Olympic Pride, American Prejudice

Director: Deborah Riley Draper
Documentary Feature :: Works-in-Progress
Running Time:

Screening Info:
Thursday, November 12
4:00 PM
Jengo's Playhouse
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Writer, Director:
Deborah Riley Draper

Executive Producers:
Deborah Riley Draper
Dr. Amy Tiemann
Michael Draper

Line Producer:
Lacy Barnes

Director of Photography:
Jonathan Hall

Post-Production Producer:
Eric Johnson
In 1936, 18 African-American Olympians sail to Berlin and defy Jim Crow segregation and Nazi racism to compete in the Olympic Games. History remembers the accomplishments of only one of them. This is the story of the other 17. The 88-minute film follows the lives of 2 black women and 16 black men as they navigate the economic and sociopolitical landscape of pre-war America, torn between participating in the 1936 Olympic Games and boycotting them. The 18 African-American Olympians embark on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean to reverse stereotypes and show the world their courage, strength, athleticism, and humanity during the contentious 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. These athletes approach their participation in the Olympics as important not only to their country but to their race; they are acutely aware that their success could change the perception of African Americans and tear down racist propaganda in both the U.S. and Germany. This is American history; a seminal moment and springboard for the modern civil rights movement.

Director Bio:
Deborah Riley Draper is a marketing guru and award-winning filmmaker. Her debut film Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution has been heralded by New York Times and Los Angeles Times film critics, and international film festival selections: St. Louis International Film Festival, Denver DocNights, Elle Croatia Fashion Film Festival, John Hopkins Film Festival, New York Winter Film Fest and the L’Oreal Australian Fashion Film Festival. Versailles '73 won the CNN Outstanding Documentary Award at the Martha’s Vineyards African American Film Festival. The film has appeared by invitation at New York Fashion Week, Toronto Fashion Week, Saudi Design Week and Holon Fashion Week.