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CoastLine: Francine DeCoursey talks NC film, racial justice, and how they're indelibly connected for her

Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored
NC Filmmakers Series
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This film screens at The Pointe 14 in Wilmington, NC, on Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 4 pm, courtesy of the NC Filmmakers Series

Francine DeCoursey grew up in Charleston, South Carolina during the era of legal racial segregation. A young white girl living near a largely Black community in the segregated American South, she grew to know and love Gullah Geechee culture. And she met Dixie Lee, her childhood best friend. It was here that she also received an early and direct education about the cruelty and harm of racism.

Figuring out how to summarize the work Francine DeCoursey has done in the North Carolina film world is, well, complicated. It can’t be confined to a title, but “filmmaker activist” gets close to an accurate description. Filmmaker: referring to the multiple roles she’s played – producer, writer, director, editor. And that’s not an exhaustive list. “Activist” points to the kinds of films she’s chosen to write, direct, and produce, but her activism goes even deeper.

Her company, On Location Production Services, has provided locations, extras, crew members, and other support services for over 100 feature film and television productions – Bolden, Freedom Song, Dawson’s Creek, Twilight Zone, Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored, Touched by an Angel, and Black Dog

Francine DeCoursey grew up in Charleston, South Carolina during the era of legal racial segregation. A young white girl living near a largely Black community in the segregated American South, she grew to know and love Gullah Geechee culture. And she met Dixie Lee, her childhood best friend. It was here that she also received an early and direct education about the cruelty and harm of racism.

Resources:  

North Carolina Black Film Festival

Black Arts Alliance

Cinema Sisters International Film Festival

PROGRAM

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.