Wiley College to Premiere’s Student-Led Film 

The Freedom Film Project

After a year in the making, Wiley College students from the Freedom Film Project will premiere their film on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 7:00 pm in the Wiley College Pemberton Hayes Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. 

The Freedom Film Project is part of a new College initiative at funded by a grant from the Propel Center and Apple. The new initiative provides support for students to engage in opportunities with partners to increase involvement in all aspects of the fim industry. 

The film focused on the topic of Wiley College as a central space for “Freedom” citing the institution’s long history of activism through its past graduates, such as Heman Sweatt, James Farmer Jr., Opal Lee, and current students. Featured students share their own freedom stories about incarceration, immigration, college access, and mental health.

The grant funded the production of the film, paid internships, travel to filming sites,  and the new academic coursework. The year-long project comes to a close on March 16, 2023, with the premiere of  1700 Miles: A Journey to Explore Freedom

“The project was an amazing opportunity for Wiley College students to express themselves through film. They spent months learning the elements of film production from our industry partner, Cunningham Creative, and then spent the summer filming across the South, including a Juneteenth Celebration in Galveston, TX. As a result the students now have created an incredibly powerful film that honors Wiley College’s freedom story and their own.”  said Natalie Hill, Department Chair of Mass Communication.

Students from across the campus were invited to participate in the project, eleven were selected to participate. “As a student, I have never experienced anything like this, it was amazing to learn how to create a full-production film. It was a special treat to be able to use my own story of freedom to shape the screenplay. It is a once in a lifetime experience to be able to be a part of this history making film.” said Xaevion Turk, Senior, Mass Communication. 

The premiere will feature the showing of the film and a talkback with the student members of the project. After the premiere on March 16, the film will be prepared for national distribution through various formats.