14 August 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Doc Inks Deal With FilmsTransit Distributor
30 Oct 2008 :
Frederick Douglass
Irish company Camel Productions has just signed a deal with top international documentary distributor FilmsTransit for their film ‘Frederick Douglass and the White Negro’, written and directed by John J Doherty (Harry Clarke, The Light and Darkness).

Through archive photography coupled with reconstructions, the documentary follows American icon Frederick Douglass' escape from slavery to Ireland during the Great Famine. The documentary not only focuses on the powerful effect Ireland had on Douglass, it tackles issues of racism still facing the United States today shedding light on the turbulent relationship between African Americans and Irish Americans, and the resulting race-riot that rocked New York city. The film reveals the complexities and injustice of any society that uses race or skin-color as a basis for status and how groups at the bottom turn against each other while those at the top prosper.

The film also traces Douglass' rise in American politics which was significantly complemented by his knowledge and experience of the Irish condition. There is an added significance with this year's historic American presidential campaign featuring Barack Obama since Douglass paved the way more than 130 years earlier as the country's first African-American on a Vice-Presidential ticket.

Produced by Catherine Lyons, the film was shot in early 2008 in various locations including News York, Baltimore, Dublin and Belfast and was broadcast on TG4 in April of this year. The film will be launched at next year’s Chicago Irish Film Festival.

FilmsTransit along with Network Ireland will be across worldwide distributing.

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