By Margaux Nersesian, Strategic Communication major, Class of 2021
76105: Dr. King Won’t Rise, a student-produced documentary directed by TCU alumna Brittney Cech ‘18, will be featured in a Frame of Mind episode on KERA TV at 10:30 p.m. November 12. There will also be a director’s roundtable discussion for the film at 7:30 p.m. November 2 via Zoom.
This documentary is centered around the brotherhood of CommUnity Frontline, an organization that works to repair police and race relations in the Stop 6 community in Fort Worth. Cech describes the documentary as “A story about a group of men who started off in the most compromising of circumstances and [didn’t let] those circumstances tether them down to the stereotype. Instead, they took their upbringing and used it as a tool to help others.”
76105 was produced in instructor Charity Robinson’s Documentary Production course in the fall of 2017. Its production team consisted of 10 TCU film, television and digital media majors in addition to Cech. Instructor Robinson chose CommUnity Frontline as the topic for the documentary and allowed the students to decide the angle of the documentary. Instructor Robinson explains: “The purpose of the assignment was to give students hands-on experience in documentary production while simultaneously participating in a service-learning project.” The FTDM department provided the students with all necessary documentary production equipment and resources to accomplish 76105.
Cech and the production team’s main goal for the documentary was to accurately represent CommUnity Frontline as an organization and elicit an emotional response from the audience. While a self-identified perfectionist, Cech admits, “this experience taught me that the best moments captured are imperfect.” Throughout the collaborative four-month production process, the documentary turned its focus to the stories and community action of four lifelong friends from Stop 6 — Quinton Phillips, Franklin Moss, Dante Williams and Derek Carson.
Its 2017 premiere filled the 300-seat BLUU Auditorium. Since that time, it has been showcased in film festivals including the Lone Star Film Festival and Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase. It was also featured as part of the inaugural Fort Worth Racial Equity Summit and the 2019 Fort Worth Martin Luther King Parade and Rally. The documentary addresses the prevalent and sensitive topic of racial inequality in America, and although the film features footage from the 2014 Ferguson riots and protests, Cech explains, “It’s timeless, because it broaches the issues of police brutality and race relations in such a personable way that doesn’t have people cringing away because they feel put down or threatened by what’s happening.”
Cech is proud of the recognition the documentary has received as it achieved her goal to create dialogue about these issues within various socio-economic classes. Cech says, “I want 76105 to be the spark needed for people to open their eyes to their own privileges and stop being bystanders in a time where being a bystander is just as bad as being the aggressor.”
The documentary gets its title from Dante Williams, the founder of CommUnity Frontline. As Williams says in the film, “We kinda raised each other, we taught each other, we showed each other, we were those men, and one thing that we coined with each other is MLK is not raising from the grave, Malcolm X is not raising from the grave, it’s going to be up to us to make whatever change whatever impact we need to happen.”