On January 8, WABE held a live audience event at the Plaza Theater to celebrate the launch of WABE's new TV series "Atlanta on Film." In this first season of the show, WABE Studios highlights two of Atlanta's best film festivals: Out on Film and the Morehouse College Human Rights Festival.
During the live event on the square, City Lights host Lois Ritzes spoke with two festival directors: Jim Farmer, director of Out on Film, and Kara Walker, director of the Morehouse College Human Rights Festival. Ritzes also spoke with two of the festival's co-directors: Patrick Seda of "Reverend Falls" and Roderick Red of "The Defenders."
"Reverend Falls" is a short film about a famous pastor struggling with his mentorship. A priest seeks the advice of a gay couple to sort out his feelings and find his truth.
Why Reverend Falls was chosen for the film festival:
"I remember when I first saw it in 2021… I thought I knew where I was going when I looked at it, but then I realized I didn't. I love it when it happens. I love it when I discover new sounds or new things I haven't seen before." Watch this movie everyone who has it loves to talk about it afterwards," Farmer said.
What inspired Sida to create the film:
I watched a debate between a clergyman and an atheist. Opinions arise as to who won the debate. I thought it would be interesting to put it in this two-step story, but also in the context of the LGBTQ community,” Seda said.
In the late 1950s, there were only four black attorneys in Mississippi, three of whom handled civil rights cases. The new documentary, The Defenders, focuses on the lawyers who represented African Americans before and during the Civil Rights Movement.
Why Walker wanted The Defenders to be included in the Morehouse Human Rights Film Festival:
This film was not only selected to be part of the festival, but was also nominated in the category in which it was presented. We chose this movie because it was a new story with a new voice and a story you don't hear a lot. We often hear about great civil rights leaders, but we don't hear about the lawyers who represented them and helped them get out of jail and get bail when they were arrested,” Walker said.
In the 1950s and 1960s, attorneys in a Mississippi court heard from aggressive attorneys :
"We talked to some amazing people who told some stories, like Marian Wright Edelman. And for those of you who don't know who Marian Wright Edelman is, she founded the Children's Defense Fund, a big -profit organization focused on child welfare. Before that she was a lawyer. and was a civil rights attorney in Mississippi. Marian Wright Eldman is an inspiration to so many people: Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about her, she Hillary Clinton given her first job in Washington, DC, and she is her son. Award-winning documentary filmmaker," Reed said. He continued, "But if you can imagine, a young Marian Wright Eldman came to Mississippi in 1959 to defend these people before an all-white jury, an all-white judge… It was crazy about that stage, the way people looked at her… It was the craziest thing they had ever seen.
"Reverend Falls" will air on January 16 and "The Defenders" on February 6 on WABE.