ATLANTA, Feb. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Finch Fortress Films is excited to support SEEDS OF CHANGE, which is an upcoming short film about a 63 year-old man living in a former “sundown town” in rural Indiana, and is forced to face his racist beliefs when his 6 year-old biracial granddaughter comes to live with him. Through his eyes, we see the deleterious effects racism has on everyone. We are excited to partner with Frances Wilkerson on this film, who is an up a coming writer and director with incredible talent. She has worked on 10 films previously including AMERIKKKA (2016), which is the story of a young black woman who infiltrates a KKK meeting to seek revenge against the men who killed her father. Frances commented on the film’s purpose in her Seed and Spark campaign, “[The film] is inspired by my experience of being black in America including a time I inadvertently ended up in a sundown town in the Ohio River Valley area.” She continued to comment on the films purpose, “It is my hope that this film will give viewers empathy and compassion towards those of us who have to deal with racism, and give viewers hope that America can heal its toxic relationship with racism…Through the eyes of a child anything is possible. As adults, we sometimes forget about possibilities. It is my hope that this film will remind us.”
“We are excited about this film and the impact it can have on understanding the complexities of race relations,” said James Velissaris, who is the founding partner at Finch Fortress Films. He went on to comment on the film industry’s history of exclusion, “For too long, the industry has been dominated by white cisgender men. Finch Fortress Films is striving to find voices and stories that have been historically overlooked.” Finch Fortress Films currently has five projects in post-production and production and three projects in development and pre-production.
SEEDS OF CHANGE will start production in April 2022 and is expected to be released in the fall of 2022.
Finch Fortress Films
James Velissaris formed Atlanta’s Finch Fortress Films to support visionary artists and storytellers across film and television who wanted to create projects that would challenge societal norms and provoke strong emotions. As Velissaris explains it, “I felt [the film industry] portrayals across race, gender and sexual orientation can be, at times, stereotypical representations that don’t allow a diverse set of viewers to see themselves in film. One of our firm’s core missions is to help produce films and television shows that challenge these conventional portrayals.”
Velissaris is black and grew up in the midwest. He understood at a young age the importance the portrayals of young black men in film and television have on society. The branding of black men throughout the 1990’s in the news, film and television as “thugs” and “gang bangers” has had a lasting impact on how white Americans perceive black men. The steps taken by visionary writers such as Shonda Rhimes of race-blind casting are helping to make progress, and Finch Fortress Films is joining the fight to attack these biases.