The 60th edition of the New York Film Festival, currently in progress through October 16th, recently hosted the World Premiere of Chinonye Chukwu’s powerful new drama, Till, in the festival’s Spotlight section.

Till tells the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, the Chicago woman whose son, Emmett Till, was lynched while visiting cousins in Mississippi and whose body became an indelible image of the horrors of American racism. Employing a direct, unflinching, yet sensitive gaze, Chukwu has created the definitive drama of this woman’s grief and resilience, and in an astonishing performance, Danielle Deadwyler captures both a mother’s indescribable heartbreak and her inspiring ascension to the role of civil rights activist. Till is a momentous reminder of an ever-present tragedy, featuring painstaking production design, subtly expressive camera framing and composition, and a note-perfect supporting cast, including Sean Patrick Thomas, Jalyn Hall, Tosin Cole, John Douglas Thompson, Frankie Faison, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Watch the press conference below with director Chinonye Chukwu, producer and co-writer Keith Beauchamp, and cast members Danielle Deadwyler, Whoopi Goldberg, Jalyn Hall, John Douglas Thompson, and Sean Patrick Thomas, moderated by NYFF Main Slate selection committee member, Rachel Rosen.

Their powerful discussion covers the amount of research and preparation necessary to bring this true story to the screen, the decision not to show the graphic violence involved in Till’s murder, how modern audiences can relate to Mamie Till-Mobley’s unwavering perseverance, and more.


The final screening of Till at NYFF60 is this Thursday at 3pm, limited tickets are available. And don’t forget to mark your calendars: Till opens in theaters on October 14.

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