WFYI Public Media, Ted Green Films and Heartland Film to Present World Premiere of “Attucks: The School That Opened a City”

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New documentary about Indianapolis’ historic African-American high school to debut August 18, 2016 at the Madame Walker Theatre.

WFYI Public Media, Ted Green Films and Heartland Film to Present World Premiere of “Attucks: The School That Opened a City”
While it is a story unique to Indianapolis, it is a microcosm of the injustices faced and overcome by African Americans in the North at that time. I have been inspired, even awestruck at times, by the incredible resilience of the students. - Ted Green

Heartland Film, in partnership with WFYI Public Media and Ted Green Films, has announced the world premiere of “Attucks: The School That Opened a City” – the new documentary from Producer Ted Green – at the historic Madame Walker Theatre on August 18, 2016. “Attucks: The School That Opened a City” tells the powerful story of Crispus Attucks High School and the remarkable achievements of its African-American graduates, despite a system that had set it up to fail.

The event will include a red carpet reception with film talent beginning at 5:30 p.m., the premiere screening of “Attucks: The School That Opened a City” at 6:30 p.m., and a brief question-and-answer session following the film with Producer Ted Green. The evening will also feature a live performance by Attucks grad and world-renowned opera star, Angela Brown. Tickets to the event are available now at a special early bird price of $7.50 and can be purchased online at or at the box office prior to the event.

“We could not be more excited to partner with a strong community leader like WFYI in hosting the premiere of the documentary ‘Attucks: The School That Opened a City’,” said Heartland Film Interim President Frank Basile. “This year marks our 25th anniversary, and it is especially meaningful for us to return to the historic Madame Walker Theatre seeing as it was the first venue we partnered with at the inaugural Heartland Film Festival back in 1991. Inspiring stories are all around us, and we’re thrilled to be sharing the transformative story of Crispus Attucks with the Indianapolis community and beyond.”

“Attucks: The School That Opened a City” outlines the history of Crispus Attucks High School, an all-black high school that was built in the 1920s at a time when the Ku Klux Klan had a stronghold on Indiana and its capital. Despite being built to fail, the students who graduated from Attucks found a way to beat the system—becoming surgeons and teachers, scientists and politicians, world-class musicians and athletes.

Perhaps most well-known for its history of powerhouse basketball teams, Crispus Attucks became the first all-black high school team in the country to win a state championship in 1955 only to later score two more state titles in 1956 and 1959. But even before basking in the national spotlight for athletics, Crispus Attucks gained a reputation in the realm of academics. With a rigorous curriculum and many teachers with advanced degrees, the faculty and administration of Crispus Attucks encouraged their students to exceed expectations and excel academically.

“At times, this story is outrageous, but it’s also beautiful and uplifting,” says Emmy-winning producer Ted Green. “While it is a story unique to Indianapolis, it is a microcosm of the injustices faced and overcome by African-Americans in the North at that time. I have been inspired, even awestruck at times, by the incredible resilience of the students.”

With the endorsement of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, WFYI Public Media, Ted Green Films, and Heartland Film hope to illuminate the story of Crispus Attucks and the resilience of its students, including Oscar Robertson, Maj. Gen. Harry Brooks, Brig. Gen. Norris Overton, Julia Carson, Angela Brown, David Baker, Janet Langhart-Cohen, as well as Gen. Colin Powell and historians James Madison and Richard Pierce, among many others.

“With this powerful documentary, Ted Green and WFYI are helping to build awareness and understanding of a critical time in our state’s history,” says Lloyd Wright, CEO and President, WFYI Public Media. “Our hope in supporting and broadcasting programs like this one is not only to remind Hoosiers of our common heritage, but also to inspire thoughtful dialogue throughout the community.”

Ted Green and WFYI Public Media also teamed up for the acclaimed “Bobby ‘Slick’ Leonard: Heart of a Hoosier”, “Undefeated: The Roger Brown Story”, and “Naptown to Super City”.

The documentary is made possible through the generous support of the Efroymson Family Fund, Lilly Endowment Inc., CNO Financial Group, The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation, The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Impact 100 Greater Indianapolis, and many generous individuals and organizations. The premiere screening event is made possible in part by The Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

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About Heartland Film, Inc.
Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1991 with the mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. Heartland Film is a curator and supporter of purposeful filmmaking, honoring a wide variety of cinema and awarding storytellers from all over the world. The films Heartland Film selects and exhibits – whether they inspire and uplift, educate and inform, or have the ability to shift audiences’ perspectives on the world – all have one thing in common: they are entertaining films that do more than just entertain. Every October, the Heartland Film Festival gives its moviegoers access to more than 100 visiting independent filmmakers from all over the world, right in the heart of the Midwest. Heartland Film Festival (Oct. 20-30, 2016) showcases more than 130 independent films over 11 days of red carpet premieres and events, parties and hundreds of film screenings across Indianapolis. The Heartland Film Festival has earned the special designation of being a qualifying festival for the Annual Academy Awards® within the Short Films category. Each year, the Heartland Film Festival awards more than $125,000 in cash prizes and presents its Festival Awards to top-judged submissions. Heartland Film has awarded more than $3 million to support indie filmmakers over the last 24 years. Beyond the Heartland Film Festival, Heartland Film honors theatrically-released films that align with its mission via the Truly Moving Picture Award, inspires the next generation of filmmakers via the Heartland Film Institute, and exhibits films across Indiana all year long via the Heartland Film Roadshow. To learn more, visit

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