‘Olympic Pride, American Prejudice’ documentary sparks White House recognition of the 1936 African-American Olympians after 80 years and gains steam for awards season and Oscar contention
The 18 African-American athletes of the 1936 Olympics, subjects of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed documentary “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” and previously unrecognized for their contributions to breaking color lines, were honored at the White House by President Barack Obama for the first time September 29, 80 years after their heroic turn in Berlin. The recognition was spearheaded by the efforts of the highly-acclaimed documentary film and the Procter & Gamble Company.
Immediately following the White House visit, the families of the athletes were welcomed at the National Portrait Gallery for a private screening. Screening guests included Executive Producer Blair Underwood; Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix; P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard; former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue; cast members Anita DeFrantz, 1976 Olympic bronze medalist, and Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympic gold medalist; and Tasha Cole of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.
The film continues to impact the community and inspire change as it gains awards season attention. “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” is one of seven films selected to be a part of the November gathering of community organizers and movement builders at Facing Race: A National Conference, presented by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation.
The film will return to New York as part of the Museum of Jewish Heritage Winter Programming and to Los Angeles for a special screening at the University of Southern California in conjunction with the California African American Museum’s exhibition “Politics, Race, and Propaganda: The Nazi Olympics, Berlin 1936.”
The film was part of the Black Perspectives programming at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival and enjoyed two sold-out screenings at its world premiere at the L.A. Film Festival.
“Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” is written and directed by Deborah Riley Draper and narrated and executive produced by Hollywood veteran Blair Underwood.
Riley Draper said, “Our film can change hearts and minds in the same way the black athletes did in 1936. We shed light on an 80-year-old act of bias and ignited a movement to ensure their story and legacy live on. Films create empathy and allow us to connect with universal human truths that we all share.”
The film is an official selection at the upcoming St. Louis International Film Festival, Savannah Film Festival and Teaneck International Film Festival.
“Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” releases on December 6 and is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon.
For more information, visit www.1936olympicsmovie.com.
Coffee Bluff Pictures is an Atlanta-based independent film venture created to develop, produce and distribute compelling stories that explore interesting, underrepresented characters and the rich, complicated journeys they embark upon in the U.S. and around the world. Coffee Bluff Pictures’ productions include the award-winning films “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” and “Versailles ‘73: American Runway Revolution.” For more information, visit www.coffeebluffpictures.com.