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Two-Day Film Festival Added to 2017 MLK Weekend

A Film Festival featuring eight movies and documentaries about the Civil Rights struggle has been added to the 2017 MLK Freedom Rally, according to Bennie Swans, MLK Weekend founder and chairman.

The Festival will take place on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14, in Convention Hall Room 101 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, the headquarters of the 11th Annual Freedom Rally Weekend. Admission to all screenings and convention center parking is free. Popcorn and other concessions will be available. The movies and documentaries include:

The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 – 36-minute documentary told largely by the Rev. Samuel “Billy” Wyles, who was at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis the afternoon MLK was murdered.

The Marchthe 60-minute PBS documentary from the American Experience series, narrated by Denzel Washington, which tells the story of the famous March on Washington.

Boycott – movie starring Jeffrey Wright as MLK that tells the story of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott sparked the day Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus, the event that not only launched MLK as a civil rights leader but which is often considered as the incident that founded the Civil Rights era.

Freedom Riders – documentary that tells the story of the two small groups of white and black men and women in 1961 who risked their lives to see if it was possible to ride a bus from Washington to New Orleans through the deep South (only one made it).

Selma epic story of “Bloody Sunday” and the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and the its effect on the creation and signing of the 1965 Civil Rights Act by LBJ; nominated for a “Best Picture” Oscar, it stars David Oyewolo.

Here Am I, Send Me: The Journey of Jonathan Daniels – documentary narrated by actor Sam Waterston that tells the story of a young Episcopal seminarian who went to Selma in 1965 to work with Dr. King, crossed the Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, and was shot and killed saving the life of a young black woman civil rights worker, an act for which he was acclaimed a martyr by the Episcopal Church.

Selma, Lord, Selma – Walt Disney TV movie telling the story of Sheyeann Webb, who at age 9 was “The Youngest Marcher” who crossed the Pettus Bridge with Dr. King; she is portrayed by actress Jurnee Smollett of “The Underground” TV series.

Soundtrack for a Revolution PBS “American Experience” mix of historical film clips and contemporary musical performances by artists including John Legend, Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean, The Roots, gospel duo Mary Mary, Ritchie Havens, Angie Stone, and others. Archival footage and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders including legendary Cong. John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, Andrew Young, and Dr. King describes the movement through its music — the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.


A special feature of the showings of “Selma, Lord, Selma” and “Here Am I, Send Me: The Journey of Jonathan Daniels” will be major press conferences and Q-and-A sessions featuring retired Episcopal priest Rev. Judith Upham of Fort Worth Texas, who in 1965 was a fellow seminarian with Jonathan Daniels and who also went to Selma, crossed the Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, was a friend of Daniels and Sheyann Webb, and is shown in the Daniels documentary. Her appearance after the Daniels documentary will begin on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 11 a.m. Her appearance after the “Selma, Lord, Selma” movie will begin on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

The Saturday afternoon showing of “Selma, Lord, Selma” is being billed as a “Saturday matinee,” and since it is a Walt Disney made-for-TV movie, the MLK Weekend is gearing this showing toward school students throughout Horry County in the 10- to 16-year-old age group, although others are of course welcome to attend.


For a complete listing of Film Festival dates and times, open this PDF file.MLK-Film-Festival-Final-Schedule

Click here for the entire 4-day schedule of events.


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