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Project of the Day: A Short Takes on a Hate Crime in “Crossing the River”

Project of the Day: A Short Takes on a Hate Crime in "Crossing the River"

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

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“Crossing the River”

Tweetable Logline:

short narrative film about a modern-day hate crime exploring the point of view of the victim and the perpetrators, inspired by a true story

Elevator Pitch:

CROSSING THE RIVER is a narrative short film about a modern-day hate crime. Teenaged brothers Grant and Shawn, estranged from their mother, find the connection they are seeking with a racist older man. Michaela, an innocent biracial 13 year-old, is new in town. After tensions in the boys’ lives escalate, a cross is burned on Michaela’s lawn. The film will explore the points of view of both the victim and perpetrators, and seeks to understand how someone can become influenced to do something morally unspeakable. Inspired by a true story, the film will be shot in rural South Carolina.

Production Team:

Writer/Director: Emilie McDonald (www.otherpeopleshousesfilm.com)
Producers: Tammy Arnstein (P.O.V.’s “Waging a Living”), Natasha Giliberti, Robyn Mackenzie
Editor: Erin Fisher
Sound: Robert Kennedy (“Superdoll”)
Cast: Bruce Smolanoff (“The Sopranos”)

About the Production:

“Last September, I met my friend Martha’s grandsons and immediately felt they would be compelling onscreen. Soon thereafter, a friend who runs a civil rights watch group in NC sent me an article about local teenagers accused of burning a cross in a family’s lawn. I was very affected by the story, and especially by reading that the family’s 13 year-old daughter continued to believe that people were good despite her experience. When I later read that the boys turned and apologized to the family in court, it gave me hope. The idea for a powerful short film quickly developed.” — Emilie McDonald
Current Status:
Pre-production, looking to shoot in March 2012.
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