While on a morning run in the Berkeley Hills, presidential candidate Reverend Franklin Kennedy, a powerful and influential leader who was destined to be this country’s first African American president, was gunned down one day before the presidential elections by an alleged assailant who the FBI has identified as Walter Lee Fitzgerald.
This is the basis of director Richard Culver’s “The Last Kennedy,” screening at the Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, December 7th. This low-budget independent feature film puts several new twists on a familiar “Kennedy” theme as the 39th Anniversary of JFK’s death approaches.
“The challenge of “The Last Kennedy” was treating a subject matter of such a grand scale, as the assassination of an African American presidential candidate, in such a way that we could pull it off with a two and three man crew shooting on Digital Video with available light and virtually no budget,” says Culver. “This was done by focusing on the human element of the story.”
While the film deals largely with the conspiracy to assassinate the first African American president of The United States, the story is told through the eyes of two women, the assassin’s wife, Linda, played by Darla Rothman and the Reverend Kennedy’s daughter, Estelle, played by Teddi Haynes.
“There were a lot of roadblocks and challenges during production, but it seemed that with every door that closed, a new one opened with bigger and better things behind it,” said Culver.
Darla Rothman adds, “It became the hallmark of our philosophy that ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ so we didn’t fight it we just went with the flow. It seemed that as the momentum of this project was building, its force and message became so powerful that Richard and I felt we were no longer at the helm, there was some other element in the universe guiding this film to become what it is today.”
Admission to the screening at Raleigh Studios is free.
For more information, visit the Palette Films website.