The National Geographic Museum recently hosted an advanced screening of the upcoming feature film, “The Hate U Give.” which deals with the topic of police brutality.
The issue of police brutality and the killing of unarmed African Americans, has been in the news lately and has stirred opinions and actions on both sides of the debate.
In addition to the screening, 20th Century Fox also hosted a panel that featured star Amandla Stenberg, Director George Tillman, Jr. and recording artist Bobby Sessions. Both the screening and panel discussion were provided free of charge to Howard University and University of the District of Columbia students.
George Tillman, Jr., the producer/director known for his work on the films “Soul Food,” “Men of Honor,” “Barbershop” and more, directed “The Hate U Give” based on Angie Thomas’ debut young adult novel. The film also features an array of stars including Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Common, Russell Hornsby and Issa Rae.
The film centers around a high school girl, Starr (played by Amandla Stenberg), who witnesses her unarmed long-time friend being shot and killed after leaving a party. As an anonymous witness, she combats coping and code-switching as she goes back and forth from her low-income neighborhood to her affluent private school across the city.
A prominent theme and topic of discussion was the presence of police brutality being produced by a movie network like Fox. “I think this story is so important and extremely timely given what’s going on in our society right now,” said Jessica Corley, a graduate student at UDC.
Panelists and attendees praised Stenberg for her performance as Starr. Director George Tillman, Jr. also gave key advice on what aspiring actors and young black talent can do to one day appear in feature films. “Go out and get involved in your university theater and film programs. Get roles in student and independent films, and build a reel so I can see the type of work you have done.” said Tillman.
Congressman Cedric Richmond was also in attendance and emphasized the importance of the film, and the industry moving down to the southern parts of the country. The movie is set for screenings in select theaters on October 4, and premieres everywhere on October 19.