WILMINGTON -- The 1898 Wilmington race riots are a touchy subject for some. But a handful of UNCW film students are tackling the issue head on. Filming started this week on a movie called "The Red Cape," which follows the events of the 1898 Race Riots. Rather than trying to send a message to viewers the producer says the crew is really just trying to raise awareness of what happened. More than 100 years ago a mob burned the building housing the Daily Record newspaper. Now the moment is being relived on camera, but not without some controversy. Producer Brendon Murphy said, "The surrounding community here has been really supportive of what we're doing, which is really good. There have been some people would rather we had just left the subject alone." Murphy says the sole purpose of the film is to educate people about the race riots -- a dark time in local history, in which 22 African Americans were killed. He said, "I feel like it's something that should be in history books, and it's just basically telling people that this happened." Some actors taking part in the film say they hope that message gets across. Actor Larry Jefferson Jr. said, "It's a great attribute and it's bringing back the realism of what we went through." Film crews will be shooting around downtown Wilmington until April then the editing process will begin. The film should be completely finished by November and the producer says some local museums have already agreed to show the film on a regular basis.
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