*John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co. is putting money behind the documentary “Southern Rites,” about the legacy of segregated proms and a racially charged murder trial in Georgia’s Montgomery County.
The crooner, his Get Lifted partner Mike Jackson and his manager Troy Carter of Atom Factory brought in financing to get the film completed and will now get an executive producer credit.
The movie is currently in post-production; the plan is to take “Southern Rites” to festivals once it’s finished.
The directorial debut by photographer Gillian Laub is based on her study of the proms at the local high school. Though the south-central Georgia school was integrated in 1971, the proms remained separated along racial lines for years afterwards. The film tracks the divide that develops in the community as an older white man in put on trial for killing a younger African-American male.
This is all going on against the backdrop of the recently integrated proms and a campaign to elect the area’s first black Sheriff. Laub herself becomes part of the story for her role in focusing attention on the town through her photographs