Yesterday was the "official" release date for the retail DVD of Dare Not Walk Alone. This DVD is something of a milestone for those of us who worked on this project. It comes a staggering 5 years after Jeremy decided to make the film and about 4 years and 3 months after Chey and I got involved. Jeremy is now married and no longer in his twenties. Chey and I are still married (and still in our fifties).
We are all extremely grateful to everyone who pitched in at various stages of this long and winding road. If this film beats the odds (again) and suddenly becomes "an overnight sensation," we will be able to say, in all honesty: "That was a very long night, but totally worth it." What follows is the press release that went out through erelease and PRNewsire.
BROOKLYN, N.Y., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Dare Not Walk Alone, a feature-length documentary about little-known events in America's civil rights struggle, is now available on DVD at Wal-Mart and other stores. The film clearly illustrates what President-elect Obama has called "the gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time." While documenting Dr. King's heroic campaign to end segregation, the film also paints a disturbing portrait of lingering inequality, some 40 years later, in one community where that campaign was waged.
The Dare Not Walk Alone trailer can be seen at the film's web site: http://darenotwalkalone.com.
Created by Brooklyn-based artist and director Jeremy Dean, Dare Not Walk Alone has been hailed by critics as "a powerhouse of a picture" and "important filmmaking." However, making the film was an uphill battle, according to executive producer Stephen Cobb. "The director insisted the film go beyond documenting the bravery and brilliance of Dr. King's victorious strategy of non-violence to explore the aftermath of that victory," said Cobb. "But a lot of people thought this approach was too radical for a mainstream audience."
Yet this is one small-budget independent documentary that beat the odds and achieved DVD distribution through major stores like Wal-Mart, Target, FYE, Movies Unlimited, and Amazon.com. The film's distributor is Indican Pictures.
"When Indican told us Wal-Mart ordered DVDs," says Dean, "we were thrilled, but also stunned. That's almost impossible when you're an indie project with no star backing."
Although the DVD is not on the shelves in every Wal-Mart yet, the retail giant is shipping from Walmart.com, according to Cobb.
"Our hats are off to both Wal-Mart and Indican," said Cobb. "We're delighted with Indican because they have moved us closer to our goal of giving everyone in America a chance to see this film."
The DVD features interviews with Ambassador Andrew Young and the late James Brock, owner of the motel in St. Augustine, Florida, where Dr. King was arrested. There is also an interview with Dean who is currently on a campus tour, most recently appearing at Notre Dame University's WorldView Film Series.
About Dare Not Walk Alone
Featuring rare archival footage, the film also contains recent interviews with participants in the campaign to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The project began in 2003 when director Dean was still in his twenties. After post-production work at Atlanta-based Crawford Communications, the final cut debuted in 2007 and was quickly signed for distribution by Indican Pictures. Theatrical screenings in New York, Los Angeles, and Portland garnered praise from critics:
"Powerful slice of roiling American history."
-- Los Angeles Times
"Has great potential to do real good in the world."
"Minutely attuned to disparities of class and race ... a triumph of outrage and empathy."
"Deserves to be seen."
--New York Times
"Packs a punch."
-- Village Voice
Jeremy Dean, writer and director
Web Site: http://darenotwalkalone.com