Charleston is a small town in Mississippi and its only high school holds a white prom and a black prom. In this day and age it’s hard to wrap your head around the idea of segregation in any form and that is exactly why Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, who lives in the town, offered to pay for an integrated prom if the students wanted it. His initial offer in 1997 was turned down by school officials. He offered again in 2008 and was given the green light by the school and support by the senior class.
Prom Night in Mississippi follows the students and the town as they prepare to make history. Parts of it are sad and shocking while other parts show how this will affect these kids for the rest of their lives. There is no doubt that this integrated prom will make a difference for generations to come.
I chatted with director Paul Saltzman about the hurdles he went through to make the film, learned how he connected with Freeman, and discussed whether he thinks President Obama will help curb racism in the United States. Watch the full interview below.
Prom Night in Mississippi opens in Toronto on November 13. There will be a special benefit screening with Morgan Freeman in attendance at the Varsity Cinema on November 13. For more information, or to purchase tickets to that event, click here.
Top image: Paul Saltzman and Morgan Freeman. Courtesy Catherine Farquharson/Paul Saltzman.