Press Release for Wednesday, September 9, 2009

St. Augustine Civil Rights Struggle Explored in “Dare Not Walk Alone”

Carl Holman

Asst. Director of Marketing & Communications

(904) 620-1921, c.holman@unf.edu

(Jacksonville, FL) – The University of North Florida Fine Arts Center hosts “Dare Not Walk Alone” with Producer/Director Jeremy Dean as part of the Southern Arts Federation’s Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. The movie, which chronicles the civil rights movement in St. Augustine, will be shown at the UNF Recital Hall in Jacksonville, FL on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

 

Following a screening of his documentary, “Dare Not Walk Alone,” Dean will engage the audience in a discussion about the film and his work as a filmmaker. Tickets are available for $6 for adults and $5 for students in cash from the UNF Ticket Box Office. Charges and processing fees will be applied when using credit or debit card.

 

On June 18, 1964 a white hotel owner in St. Augustine, Florida, poured acid in a swimming pool filled with black and white youth conducting a civil rights demonstration. Photographs of this horrific incident were on the front page of every major newspaper around the world and broke the filibuster in the Senate allowing President Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act into law. With rarely seen news footage and revealing interviews, “Dare Not Walk Alone” uncovers the untold story of the St. Augustine movement that led to this historic legislation. But far from a history lesson, the film also looks at the aftermath of desegregation and the grim realities of life today on streets where those campaigns were fought, in a place that symbolizes what Barack Obama has called "the gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of our time." This film has been called the "Civil Rights film for the modern age" and in the end we see signs of hope and reconciliation as well as a challenge to take the next step forward.

 

As the son of missionaries, Jeremy Dean spent his youth traveling the world. He was immersed in the jungles of Central and South America and Asia. He also traveled throughout Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. It was during this time that he was exposed to numerous cultures and the struggles of indigenous peoples. He had to learn to survive by dealing with tribal customs and local traditions that sparked an interest in finding connections between diverse parts of the world. Dean returned to the United States to finish his formal education, receiving his B.A. in Fine Arts from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida in 2002. In 2003, Dean attended the University of the Nations School of Digital Filmmaking in Kona, Hawaii where he wrote and directed the short film “Vanity.” Upon returning to St. Augustine, Jeremy moved into a largely impoverished African-American neighborhood. He learned of a great civil rights struggle that took place in that community 40 years earlier. After joining a local church, through his friendships he began documenting the life stories of people who had led the way for freedom so many years ago. These stories became the basis for his first feature-length film, “Dare Not Walk Alone.”

 

An award-winning film, “Dare Not Walk Alone” has screened at numerous festivals, including the Atlanta Film Festival, Cinequest Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Florida Film Festival, Jacksonville Film Festival, Sarasota International Film Festival, Connecticut Film Festival, San Francisco Black Film Festival, and the Western New York Black Film Festival. The film received the Audience Award from Deep Focus Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio.

 

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers is a program of the Southern Arts Federation, a not-for-profit regional arts organization making a positive difference in the arts throughout the South since 1975. Southern Arts Federation is supported by funding and programming partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Special support for Southern Circuit is provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For more information on the Southern Arts Federation and its programs visit www.southarts.org.

 

Tickets and Information:

Tickets are available for $6 for adults and $5 for students in cash from the UNF Ticket Box Office. Charges and processing fees will be applied when using credit or debit card. For complete information about any shows or to purchase single tickets, visit www.unf.edu/fineartscenter or call the UNF Ticket Box Office at (904) 620-2878. Patrons can visit the Box Office in person at the University of North Florida, Building 45, Room 1400, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224. Hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 90 minutes prior to show time.

 

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About The University of North Florida Fine Arts Center

Established in 2001, The University of Florida Fine Arts Center has built a rich tradition of showcasing an eclectic series of world-class performers, commercial entertainers, ethnic music and dance, cutting edge performances, and children’s programming as well as the premiere of new works to support upcoming artists. The Center’s goal is to enhance the academic programs of the University and to complement the cultural offerings within Jacksonville, building new audiences, and contributing to the quality of life and economic development of the city.