DreamWorks Pictures’ highly anticipated new feature film “The Help,” an uplifting drama set in the segregated South of the 1960s, will be presented in a special advanced screening at the 102nd NAACP National Convention on July 27, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 in Downtown Los Angeles.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with stars Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard, screenwriter- director Tate Taylor and author Kathryn Stockett, on whose acclaimed debut novel the film is based. The evening will also feature a special guest, the pioneering civil rights leader and former NAACP Chairman Myrlie Evers-Williams, who will join in the panel discussion, providing a first-hand perspective on the tumultuous times against which the film is set. The announcement was made today by Vic Bulluck, Executive Director of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau, which is hosting the event.
Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, “The Help” focuses on three very different, extraordinary women in 1960s Mississippi who forge an unlikely bond around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all a risk. It opens in theaters nationwide on August 10.
“The Help” is a powerful film that tells the story of a generation of African-American women who shaped this country in their own transformative way. It reminds us of the power of one person to make a difference and inspires us to be as courageous as they were, as we seek to affirm America's promise," said Roslyn M. Brock, NAACP Chairman of the Board.
Dr. Thelma T. Daley, Director, Women in the NAACP, praised “The Help” as “fantastically appealing,” and added, “It’s captivating, provocative, emotionally moving and sprinkled with humorous moments. The power of the maids conveys the value of dignity in honest work, and the grace and style of strong women who know how to survive and climb the symbolic stairs of hope, even in the midst of adversities.”
“The Help” is a sensitive and nuanced portrayal of three women, two African-American housekeepers and one white recent college graduate, whose worlds intersect at a pivotal time in both the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s movement,” added Vic Bulluck, who will moderate the discussion.
“Its message aligns perfectly with the values and mission of the NAACP and we applaud writer Kathryn Stockett and the filmmakers, cast and DreamWorks Studios for bringing this story to the screen.” “The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”), Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis (“Doubt”) and Octavia Spencer (“Seven Pounds”), as three women whose improbable alliance results in a remarkable sisterhood. Their friendship instills each of them with the courage to transcend the racial and gender lines that define them—even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the dramatic social transformation sweeping the nation.
Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, “The Help” is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change. The film also stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Hereafter”), Jessica Chastain (“The Tree of Life”), Mary Steenburgen (“Step Brothers”), Sissy Spacek (“Big Love”) and Cicely Tyson (“Why Did I Get Married Too?”).
Myrlie Evers-Williams is Chairman Emeritus of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP. She served as NAACP Chairman from 1995 to 1998. Together with her late husband, Medgar Evers, Myrlie opened and managed the first NAACP Mississippi State Office in the mid-1950s.
Medgar Evers was assassinated in 1963, but his killer would not be convicted until 1994, ByronDe La Beckwith was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Evers-Williams is the author of “Watch Me Fly: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be” and co-author of “For Us, The Living,” which chronicles the life of her late husband and the civil rights struggle in Mississippi.