– The Bentonville Film Festival, an annual film festival helmed by Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning actress Geena Davis, has chosen the pioneering black historical fantasy short film, The Forever Tree to premiere its weeklong celebration of filmmaking beginning on Tuesday, May 2nd. The film stars actors Wendell Pierce and Olivia Washington, a noted rising star in television and film.
They team up with screenwriter, novelist, and former television correspondent Chrishaunda Lee Perez, who co-wrote the film, along with Marc Novak, who recently penned the Billy Crudup-starring film, 1 Mile to You and social critic and Forever Tree story creator Stephen Hintz, executive producer of Alison Eastwood’s sophomore film, Battlecreek. Alrick Brown, an award-winning director and Filmmaker Magazine’s new “25 Faces to Watch” directed the film, which also includes actresses Natalie Carter and Rae C. Wright.
Stephen Hintz, Dena Greenbaum and Chrishaunda Lee Perez serve as co-producers of the film. The dramatic short story takes place in 1919, with a wide cast of historical characters such as the hair and beauty American icon Madame C.J. Walker, and other notable black leaders of the era. The short film production serves as a first act to a featurelength film of the same name, which encapsulates a remarkable and intriguing journey throughout America, Jamaica, and Ghana, and examines the universal struggle of power and familial love.
Early critics have praised the film for its unique level of innovation with combining magic, imagination, and drama, weaving true historical figures and accounts during the span of the story. Former NBA star Ronnie Brewer serves as an executive producer along with the Bentonville Film Festival, and award-winning, popular Ghanaian rapper and songwriter M.anifest wrote the film’s original credit song, Forever Tree.
The Forever Tree will premiere on Tuesday, May 2nd at 7.30p at the 21c hotel theater in Bentonville AR. A second screening and panel discussion will take place on Wednesday, May 3rd at 1:00 pm at the Record South in Bentonville. www.forevertreefilm.com