North Carolina Black Repertory Producing Documentary Film on the National Black Theatre Festival
The North Carolina Black Repertory Company is excited to announce production has begun on the documentary film, Holy Ground: The Legacy of The National Black Theatre Festival. The film explores the cultural significance of the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF), celebrates its founder Larry Leon Hamlin, and profiles its producer, The North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NC Black Rep).
The NBTF was founded by Larry Leon Hamlin in 1989; Mr. Hamlin founded NC Black Rep ten years earlier. This biennial festival showcases Black Theatre companies from across the globe, attracts 65,000 visitors, and since its inception, has contributed over $220 million dollars to the economy of Winston-Salem. Featuring an opening night Celebrity Gala, more than 30 mainstage productions, film screenings, a play reading series, and countless other events, the NBTF is the world’s largest Black Theatre festival.
Currently compiling archival footage from past festivals, NC Black Rep will film the entire 2019 NBTF for the documentary. Artistic Director Jackie Alexander believes the upcoming festival will be the largest in the company’s history, stating: “The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival is an opportunity for artists and audiences alike to be a part of what I believe will be the most monumental film in the history of Black Theatre; everybody will want to be a part of that.”
NC Black Rep has tapped filmmaker Ka’ramuu Kush to direct Holy Ground. Mr. Kush is an award-winning director whose films have toured various film festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, and the LA Film Festival. Additionally, his work has been broadcast on CBS, BET, HBO and CINEMAX. His film Salvation Road was awarded the DGA Jury Prize and the Caucus Foundation Gold Circle Award, while his film And Then was the winner of the Shadow & Act Filmmakers Competition. Mr. Kush is also a Lecturer/Professor on the Theatre Arts faculty at Howard University in Washington, DC. A self-proclaimed “festival baby,” Mr. Kush commented: “Holy Ground is a very necessary labor of deep love and greater purpose that has been gestating for over 20 years since I first attended the National Black Theatre Festival at 19 years old. This film will mark our evolution to date and set us on course for the next 20+ years.”
The NBTF will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2019. Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, who has served as the festival’s Executive Producer since Mr. Hamlin’s death in 2007, is thrilled that her husband’s crowning achievement will be documented for generations to come, sharing: “Larry’s vision of creating and sustaining Black Theatre globally has come to fruition through the National Black Theatre Festival; that triumph deserves to be shared with the world.”
The 2019 National Black Theatre Festival will be held July 29-August 3, 2019.
Check out the trailer for “Holy Ground”
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