Documentary highlighting ‘Black Lives Do Matter’ art to premiere at Cucalorus

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Cucalorus Film Festival begins on Wednesday night showcasing several local filmmakers. One documentary will highlight a piece of art that draws attention to current events in Wilmington and nationwide.

The “Black Lives Do Matter” art installation was erected in September 2020 in Jervay Park in Wilmington. “Eighteen Forward” is a short film produced by Lighthouse Films, the project is named after the organization that worked to create the artwork.

“Being a part of a project much bigger than myself with 18 other members. It takes a village to raise a child, the same way it takes a village to put together a film. One that’s positive, leaving a true impact on the community. It’s a true honor,” Co-Director Zai said.

The film explains the process of getting the piece approved by the Wilmington City Council, from the creation of the art to the reasons behind the art on each of the letters.

“We just wanted to help do something significant in our community to show that Black lives matter,” Story Producer Andrea Walker said. “I’m so thankful that those interviews from those amazing, extraordinary people and their messages are going to be heard. People in our community have important things to say about black lives mattering, our people of color community mattering.”

The Lighthouse Films office is not far from the art installation. Walker, one of the owners of the company, said some of the first shots fired in the 1898 Massacre were fired in front of where their office now sits. She said her business is doing everything it can to show that times are changing and that Black lives do matter.
“This mural is a way to bring our community together to stand behind this message that’s so important for all of us to hear and feel and understand,” Walker said.

One artist highlighted in the documentary is Schala Harper. She was responsible for the “A” in matter and said she wanted to focus on her culture, like going to a historically Black college or university. Harper is a graduate of North Carolina State A & T University.

“To be able to show people something about me to be able to explain the greatness of who I think me and my people and all people are and can be together if we just work together and become one,” Harper said.

Additionally, as an educator, Harper said she wanted to show her students how to be good citizens and members of the community by being a part of this project. She said art is about bringing people together and starting conversations. She believes the art installation has done that for our community.

“We’ve been able to have people just come out and look at art and have open conversations, have those easy conversations that we need to have about race, about culture, about differences, about opinions, about perspectives because It gives everybody the opportunity to see somebody else in their shoes and if you come from a place of love, you can do that easy.”

‘Eighteen Forward’ will premiere on Friday morning at the Cucalorus Film Festival. For more information on the organization behind the art installation and the artists, visit their website.

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