Oscar-nominated actress Aunjanue Ellis brings to life civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer in a riveting live-action short, FANNIE. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Christine Swanson, the film examines the acclaimed freedom fighter's gripping account of the brutality Black Americans faced along the journey to full equality and voting rights.
Ellis, nominated last year for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “King Richard,” is the sole performer in this unflinching cinematic dramatization of one of the most important figures of the civil rights movement.
A visionary filmmaker from Detroit, Christine Swanson most recently directed the records- breaking, smash-hit film The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. The film was awarded a 2020 Best TV Movie Award from the African American Film Critics Association, was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Movie Made for Television and was also nominated for five NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Directing in a Television Motion Picture.
Christine’s other celebrated movie credits include All About You, The Miki Howard Story, To Hell and Back, All About Us and For the Love of Ruth, for which she also earned an NAACP Image
Award nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Television Motion Picture. Christine is currently producing and directing the upcoming project, The Kemba Smith Story, based on her screenplay
“Is this America?"
- Fannie Lou Hamer
These three words were part of sharecropper-turned-change maker Fannie Lou Hamer's impassioned plea to defend the right to vote for every citizen regardless of race, creed, or color.
It was a simple question with a complex challenge to the credentials committee for the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Speaking on behalf of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Hamer detailed the scare tactics and the violence Black Americans faced in their long and storied quest to vote. She recounted her own brushes with brutality at the hands of the police when she was beaten so badly that her vision was impaired, and her kidneys were severely damaged.
Her gripping testimony was not just a call for the inclusion of Black delegates in the Democratic Party; it was also a prophetic warning that unless the nation extended equal treatment to Black Americans, the fight for voting rights, human rights, and civil rights would persist for years to come.
FANNIE received the most honors at this year’s BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, earning recognition for the Reel South Award and Aunjanue Ellis for Best Actress.
FANNIE is produced by Christine Swanson and Aunjanue Ellis. The film is executive produced by Angela Harmon, Abeni Bloodworth, Emil Pinnock, and Stephanie Frederic.
The nine-minute short, presented by multi-media platform chromatic black in association with Faith Filmworks, is powered by a community of 10,000 Black artists/activists, technologists, community organizers, and journalists. chromatic black builds cultural power through the disruption of the master narrative through good storytelling. Through its signature project, the Ida B. Wells Fund, chromatic black aims to support innovative, brilliant, and creative new voices in a way that the existing system does not.
Awards Editor Scott Feinberg Interviews FANNIE Star Aunjanue Ellis and Director Christine Swanson-
December 15, 2022
Aunjanue Ellis Channels Fannie Lou Hamer In Preview for Upcoming Project 'Fannie'- September 13, 2022
"Aunjanue Ellis and Christine Swanson want to tell Fannie Lou Hamer's story on the big screen"- March 7, 2022
"Aunjanue Ellis Brings Story of Civil Rights Pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer to Screen"- September 8, 2022
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