Then on September 9, UCLA will host the premiere of “Forgotten Four,” the new documentary telling the story of Washington, Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis, the four men who broke the color barrier in professional football the year before Jackie Robinson broke it in baseball. The screening of the film and the discussion following, which will include Olympic gold medalist and UCLA alumnus Rafer Johnson, former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb, UCLA civil rights scholar Paul Von Blum, “Forgotten Four” producer Ross Greenburg and Los Angeles Times reporter Kurt Streeter, are free and open to the public. The film will debut on EPIX on September 26 nationwide.
The members of the Strode and Washington families will be available to the media at the Rose Bowl on September 6 and prior to the screening on September 9. The full documentary is also available to media for review.
The 60-minute documentary, narrated by Jeffrey Wright and produced by Ross Greenburg, tells the little-known story of 4 outstanding and brave African American men – Washington, Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis – who broke the color barrier in pro football in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were credited with integrating Major League Baseball. Washington and Strode played for the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, while Willis and Motley joined the Cleveland Browns of the AAFL, which eventually merged into the NFL.
The hardships and triumphs of the Forgotten Four are told through the recollections of their families and those who have researched these pioneers. Those interviewed for this Epix Original Documentary include Forgotten Four family members Tony Motley (Marion Motley’s grandson), Mike Brown (Paul Brown’s son), Clem and William Willis, Jr. (Bill Willis’ sons), Karin L. Cohen (Kenny Washington’s daughter) Kalai Strode (Woody Strode’s son) and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula (who played with the Browns).
The UCLA events are part of a nationwide screening series EPIX is doing in advance of the film debut. The NFL is working with EPIX to host screenings in 19 of their markets as well to help raise awareness for the project.
EPIX is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service delivering the latest movie releases, classic film franchises, original documentaries, comedy and music events on TV, on demand, online and on devices. Launched in October 2009, EPIX has pioneered the development and proliferation of “TV Everywhere.”
EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Metro-Goldwyn-
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Josh Rupprecht/ 310 206-8194 (For UCLA) firstname.lastname@example.org