Nigerian director Chinonye Chukwu is set to helm a feature film based on Emmett Till’s tragic death. An award-winning filmmaker and social justice advocate, her most recent movie “Clemency” about a Death Row inmate snagged several accolades and award nominations.
Chukwu’s film will focus on the African American teenager who was just 14 years old when he was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman. His brutal racist attack in August 1955 shocked the nation and provided a catalyst for the emerging civil rights movement.
The untitled film will be based on the extensive research of documentarian Keith Beauchamp who investigated the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Till. His efforts succeeded in getting the United States Department of Justice to reopen the case in 2004 and his research formed the basis for the original screenplay he co-authored with Michael J P Reilly and Chukwu.
“I am deeply honored to be telling this story and working with such an incredible producing team,” shares Chukwu, a Nigerian American director who became the first Black woman to receive the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival for “Clemency.”
The Till story will be produced by Keith Beauchamp, Barbara Broccoli, Whoopi Goldberg, Thomas K Levine, Michael J P Reilly and Frederick Zollo and is scheduled for production in 2021 coinciding with what would have been Emmett Till’s 80th birthday.
By Samantha Ofole-Prince