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Before Obama, there was “Maynard”

MAYNARD, the documentary film recently produced by Auburn Avenue Films (Atlanta, GA) about former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, and directed by award winning director Sam Pollard, will be screened at the Plaza Theater located at 1049 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE; Atlanta, GA 30306.  The initial showing of this acclaimed theatrical release takes place on Wednesday, May 4th, at 4:45 p.m. and will be shown daily in the renovated historic Plaza that will accommodate an audience of 470 movie-goers.  MAYNARD was shown at the opening and closing of the Atlanta Film Festival in March before two sold out audiences; many Atlantans, who could not buy a ticket to see the film, are clamoring to see the story of Maynard Jackson, the man who made Atlanta a world class international city.

“The street committee has asked for this movie to be held over for those people who loved and admired my father to get a chance to see this film,” says Maynard Jackson III. “This story is not just about Maynard, the mayor; it details much about his life as a man, a father, a husband, a leader, and a dedicated African American who cared for his people and all of Atlanta.  He just wanted to make Atlanta better—which he did.  The truth be known, he gave his life for this city.”

Jackson made political history in 1968 when he captured more than 200,000 votes statewide in an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate against fellow Georgian Herman Talmadge. He thought that the route to racial equality for African Americans, women, and LGBT lay with transforming the government, building economic power, and demanding that the nation’s white leaders concede to the needs of minorities and poor residents of inner cities.

Maynard Holbrook Jackson II became first black Mayor of a southern city — Atlanta, Georgia — in 1973; following four years of service to Atlanta as its first Vice Mayor (president of the Atlanta City Council). The film is an exploration into a man who had dreams and ambitions to be a public servant for his people seeing that it was the next logical step in the journey that had been started by Dr. King, and so many others who had blazed the trail during the years of horrific segregation.

“When you think about the civil rights movement, one usually thinks about what happened in the 50’s and early 60’s, Dr. King, SCLC, and SNCC. But there was another part of the civil rights struggle and what happened when the walls of segregation were broken and integration was close at hand. There was a group of African American politicians whose job it was to work within the system and make change happen. Maynard Jackson was on the front of the line. This is his story,” explains Pollard.

The film documents how Maynard built Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with the enforcement of affirmative action.  Maynard set an unprecedented record for minority contracts being awarded to qualified vendors doing business with the City of Atlanta.  His commitment for diversity and inclusion allowed minorities to participate in 25 percent of the city’s contracts which including the construction and operations of Atlanta’s airport. His policies and blueprint for growing American cities became the template used amongst government municipalities and private corporations around the U.S.A.  He is considered the “Father” of Affirmative Action; and it is now time that his story be told to remind the world that human rights remain subject to 21st century enslavement.  Maynard’s story will inspire, motivate, remind us of the power of the vote, and has the ability to evoke positive change on a global level.

This film, profiling the life and achievements of Maynard Jackson, one of the trailblazers in post-Civil Rights era, includes heartfelt interviews with a host of political personalities such as President Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, Vernon Jordan, Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. Jesse Jackson, former Atlanta Mayor’s Sam Massell, Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin and Kasim Reed, in addition to Jackson’s family, co-workers, and life-long friends.

Widely acclaimed as one of the nation’s pre-eminent statesmen and politicians, he was elected Atlanta’s mayor for three terms (1974-1982 and 1990-1994) and is credited with cementing the city’s reputation as the seat of the “New South” and a bastion of wealth, political power, business clout, and education for women, African Americans, and equal rights for the LGBTQ communities.

Today, many Americans are expressing concern that the “new face” of politics is disrupting the once cemented advocacies for the advancement of Americans.  The major setbacks in equal rights for all people are now confronted by presidential ideals that can disenfranchise millions of American citizens. Almost 50 years ago, Maynard Jackson Jr. championed voting rights and voter turnout at unprecedented levels that made him the first African-American Mayor of Atlanta, GA at 35 years old. Jackson believed that achieving social change did not rest in violence, but in using legal powers and political inroads that civil rights activists in the 1960s were able to secure.

Directed by Academy Award nominee, Emmy winner and four-time Peabody Award winner Sam Pollard (“Slavery by Another Name”, “Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me”, “Two Trains Runnin’”), Maynard is produced by Maynard Jackson III, Wendy Eley Jackson, Dolly Turner, Winsome Sinclair, Daphne McWilliams, Jason Orr, Donald Jarmond, and Autumn Bailey with cinematography by Henry Adebonojo who worked on the Academy Award nominated documentary “I Am Not Your Negro”.  Executive producers of the documentary include Brooke Jackson Edmond, Elizabeth Jackson Hodges and C. Howie Hodges.

Recently, Virgil Films has joined the MAYNARD Movie team handling the international distribution efforts.

Delta Air Lines will show the MAYNARD documentary on Delta’s in-flight both domestically and internationally beginning June 1 through November 1. “Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr. changed Atlanta for the better, and among his many accomplishments is delivering the Atlanta midfield airport terminal on time and under budget,” said Tad Hutcheson, Managing Director – Community Engagement.  “His vision made the Atlanta airport what it is today – the world’s busiest – and for that, Delta will always be grateful.”

Tickets for MAYNARD can be purchased at www.plazaatlahta.com and at the Plaza Theater for $12.00, as well as from Fandango.  Radio-One is doing a ticket give-away to its listening audience for admission to the movie while it is being screened at the Plaza Theater.

Auburn Avenue Films, owned and operated by Wendy and Maynard Jackson III, is an Atlanta, GA based production company with a slate of film, television, and digital projects focused on inspirational and innovative stories. Follow them at www.auburnavenuefilms.com

About Virgil Films – Virgil Films & Entertainment was founded in 2003 by Joe Amodei to acquire, market and distribute DVD, TV and Digital Product in the feature film, documentary, special interest and sports categories. The company has built partnerships with OWN, Sundance Channel Home Entertainment, National Geographic Cinema Ventures, Pure Flix Entertainment, Major League Baseball Productions, Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets and other high-profile entertainment brands since their inception. Releases from Virgil Films include the Oscar-nominated documentary Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me; the award-winning documentary Miss Representation; the critically acclaimed, timeless, best-selling Forks Over Knives; and the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo and its sequel Korengal. They have also released the compelling Facing DarknessI Am Chris FarleyI Am Heath Ledger, Blood on the MountainLegends of the Knight, The Winding Stream and others. Follow them on twitter: @virgilfilms www.VirgilFilms.com

Maynard Documentary screening at Atlanta’s Plaza Theater on May 4 [WATCH] was originally published on atlantadailyworld.com

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