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Gantt Center Children's Film Festival! A Family First Presented by Novant Health Program

$5 adults; $3 children (6 & up); Free for members and children (5 & under)
  • About This Program

    Free Children's Activities (Featured Films Not Included)

    The feature films may be sold out, but more fun awaits you! Our Children’s Film Festival includes free, on-site activities for children of all ages and includes additional children’s films for free. Let your imagination run wild with family-friendly arts and crafts, face painting and caricature drawings or capture the moment at our selfie photo studio. RSVP for these FREE fun-filled activities and make it a date for the entire family.

    Film Session 1 - RSVP HERE

    1:45 PM - 2:30 PM
    Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

    2:35 PM - 2:56 PM
    Finding Lincoln

    Film Session 2 - RSVP HERE

    3:50 PM - 4:00 PM
    Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

    4:05 PM - 4:26 PM
    Finding Lincoln

    About The Films

    Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer is a poetic tale about the life this civil rights champion. Stirring poems and stunning illustrations bring to life the story of Hamer, co-founder of the Freedom Democratic Party and an organizer of Mississippi’s “Freedom Summer.”

    Finding Lincoln is the story of a young boy, Louis, who finds courage in spite of racial segregation to go into the “whites only” library to complete his school assignment on President Abraham Lincoln. Louis is inspired by what he reads to pursue justice and fair treatment in his own life.

    Featured Films With Karyn Parsons (Sold Out)

    Imagine history... animated! Spend a fun afternoon with The Fresh Prince of Bel Air actress-turned-advocate Karyn Parsons, as she shares short, animated films about the legacies of Virginia slave Henry “Box” Brown who mailed himself to freedom in Philadelphia; America’s first prima ballerina Janet Collins; and traffic light inventor Garrett Morgan. Each feature is narrated by acclaimed actors including Queen Latifah, Chris Rock and Alfre Woodard. Parsons will share insights and answer questions after each film.

    Learn more about the featured films


    Sweet Blackberry's The Journey of Henry Box Brown takes a magical look at the historic, true tale of Henry “Box” Brown, an enslaved man who mailed himself in a wooden box from a plantation in Richmond, Virginia to freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1848. Narrated by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actress Alfre Woodard, this animated story uses entertaining verse to share Henry’s story.

    Sweet Blackberry's Garrett’s Gift tells the inspiring story of African-American inventor Garrett Morgan. As a young boy, Garrett doesn’t know what he’s good at and always seems to be getting into trouble. Upon moving to the big city, Garrett witnesses a series of collisions. His creative thinking and imagination lead him to invent the traffic signal.  Illustrated by Coretta Scott King award-winner R. Gregory Christie, and narrated by Queen Latifah, Garrett’s Gift will encourage young and old alike to expand their imagination and creative mind.

    Sweet Blackberry's Dancing in the Light tells the inspiring story of the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins. Janet loved to dance, and she especially loved ballet! Narrated by actor and comedian Chris Rock, Dancing in the Light teaches us that we can be anything we set our minds to, even after being told that we are not the current model for success. Dancing in the Light is illustrated by Coretta Scott King award-winner R. Gregory Christie, animated by Pixel Pirate Studio, and features original music by Chris Joyner.


    Sweet Blackberry strives to bring little known stories of African-American achievement to children everywhere.

    The nonprofit was founded by actor/writer, Karyn Parsons. As a new mom, Parsons was motivated by a strong desire to instill a sense of culture and heritage to her daughter. Inspired by her own mother and upbringing, Parsons created Sweet Blackberry—delivering to all children stories that need to be told and heard.


    Karyn Parsons

    Karyn Parsons (Founder and President of Sweet Blackberry) is best known as the character “Hilary Banks” on the long-running television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Parsons created Sweet Blackberry after being inspired by the true tale of a determined enslaved man and the remarkable lengths he travelled to find his freedom. While growing up, Parsons’ mother, a librarian in the Black Resource Center of a library in South Central Los Angeles, would ;share stories of African-American accomplishment with her daughter. A mother and an activist, Parsons believes that stories have the power to inspire youth.

    Family First is generously sponsored by:

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