We were thrilled to recently host a special NYFF60 screening of Till, a Spotlight selection of this year’s festival, for students, both in person (throughout New York City) and around the United States (via simulcast). In total, more than one thousand high school students from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dayton, Louisville, and Philadelphia participated in the special screening event.

Back on our Lincoln Center campus, we were joined by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Till director Chinonye Chukwu, cast members Danielle Deadwyler, Jalyn Hall, and Sean Patrick Thomas, producer and co-writer Keith Beauchamp, and Emmett Till Legacy Foundation Co-Founder, Deborah Watts.

Chinonye Chukwu’s searing modern-day death-row drama Clemency was one of the most accomplished breakthroughs in recent American cinema. The director has now traveled back to the 1950s to tell 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.

For our event, Miles Regis, the Los Angeles based multi-media visual artist who rose to national prominence during the BLM Movement with his “Better Days Ahead” social justice series, collaborated with the festival and MGM’s Orion Pictures to create an original work for their multi-city educational student screening series, inspired by the film. Students in all screening cities were given a special edition NYFF60 Till Student Screening Program featuring Regis’ work “A Mother Knows” for this series. The original painting was displayed at Till‘s premiere on October 1, 2022.

Signed lithographs will be sold through The Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles, which represents Regis, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation.

Watch the introduction and Q&A from our event below.

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