We have acquired the international rights to the 1 x 120’ feature documentary Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street, from the LeBron James-owned production media conglomerate SpringHill Company and CNN Films.
Directed and produced by Salima Koroma, the cinematic documentary celebrates the Black cultural renaissance that existed in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, OK. Exploring the tragic events that shattered that world, the film investigates the history of the 100-year-old race massacre in Greenwood that left an indelible, though hidden stain on American history.
Once a thriving community of bankers, lawyers, and business owners, the Greenwood district of Tulsa, was also a community of the descendants of American slaves. In late May 1921, a 17-year-old white woman accused a 19-year-old African American man of inappropriate behavior in an elevator inside the Drexel Building. When a white mob attempted to lynch the accused, they were rebuked by African American World War I veterans. The backlash riots in the ensuing days resulted in the destruction of 35 city blocks, and hundreds of dead African Americans. 100 years on, Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street will reveal this history, tell the stories of the descendants of survivors, and explore the findings of the archeological search for the mass graves.
The production is a mix of archival media, contemporary interviews, and narrated elements such as letters and diary entries. It will also include footage of the near-century search for physical evidence of the mass murder that some had tried to erase from the historic record.
Harry Gamsu, Vice President of Non-Scripted Content Acquisitions, Fremantle, said: “We are incredibly excited to play a role in bringing this impactful and important film to an international audience. Director Salima Koroma and the teams at CNN Films and The SpringHill Company have left no stone unturned in recounting the complete story. Told via the local Tulsa residents themselves, this film shines a light on what has until now been a largely hidden piece of American history.”
Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street is directed and produced by Salima Koroma (Bad Rap), and executive produced by LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, and Philip Byron of The SpringHill Company, and Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton of CNN Films, who are executive producers for the film. CNN Films will be the linear television distributor for the feature throughout North America. We hold global distribution rights (ex-US) to the documentary.
The addition of Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street, to our slate of premium non-scripted content highlights our commitment to continue our growth in the high-end factual entertainment space with a focus on meaningful and culturally relevant titles. These include urgent water scarcity documentary Day Zero, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor; the cinematic climate research documentary Artic Drift; Samuel L. Jackson-fronted seminal series Enslaved, How It Feels to Be Free executive produced by Alicia Keys, and recently announced titles Klarsfeld, Oscar Peterson: Black and White and five-part docuseries Veleno: The Town of Lost Children.