“Runaway Slave,” a controversial new documentary, is premiering to packed theaters across the country. Many may not realize that filmmakers Luke and Jo Anne Livingston and writer/director Pritchett Cotten are proud to call Atlanta home.
Last year, Ground Floor Video, a mom-and-pop production house owned by the Livingstons, started to receive a large amount of buzz with their film “Tea Party: The Documentary Film.” It was during this production that Luke and Jo Anne first got to know Rev. C.L. Bryant, a former NAACP chapter president in Garland, TX who abandoned the organization as he felt it was more about political posturing and less about civil rights. Bryant, a self-professed “runaway slave”, has committed himself to helping others secure the blessings of liberty that are guaranteed by the Constitution with his newfound conservative values.
Bryant became a conservative activist after his realization that the entitlement mindset of the “progressive” black community is the equivalent of trading one form of tyranny for another. In the documentary, Bryant makes the argument that it’s time for a new “Underground Railroad” movement to help liberate all Americans from the contemporary form of a government-run plantation: entitlements. “
“It’s an honor to team up with CL Bryant and produce a documentary film right here in Woodstock that will touch so many lives across the country”, says Luke Livingston. “Our hope is that “Runaway Slave” will begin a new discussion about freedom and liberty in America.”
The filmmakers take viewers on an historic journey across America that traces the footsteps of runaway slaves who escaped to freedom along routes that became known as the Underground Railroad. Atlanta’s rich cultural history and strong African American roots provided a natural backdrop for the film.
“On the southeastern leg of our production’s road trip, we spent time in Atlanta conducting man-on-the-street interviews”, says Pritchett. “Because of their historical significance, we focused primarily on the Five Points and Auburn Avenue areas of downtown. On Auburn Avenue we spent time filming interviews by the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, and his former church, Ebenezer Baptist. We were also able to interview some prominent black leaders including Dr. Alveda King, niece to the late Dr. King, and Star Parker.”
Pritchett continues, “It is my hope that those who view the film will truly think about the underlying principles that are being discussed: freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government.
“I’m proud of the very talented team of independent, conservative filmmakers who have made this film possible,” Livingston stated. “Our goal is to help C. L. Bryant spread his message in a powerful, yet entertaining way.”
“Runaway Slave” can be seen locally at AMC Barrett Commons 24 at 2600 Cobb Place Lane NW in Kennesaw beginning July 27. It was created by Ground Floor Video in association with FreedomWorks Foundation and Filmcrest Entertainment. Distribution is through Rocky Mountain Pictures. For more information, go to www.runawayslavemovie.com.