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Box Brown: A Box Marked Freedom Returns Home for Its North Carolina Premiere

As the lights dim in the opulent 300-seat theater at the North Carolina Museum of History, anticipation stirs the air for the North Carolina premiere of Box Brown: A Box Marked Freedom. Scheduled for 3:00 PM on Friday, May 10, this screening is not just a premiere but a grand homecoming for the film, which stands as the Opening Selection of the 10th Longleaf Film Festival.

The narrative of Box Brown unfurls the harrowing yet inspiring saga of Henry “Box” Brown, a man who became a symbol of indomitable courage and an icon of American history. Directed and produced by the visionary duo Rob Underhill and Aravind Ragupathi, and penned by the acclaimed Mike Wiley, who also stars as Henry, the film transcends the typical biopic to deliver a poignant, gut-wrenching exploration of slavery’s brutalities and a man’s daring pursuit of liberty against insurmountable odds.

Filming in The Tar Heel State: A Local Project with Global Resonance

Shot entirely in North Carolina, the film is a testament to the rich, untapped veins of talent residing in the state. Over 200 locals, including cast members, crew, and historians, have poured their expertise and passion into the project, making the film’s premiere in Raleigh not just a screening, but a grand celebration of collective achievement and artistic collaboration. This special event will take place at the North Carolina Museum of History, located at 5 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601.

Star-Studded Musical Score

Adding to the film’s immersive experience is the soul-stirring soundtrack by Grammy Award-winning artist Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes. The musical panorama of the film is further enriched by gospel virtuoso Jennifer Evans and Kenneth Hinton with the Spirit of Four, weaving a rich tapestry of sound that beautifully complements the narrative’s emotional depth.

Critical Acclaim and Cinematic Accolades

The film’s journey through the festival circuit has been nothing short of stellar. Not only did it clinch the Grand Prize at the 8th Silicon Beach Film Festival held at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatres on Hollywood Boulevard, but it also snagged the award for Best Use of Music at the 13th Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, underscoring its auditory and narrative prowess. Critics, too, have lavished praise on the film, with Film Threat awarding it a near-perfect score of 9.5 out of 10, and extolling Mike Wiley’s performance as “exceptional.”

The Impact Beyond the Screen

As Box Brown: A Box Marked Freedom makes its rounds across the globe—from its Midwestern Premier at the 32nd St. Louis International Film Festival to its honored opening at Longleaf—its thematic resonance and historical significance reverberate far beyond the confines of theater walls. The film not only recounts a pivotal chapter in American history but also ignites a conversation about freedom, resilience, and the enduring human spirit.

As the Longleaf Film Festival prepares to roll out the red carpet for this landmark film, Box Brown: A Box Marked Freedom stands poised to not just captivate audiences but to inspire a renewed dialogue on race, history, and liberation in contemporary society. Don’t miss this cinematic tour de force that promises to be, as Film Threat heralds, “a riveting triumph on all fronts.” For more information, visit

Be sure to watch the trailer here: 

Whether you are a cinephile, a historian, or a seeker of compelling narratives, Box Brown: A Box Marked Freedom offers more than a  movie experience. It provides an evocative journey into the heart of American storytelling and the relentless quest for freedom.

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