The world premiere of “Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground” will be one of the BlackStar Film Festival’s highlights.
The groundbreaking Oscar-nominated Peabody and Emmy award-winning documentary “Eyes on the Prize,” directed by Henry Hampton, is being reintroduced to a new generation on HBO Max. Part one of Hampton’s chronicle of Black History and the Civil Rights movement, which first aired on PBS in 1987, is now available to watch online.The streaming giant is partnering with the BlackStar Film Festival to have the World Premiere of its companion piece “Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground” at the festival.
The documentary is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison (A Love Song for Latasha); executive producers Patrisse Cullors, Mervyn Marcano, and Melina Matsoukas of De La Revolución Films, as well as Joy Gorman Wettels of Anonymous Content, Bedonna Smith of Blackside, and Sandra Forman of Blackside complete the creative team.
Allison stated to Essence “I was just so honored to see this concept of honoring and reimagining ‘Eyes on the Prize,’ that I didn’t believe I could be a part of something so brilliant.”
Executive Producer Mervyn Marcano said: “I’m thrilled to be continuing the enduring legacy of ‘Eyes on the Prize,’ which told a fuller and more complex story of the long fight for racial justice in our country. It’s why ‘Hallowed Ground,’ helmed by our visionary director Sophia Nahli Allison, serves as the perfect start to a new chapter for ‘Eyes’ — it is an emotional reflection on our journey through turbulent times and the truths we need to tell each other to forge new futures. There are indeed so many stories left to tell about who we are as a nation and where we are going, and we are lucky to have ‘Eyes on the Prize’ continue to light the way.”
Like the original PBS series, the film “Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground” continues the discussion about African Americans’ fight for justice. From 1952 to 1965, the 14-part original series focused on the Black American struggle for survival and recognition in America during the Civil Rights Movement. “Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground” adds to the discussion by honoring the ancestors’ memories.
This celebration of the new documentary will take Black liberation on a profound journey through the voices of the movement. The new film spans the years 1987-1990.
It seems fitting that such an important piece of work should be bookended by a festival that prides itself on featuring works by Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, given that the country is still reeling from the events of 2020.
Philadelphia has been at the forefront of many of the issues addressed in “Eyes on the Prize.” Patrice Cullors, executive producer, told Variety, “I didn’t get to meet Henry Hampton, but I got to meet him through his beloved sister, who has been an incredible guide for us.”
HBO is also working on a new documentary series that will focus on the legacy of the movement covered in the original “Eyes on the Prize,” as well as its connections to the present day, as we witness history being made in front of our eyes and behind the scenes.
This new installment of “Eyes on the Prize” will also be available on HBO Max.
The most powerful statement in the film is that it’s a reminder to the younger generation of who we are as African-Americans and where we came from.
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