FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – On the evening of June 18 a Fort Worth filmmaker celebrated Juneteenth by premiering her first feature film.
More than 200 cars showed up to watch Miss Juneteenth at the Coyote Drive-In in Fort Worth. The movie tells the story of a former beauty queen who is now a single mom, preparing her daughter for the Miss Juneteenth pageant and steering the teen towards roads not traveled.
Juneteenth is a holiday that recognizes when slaves in Texas were freed two years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The movie was made in the Southside and Como neighborhoods. They are two historically African American and underserved communities.
“For one it’s an amazing accomplishment,” said Liberty Hayes an actress in the movie. “For two, it’s about telling the story of Juneteenth.”
It premieres at a time where racial inequalities are in the spotlight. Among the guests on the balmy evening in Fort Worth — Miss Opal Lee who has made it her mission for Juneteenth to be a national holiday. She also inspired the movie’s creator.
“I want Miss Juneteenth to contribute to more diverse representations of African-American women on screen,” said writer and director Channing Godfrey Peoples in a statement. “Through exploring issues unique to black women and our identity and culture, my hope is the film will be a universal story about the resilience of the human condition.”
The movie originally premiered to critical acclaim earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, and won the Lone Star Award for Best Texan Film at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Miss Juneteenth is playing this weekend at the Grand Berry Theater in Fort Worth.