Miami's inaugural Freedom Film Festival features a conversation with Reginald Hudlin and Wil Haygood


Reginald Hudlin is a writer, producer, director, and executive who promotes diversity in his work. He will receive Miami's Freedom Summer of '64 Award during Miami's inaugural Film Festival Series on Nov. 7.

Miami University will host its inaugural Freedom Film Festival Nov. 8-12, following the presentation of the Freedom Summer of ‘64 Award to Hollywood film producer Reginald Hudlin at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, in Hall Auditorium.

During the film festival, Miami University alumnus and Boadway Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence Wil Haygood will be featured, along with the release of his new book, Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World, (Random House, October 2021).
“Representation in film — or lack thereof — has long interested me,” said Haygood. “I spent the past several years working on Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World. The book highlights the long struggle of Blacks to rise in the film industry. These are stories of hard struggle, many dreams, and sometimes triumph.” 

Join us for a week of film and a special question-and-answer session with Wil Haygood and film producer Reginald Hudlin.

Haygood is the author of The Butler: A Witness to History, which was turned into a 2013 film starring, among others, Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Mariah Carey, and Jane Fonda.
Hudlin will be presented with the Freedom Summer of ‘64 Award on Sunday, Nov. 7, for his contributions in bringing Black images to screen. Haygood and Hudlin will conduct a question and answer session during the Nov. 7 event.
The award is bestowed by Miami each year upon a distinguished leader who has inspired the nation to advance civil rights and social justice. Miami strives to honor the legacy of those who worked for civil rights and social justice who trained in Oxford in 1964. We specifically want to note the cases of Michael Schwerner, 24, James Chaney, 21, and Andrew Goodman, 20, Freedom Summer activists who gave their lives in service to humanity.    
“These are superheroes who risked their lives,” Hudlin said of those who trained in Oxford in 1964. “I feel very humbled that what I do can be compared to what those heroes did. I am inspired and feel a sense of mission.”

Haygood said of Hudlin’s work, “Hollywood is a better place because of his monumental contributions when it comes to equality and representation.”

The film festival will be held in Leonard Theatre, Peabody Hall, Nov. 8-12. There will be a brief introduction to each film, the screening, and then a facilitated discussion about it. The films to be shown are:
patchofblue.jpgMonday, Nov. 8, 7 – 9:30 p.m. “A Patch of Blue”    
A falling-in-love story about a blind white woman and a Black man. Full of 1960s racial realism.           
Moderator: Andy Rice, assistant professor, Miami University department of media, journalism, and film

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 7 – 9:30 p.m. “Carmen Jones” 
Notable for Dorothy Dandridge, the first Black to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination.              
Moderator: Kerry Hegarty, associate professor, Miami University department of media, journalism, and film

imitationoflife.jpgWednesday, Nov. 10, 7– 9:45 p.m.  “Imitation of Life”  
A Black daughter denies her racial heritage, with heartbreaking consequences.
Moderator: Kim Tavares, Miami University associate vice president of alumni relations

shaft.jpgThursday, Nov. 11, 7 – 9:30 p.m. “Shaft”
America was introduced to an unusual figure: A bold Black detective.                  
Moderator: Ron Scott, Miami University Professor Emeritus of media and communication, former associate vice president of institutional diversity

Friday, Nov. 12, 7 – 9:45 p.m.  “The Butler”
A White House butler served eight presidents. Inspired by an article written by Miami faculty member Wil Haygood. Moderator: Wil Haygood, Miami University alumnus, Boadway Scholar-in-Residence, and author
“Years ago when I was a student at Miami University (Ohio), one of my weekly pleasures was going into town to see a movie,” Haygood said. “Among the stars of those movies were Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Walter Matthau, Al Pacino, John Houseman, Ellen Burstyn, and Lee Grant. The dearth of movies with Black leading characters - or even supporting characters - was painfully obvious.”