Since its premiere last year on TV ONE, the Rusty Cundieff (“Tales from the Hood”, “Fear of the Black Hat”) film “White Water” has become a genuine international film festival darling.
The film is based on the children’s book by Michael bandy and Eric Stein (who also wrote the screenplay), which is based on true events, set in Alabama, at the height of the civil rights movement during summer of 1963, and follows Michael (played by twins Amir and Amari O’Neil), a seven-year-old black boy who becomes obsessed with the desire to taste water from the “whites only” drinking fountain.
“His protective mother, Annie (played by Sharon Leal), and his rather free-spirited father, Terrance (Larenz Tate), learn of Michael’s obsession with tasting the ‘white water’ and make several attempts to steer him away from this risky adventure. All of Michael’s friends, the local police and the KKK are also against Michael’s mission. His unwavering determination to ignore racial limitations leads him to finally understand the true dangers of his quest”.
But under Cundi3ff’s deft touch, the film effectively shifts though a variety of tones, starting off as a comedy before turning more darker and serious when Michael finds himself involved in situations that put his life in peril, to the terror of his parents and friends.
Since its broadcast, the film has attracted a lot of attention and has been shown at film festivals around the world, including the Rwanda International Film Festival, the Montreal Black Film Festival and the Blue Nile Film Festival in Ethiopia.
Now in what must be a surprise, and a first, the film has been selected as the first African-American film to be shown at the Jasmine International Film Festival in Tehran, Iran in December 2016.
The festival picked the film for its lineup since the programmers felt that “White Water” fits its qualification of films that promote “Family Values, Environmental Protection, the Struggle against Injustice and Spirituality & Modern Life”.
“White Water” was produced by Dwayne Johnson-Cochran, and also co-stars Storm Reid, who is currently playing the lead in Ava DuVernay’s film version of the sci-fi classic “A Wrinkle in Time,” which started shooting last week.
Watch a trailer for “White Water” below.”