The 2018 Charleston Civil Rights Film Fest kicks off on Wednesday, April 25, with a screening of “Vesey” by Lowcountry filmmaker Jason Gourdine, followed by “’63 Boycott,” a documentary about youth protests in Chicago. One of the producers of “’63 Boycott,” Rachel Dickson, will attend.

The program begins at 7 p.m. at the College of Charleston Alumni Center, 86 Wentworth St., and includes the presentation of the Septima Clark Emerging Filmmaker Award to Gourdine, co-founder of the Black Collective.

At 1 p.m. Thursday, festival co-founder Benjamin Hedin will lead a filmmaking workshop and present three short movies, including Gourdine’s “Muyiyidin,” about the Black Lives Matters activist Muhiyidin D’Baja, who was killed recently in New Orleans; “Teach,” by Catherine Murphy about the Freedom Schools; and “Standing at the Scratch Line: An Elegy for the Great Migration,” whose producer, Daron Calhoun, will be in attendance.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, patrons can view Lucy Phoenix’s “You Got to Move,” a documentary that examines the history of protest in the Lowcountry and connections between local activists and the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee.

And at 7 p.m. Thursday, the festival closes with a screening of “Human Flow” by Ai Weiwei. The movie explores the current immigration and refugee crisis. College of Charleston professor Mary Crabtree will lead a panel discussion following the screening.

“Charleston has historically been an important site of the civil rights movement, yet this history and the potential for honoring it through activism is often ignored,” said festival founding director Jon Hale. “The Charleston Civil Rights Film Fest showcases how film has been, and can be, used to inspire social change.”

This is the second installment of the Civil Rights Film Fest, started by Benjamin Hedin and Jon Hale. Last year, the event featured a screening of Stanley Nelson’s “Tell Them We Are Rising” and an appearance by actor Danny Glover, who visited Burke High School.

“One of the things we’re trying to accomplish with this festival is to show how the crusade for civil rights and equality is not something trapped in the past, but very much an ongoing and continuous presence in American life,” Hedin said in a statement.

All screenings are free and open to all. For more information, go to

Contact Adam Parker at or 843-937-5902.