Mark Your Calendar for the Premiere of ‘Miss Juneteenth’
Starring Nicole Beharie and Kendrick Sampson, the film will be digitally released on June 19.
Miss Juneteenth tells the story of Turquoise Jones, a single mother living in Fort Worth, TX. Years ago, she won Miss Juneteenth, a title named after the holiday that celebrates when slaves in Texas learned that slavery had been abolished. Now, as she struggles to make ends meet, she tries to help her daughter, Kai, by entering her in the pageant. Despite it going against Kai’s wishes, Turquoise hopes that Kai wins the crown, as well as the scholarship to any Historically Black College or University the winner chooses that comes with it.
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The movie is the first feature film by writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples. She had previously served as a writer for the TV show Queen Sugar, as well as the writer-director for the short Doretha’s Blues.
“I grew up with Juneteenth so it was just second nature to me,” Peoples shared in an interview with Deadline. Like her protagonist, Peoples is also from Fort Worth, TX. “There’s parades, there’s blues music, there’s barbecues. And in the centerpiece of it is the Miss Juneteenth Pageant. It’s a Scholastic beauty pageant for young African American women to gain college scholarship. And so my film is about one of these women, a former Miss Juneteenth.”
Premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Miss Juneteenth currently scores a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. It also already won the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award in the 2020 SXSW. This captivating journey of a mother-daughter duo, combined with the history of generations of Black women, is bound to be a must-watch.
Eagerly anticipating this film, the directorial debut of sister filmmaker Channing Godfrey Peoples. I got to know her work as a part of our QUEEN SUGAR writing team. Now her own film @Juneteenthmovie debuts next week. Follow her at @cgpeoples. Go, sis, go! pic.twitter.com/9dy3UA98aP
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 14, 2020
Miss Juneteenth will be available on-demand starting June 19, 2020, on the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth. You can get ready for it by watching the trailer, below.