Margaret Brown’s Documentary Uncovers the Truth of the Slave Ship The Clotilda through the Eyes of its Survivors’ Descendants
LOS ANGELES -December 10, 2021–It was announced today that Participant’s feature documentary Descendant will premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival as part of the US Documentary Competition. Award-winning filmmaker Margaret Brown (The Order of Myths, Be Here to Love Me: Townes Van Zandt) returns to her hometown of Mobile, Alabama to document the search for and historic discovery of The Clotilda, the last known slave ship to arrive in America illegally transporting enslaved Africans. Descendant is produced by Kyle Martin, Essie Chambers, and Brown, and co-produced by Dr. Kern Jackson. Executive producers are Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann and Kate Hurwitz, as well as Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Shawn Gee and Zarah Zolman for Two One Five Entertainment.
Participant, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that stands at the intersection of art and activism, is proud to share the story of the descendants of the survivors of The Clotilda, now residing in an area known as “Africatown.”After a century of secrecy and speculation, descendants of The Clotilda’s survivors are reclaiming their story as they search for this elusive wreckage, joined by a team of globally renowned archeologists and divers from the Smithsonian. Participant also will be incorporating Descendant into its ongoing impact work dedicated to advancing social justice.
“When I began researching this history, I quickly learned that the story of The Clotilda was not a ‘myth’ or a ‘legend’ as it was often referred to by white people, but an already present history, just one that was not told or accepted as the dominant ‘American’ narrative,” said Brown. “I came to recognize that this rich and insistent connection to the past represented something quite meaningful well beyond Africatown and Mobile, something that touches on the experience of the Black community as a whole, and really on the whole nation’s understanding of itself.”
“I have a personal connection to these events, but what happened in 1860 and the reverberating effects on the community of Africatown is part of our collective history,” said Thompson. “I am hopeful that this film can be a starting point for some important conversations about the past.”
“The story of The Clotilda is about so much more than a search for a ship, it’s about the very nature of history and whose versions are repeated,” said David Linde, CEO of Participant. “Participant is honored to play a role in ensuring the community of Africatown’s story is finally told.”
The documentary will premiere on January 22, 2022 at The Ray Theatre in Park City, UT as part of the US Documentary Competition.
Participant and Cinetic Media are handling worldwide sales.
Recent Participant documentaries include Flee, The First Wave, Final Account and My Name is Pauli Murray, and there are currently 12 documentary films and series in production.
Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll and under the leadership of CEO David Linde, Participant (www.participant.com) combines the power of a good story well told with real world impact and awareness around today’s most vital issues. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing the well over 2 billion consumers compelled to make meaningful content a priority focus. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, six documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 20 hours of digital short form programming. Participant’s more than 100 films have collectively earned 82 Academy Award® nominations and 21 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Green Book; Best Documentary Feature for An Inconvenient Truth, CITIZENFOUR, The Cove and American Factory; and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant also has earned 44 EMMY® Award nominations and 11 wins, including two wins for the groundbreaking When They See Us. Follow Participant on Twitter (@Participant) and on Facebook and Instagram.
About Two One Five Entertainment
Two One Five Entertainment, founded by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, is a full-service storytelling and content development media company. The foundation of the company is built upon compelling storytelling through the creation of films, short form and long form digital content, theatrical experiences and documentary styled content. Two One Five has produced content for partners such as AMC, Disney, Amazon, VH1, BET, You Tube and Twitch. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq Trotter, The Roots and Two One Five are all represented by ShawnGee of Maverick Management.
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