Sandra Schulberg of IndieCollect will present "Cane River," Horace Jenkins' recently restored 1982 gem, which screened this past April at Ebertfest, at its historic Los Angeles premiere at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's Film Archive on Friday, November 1st (purchase tickets here). The screening will be dedicated to the film's editor, Debra Moore, who passed away on October 23rd. She was originally scheduled to be among the guests in attendance for a Q&A, which will now serve as a poignant tribute to her legacy. The film's lead actors, Tommye Myrick and Richard Romain, will be flying in from New Orleans to join Schulberg, the Academy Archive's Ed Carter and the director's daughter, Dominique Jenkins, for a post-screening discussion moderated by Brickson Diamond about the trailblazing picture.
UPDATE: Oscilloscope Laboratories just acquired the rights to distribute "Cane River," which is set to open at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on Friday, February 7th, with national rollout to select locations to follow.
A Romeo & Juliet love story with a delightful surprise ending, "Cane River" is set in Louisiana in one of the first free communities of color. The young couple, played by Romain and Myrick, confront schisms of class and color that roil America to this day. After the untimely death of director Jenkins at the mere age of 41 in 1982, a few screenings followed and then the film was lost from view for nearly 40 years.
"Cane River" was an unknown title in 2013 when an Academy Film Archive team selected the film’s original negative as part of a large group of materials brought from the vault of DuArt Film & Video, and given a home at the Film Archive. After some preliminary research, including a discussion with editor Moore, AFA curator Ed Carter determined that "Cane River" might be worth preservation and re-evaluation. The Film Archive then struck a new 35mm print, which later became the source of IndieCollect’s 4K digital master, using a Kinetta Archival scanner. With Moore’s guidance, and vital legwork by New York Times reporter John Anderson, IndieCollect was able to trace the cast, crew and heirs to learn more about director Horace Jenkins.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., showcased "Cane River" in the fall of 2018 and the Museum of Modern Art hosted the New York City premiere in early 2019. Critics have since called the film “a major rediscovery” and “a work of visionary artistry and progressive imagination.” Funding for this project was provided by the Roger & Chaz Ebert Foundation, Just Films / Ford Foundation, and the Amistad Research Center of Tulane University.
To purchase tickets, visit the official site of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.