Narcos(NETFLIX), and Younger(TVLAND) and countless documentaries centered around racial justice and gender equity.  His IMDB credits include many commercial projects as well. Currently, Meminger is working on a sequel to the Academy Award Nominated film Streetwise.  He is an alumni advisor to the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, and founded Bridgebuilder Cinematic Arts Program, where he teaches filmmaking to at risk youth in some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country.  Hollis also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Baker’s Scholars Program at Georgetown University.  He is a graduate of the University and has been instrumental as a mentor and advisor to many first generation students. Meminger has been using his talents to change the narrative for black and brown youth in many cities like St. Louis, Bronx, NY, Atlanta, Baltimore, and DC.  While working tirelessly on the issues plaguing his community he has been working with gang affiliated youth as well as students who have been left behind due to systemic inequalities in America.

 

“If we don’t listen to the youth of today who are drastically marginalized, we will never understand the future in which we live.  We must help them to tell their truths in a voice and medium that will inspire the world to listen.”

Martha Pinson - Script Supervisor/First time directors consultant

Prior directing work includes: “It’s Not Saturday,” a dramatic short done under VisionFest’11 Filmmaker’s Challenge. I directed the Drama Book Shop short play staged reading Series (2010), “Rescue Meal” (pilot for firehouse cooking show, 2009), “King Alive” (2006), Sheila Evan’s “Billie Holiday Cabaret” (2005), and the award-winning short film, “Don’t Nobody Love the Game More than Me” (2002), which aired nationally on the PBS series "Independent Lens". More theater directing credits: Bob Rogers’ “Small Potatoes” (2000), Stephen Mantin’s “Acts of Faith” (1998) – both off-Broadway full-length plays. I was a Second Unit Director on the film “Just the Ticket” starring Andy Garcia. I’ve consulted for numerous new directors and written numerous original and adapted screenplays, including the award winning “Body Count 1968,” and an historical miniseries treatment that is in development. I was Script Supervisor to major directors including Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Milos Forman, Oliver Stone, Brian De Palma, and Andrew Niccol. I often give Guest Lectures and Workshops at college film programs.

James Burns - Executive Producer

James didn't go to film school. He taught himself how to read and write in prison after being tried as an adult and convicted at 15 after taking the wrong path in his youth. Following his release, James concentrated his efforts on documentary filmmaking to develop an award-winning career and a reputation for bold, cinematic storytelling. He is personally invested in creating character-driven films that take on complex and systemic issues, and is known for his ability to gain unique access to difficult spaces. James was selected for the Saatchi & Saatchi New Director Showcase at Cannes Lion in 2016, won the TriBeCa Film Festival Special Jury Mention Award in 2015, and was nominated for the D&AD Next Director Award in 2017. In 2017 James created the Solitary Confinement Project, a month-long 24 hour livestream in which James voluntarily entered into solitary confinement for 30 days and broadcast his time inside. The project was nominated for a Webby Award in 2018. His work has been presented on Netflix, Independent Lens, Vice on HBO, Vice.com, Amazon Prime, Nowness, the Atlantic, Vimeo Staff Picks, and NPR.

Emilio Cuesta - UPM/Line Producer

Emilio was born in Manhattan, NY and studied film production at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Studies. At a young age, he was able to work for various networks, and individual shows on premium cable television. During school, he produced a number of student films and is currently working on a feature, with his father, Michael, attached to direct.

Guy A. Fortt - Producer

GUY A. FORTT (Jimmy) a seasoned theater presence who studied at Columbia University, has been featured on Broadway in Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple. Other theater credits include productions of Charles H. Fullers A Soldiers Play, August Wilsons Seven Guitars, Abram Hills On Strivers Row, and Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire among others. Film credits include, Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always starring Ryan Eggold, David Frankel's The Devil Wears Prada starring Meryl Streep; director Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn; director Spike Lee's 25th Hour and She Hate Me; and Don’t Nobody Love the Game More Than Me, directed by Martha Pinson and winner of the Toronto Online Film Award. In addition to his stage and cinema work, Fortt has also found success in television having appeared on diverse shows including Law & Order SVU, BULL, and his recent recurring role on the hit NBC show New Amsterdam.Guy has also appeared in television commercials, provided background vocals for major recording artists Al Jarreau and RuPaul, and lead vocals for Brian Tarquin's album, "Soft Touch" and produced his own TV pilots: Rescue Meal, Inside the Forttress and Teen Talk with Dr. Tabby. Although Fortt enjoys an ever-expanding career in the entertainment industry.
 

Daniel George Danielson - Writer/Director

Daniel G Danielson is an American actor, voiceover artist, screenwriter and content creator. He is best known for his roles on The Blacklist (NBC-Univ.) Mr. Robot (USA) God Friended Me (CBS) High Maintenance (HBO) The Plot Against America (HBO) and many more. He made his writer/directorial debut with the award winning 6-part mini-series “Mr. and Mrs. Jackson” which he co-created with his then fiancé, now wife Josie Webb-Danielson. The two met on the set of Blue Bloods (CBS) and they were married in Central Park NYC on his birthday in September 2019. A 1995 graduate of the Institute of Audio Research in Greenwich Village NYC, Daniel has always had his hands in the entertainment industry. Having struggled as a teen with substance abuse and petty crimes that landed him in and out of low-level correctional institutions until his mid-thirties, Daniel realized that he may not live to see his children graduate high school. In 1998 Daniel created a record label “DFC Entertainment” where he produced and released two 12” vinyl singles, “Ladies and Gentlemen” and “My Life”. He went on to study Media Production at The University of Hartford where he hosted the college radio stations “Hip-Hop 101” show. It became clear that his unique upbringing and dangerous real-life experiences, shaped his complexity. Much of Daniels art is a fusion of this. A product of an interracial adoption, he was raised on a small farm with an all-white family in Connecticut USA. His aunt Posy Lombard was a student volunteer during the civil rights movement who marched with MLK in Selma. Her influence motivated Daniels artistic presence in the creation of his first feature length screenplay “Black Privilege. White Power”.

Bridgebuilder Cinematic Arts Program https://www.bridgebuilderarts.org/ - Minority Apprenticeships

About Bridge Builders Cinematic Arts Program

Founded in 2016, Bridge Builders began as a career prep program teaching high school students 21st Century skills through the basics of filmmaking taught by working members in television and film industry. After countless conversations about changing the landscape of Hollywood to be more diverse and inclusive, the first apprenticeship program was launched at KIPPNYC in the Bronx and was aimed at unlocking talent and building marketable skills among young men and women of color. In 2019, the program was expanded to Brooklyn, NYC and the Curtis Bay neighborhood in Baltimore targeting students of color living in under-served communities.

Today, Bridge Builders is planning its expansion into major film hubs and communities in need across the U.S.. The goal is to bring the apprenticeship program to more high school students of color and catalyze other opportunities and partnerships to help them discover, pursue, develop skills, and build bridges into post-secondary education and careers. Bridge Builders brings its programming, creativity, and expertise in building partnerships to help facilitate opportunities to young people in need.

 

Connect With The Filmmakers:

ACCOLADES

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IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2020
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Semi-finalist Big Apple Film Festival/Los Angeles
-
7/10 The Blacklist

 

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