PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Tonight is the Philadelphia premiere of 'Till,' the story of the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till.
The director, Chinonye Chukwu, is a Temple University alumna. She tells me she's thrilled to debut her film to local audiences at the 31st Philadelphia Film Festival.
"I went to film school here," Chukwu says. "I got my MFA at Temple University years ago. My directing professor from film school emailed me last week and said he's going to be here for the screening. I learned a lot about how to tell a story cinematically while I was at Temple, and so it really gave me a lot of great seeds that have been planted."
Chukwu says when producers asked her to write and direct this film, she had one request: to tell the story through the lens of Emmett's mother, Mamie-Till Mobley.
"I told them, the only way I'd be interested is if I write this in a way that centers Mamie," Chukwu says. "She's our protagonist, and we are going to be fully immersed in her emotional point of view. It's exciting that Mamie gets to be centered in her rightful place in history."
Chukwu will participate in a Q&A immediately following the film's debut at the Philadelphia Film Center.
'Till' officially hits local theaters Friday.
The Philadelphia Film Festival runs through October 30.
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