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'Freedom's Path' premieres after filming in Fayetteville

The movie set in the civil war was filmed in Fayetteville, features local actors, and debuts right at the start of Black history month.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Feb. 2 at AMC Fiesta Square 12, Rockhill studios hosted a premiere sold-out event of "Freedom's path" specifically for family and friends of cast and crew members. 

After the film, the Arkansas cinema society hosted a Q&A.

“So in 'Freedom’s Path,' we flip a classic narrative, where it’s our white character needing rescue from free African Americans, and they rescue him mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually," Director/Writer, Brett Smith said. 

This film made history by being one of the first big-budget films to tell the story of over 250,000 independent African Americans who lived in the south during the time period of the civil war.

“Showing a film of unity, family, faith, and brotherhood…things that bring us together as we overcome preconceived notions about each other and learn to see each other as the unique individuals that we are. That to me really is the heart and the power of what we’re trying to tell with this film,” said Smith. 

Film crews say it took thirteen years to create the movie, and it was shot right here in Arkansas.

"We felt like it would showcase the state, its locations, and people. We knew that it fit the story. It fit the location, and it fits our timeline,” said Executive Producers Blake and Kerri Elder.

“Freedom’s Path” features local actors who share the same passion as the film’s creators.

“In this, all of the characters are very strong and independent and are doing their thing despite the negative circumstances that they’re living within. so, I think hopefully that people will know we can tell more stories like this,” said actor, Jasper Logan. 

The film partnered with Byron Allen's "HBCU GO" to promote HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). All proceeds from ticket sales on opening weekend will go to eight selected underrepresented HBCUs across the country and students with a major in fine arts. Even after opening weekend, 10% of profits will go towards those selected schools throughout the entire theatrical run. 

“It's always good to give back, but in this case, there’s still some marginalization, and we feel that if we can help in any way to provide some resources, funding, and highlight, then we want to,” Blake and Kerri Elder said. 

“Freedom’s Path” is in select theaters starting Friday, Feb. 3. Click here to look up availability and times in your area.

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