Obama in NC: The Path to History, winner of Second Place for Best Feature Film at the 2010 Hayti Heritage Film Festival in Durham, is an extraordinary documentary, and the latest effort from CashWorks HD Productions of Cary, NC, and ThunderBall International Films of Los Angeles, CA. Thunderball President Mario Domina is Executive Producer.
It is the companion film to 2009's "Obama: Black Issues and the President," an historic documentary featuing candidate Barack Obama's April 29th, 2008 meeting in Winston-Salem, NC with the North Carolina Black Publishers Association. The film contains the only video footage of the late historian, Dr. John Hope Franklin, endorsing Barack Obama for president.
With the February 1, 2011 announcement that President Obama and the Democratic National Committee have chosen Charlotte, NC as the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, "Obama in NC: The Path to History" has taken on an added significance.
Plus, with the capture and elimination of master terrorist Osama bin Laden in May 2011, "Obama in NC"is being updated.
The film has been shown not only across the state and nation, but at the MIPWORLD International Festival in Cannes, France in April 2010 as well.
Never before has a documentary fully examined the historic election of Sen. Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States in the context of the gallant civil rights struggle that preceded it.
"It's the history of racism in North Carolina and the heroic struggles against it since Reconstruction, powerfully depicted and climaxing—but not for almost two hours—with Obama's election," wrote journalist Bob Geary in his August 25, 2010 feature article about the film in the Independent Weekly.
Audiences that have seen it called the film "powerful," "moving," and "a must-see."
Rev. Dr. William Barber II, president of the NC NAACP, called Obama in NC: The Path to History, "An epic!"
It was hailed for its excellence during the 2010 NC Black Film Festival in Wilmington in March 2010.
And UNC-TV's Black Issues Forum, hosted by Mitchell Lewis and produced by
Deborah Holt Noel, devoted an entire program to the film on
May 9, 2010 titled, 'Paving the Way To Obama." That program re-aired on August 22, 2010 to great response.
In September 2010, Obama in NC: The Path to History was shown at 95th Annual Association for the Study of African American Life and History's 95th Annual National Convention in Raleigh.
As more and more audiences across the North Carolina and the nation discover Obama in NC: The Path to History, DVDs of the film have become immensely popular. Just in the month of October 2010 alone, the film was screened at four special events, including at Nor
th Carolina Central University in Durham; the Get Out To Vote rally sponsored by the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People and the Durham NAACP; and the Southeast Raleigh Assembly, Inc. Civic Engagement Dinner at Marbles Museum in Raleigh.
Schools and churches are using the documentary as an instructional tool on the significance of the civil rights movement. Many young people today had no idea of the struggle for equal rights that produced the many freedoms they now enjoy before seeing Obama in NC: The Path to History
It is a particular favorite of college students, like the Ninth Annual African Diaspora Film Festival at North Carolina State University January 25, 2011. The film got special notice by NC State's student newspaper, The Technician, in a January 23rd, 2011 article.
Unlike other films, Obama in NC:The Path to History amazingly continues to grow in popularity over a year after its debut, and continues to be booked for feature showings well into 2011 across the state and nation. It was screened at several February 2011 Black History Month events, and destined to remain a staple for Black History Month events for years to come.
On Jan.16, 2010, the film made its World Premiere at the East Hargett Street YWCA Greater Triangle in Raleigh. Co-sponsored by the Y and the Raleigh-Wake Martin Luther King Celebration Committee, the film received the first of many standing ovations, and rave reviews to come.
Two weeks later, UNC-Chapel Hill became the first college or university to secure a copy of Obama in NC: The Path to History for its campus library (Davis Library's North Carolina Collection).
On Feb. 16th, the documentary made its theatrical debut at the Galaxy Cinema in Cary, and on Feb. 20th, Obama in NC: The Path to History made its film festival premiere at the Hayti Heritage Film Festival in Durham, NC, where it won its first honor ever.
Also that month, the film was shown at the Winter Conference of the National Black Newspaper Publishers' Association in Charlotte to enthusiastic applause.
In April 2010, the film was screened during the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Shaw University in Raleigh. The birth of SNCC at Shaw on April 15, 1960 is chronicled in the film.
Also that month, the film was officially donated to the Richard B. Harrison Library in Southeast Raleigh in thanks for all of its assistance in production.
By popular demand, Obama in NC: The Path to History returned to the Galaxy Cinema in June 2010 to kick-off the Great Schools in Wake Coalition's Summer Film Series.
The Durham Herald-Sun published a feature story on
the film in Feb. 2010. Obama in NC:
The Path to History is now officially listed in the IMDb
Internet Movie database.
Produced, written and narrated by veteran award-winning black newspaper journalist Cash Michaels of The Carolinian and Wilmington Journal - both NNPA newspapers - this film not only explores some of the unforgettable events in North Carolina during the 2008 presidential campaign that helped an unknown African-American senator win the White House, but the historic path carved from the post-Reconstruction Jim Crow era of the early 1900’s, through the tumultuous ‘60’s civil rights movement and beyond in North Carolina, that made 2008’s singular moment in time possible.
"...[A] few minutes into the film...Obama in NC took a sweeping U-turn into the past - setting the campaign aside to deal with first things first," writes Indy Weekly journalist Bob Geary. "As Michaels delights in saying, "You're invited to a campaign film and suddenly history breaks out."
In terms of history, the film was the first to feature the story of NC Governor William Woods Holden, who was impeached and removed from office in 1871 because he tried to destroy the terrorist group, the Ku klux Klan.
In March 2011, the NC General Assembly considered a bill to pardon Gov. Holden.
Hear Michaels talk more about the film during a Jan. 15, 2010 interview on NPR radio station WUNC-FM’s “The State of Things” with Frank Stasio, and Feb. 5 interview with Donna Martinez on NC News Network's "People in Politics. Michaels also interviewed with Imhotep Gary Byrd's "GBE MindFlight on 1190 WLIB-AM in New York, 680 WPTF-AM News in Raleigh and Val Atkinson's "Connections" on Foxy 107/14 in Raleigh/Durham.
Among those appearing in the film include former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume; actress Alfre Woodward, noted historian Dr. John Hope Franklin, Hillary Clinton and exclusive interviews with former NC Gov. James B. Hunt, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Special historical archival appearances include Mrs. Coretta Scott King, comedian Bill Cosby and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
The film broke news right before its January premiere when it was first to reveal that former Gov. Hunt, in an on-camera interview, told producer Cash Michaels how he warned the Obama campaign, right before the crucial 2008 North Carolina Democratic Primary, that they'd better deal with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, or else Obama would lose the state, and possibly the presidency.
The next day, Obama called a press conference in Winston-Salem, NC, and painfully denounced his controversial pastor in order to save his candidacy.
The rest is history.
Not one of the many national or North Carolina political reporters who covered the 2008 presidential campaign had that story before it was exclusively revealed in Obama in NC: The Path to History, and there are many other never-before-told stories in the film.
Pre-production has already begun on the Jan. 2012 sequel, "Obama in NC: Hope, Change and Challenge." Go to the Obama in NC: The Path to History F
acebook page for the latest updates and information.
Obama in NC: The Path to History is available for schools, universities, civic and nonprofit organizations to obtain for both screenings and discussions. Contact CashWorks HD Productions for further information at CashWorks1@mac.com.