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University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group
Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014
Michael Hicks, 573-882-4315Julie Middleton, 573-882-3407
COLUMBIA, Mo.– The award-winning documentary “Battle: Change from Within” will be broadcast on KZOU-TV (KMIZ DT3) at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Before the broadcast, KMIZ-TV will air an interview at 6:30 p.m. with Julie Middleton, one of the film’s executive producers, and co-director Michael Hicks.
“Its exciting to know a broad audience will have the opportunity to watch and learn about this quiet hero,” said Middleton.
Produced by University of Missouri Extension, “Battle: Change from Within” won best heartland feature documentary at the 2013 Kansas City Film Festival and has been shown at the 2013 Offshoot Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival, San Diego Black Film Festival and Cinema St. Louis International Film Festival.
“It’s really exciting to be involved in this project. It’s been a journey,” Middleton said.
“Battle: Change from Within” looks at the life and career of educator Eliot Battle and the pivotal role he played in desegregating schools, housing and the Columbia community. He faced resistance from both the black and white communities. His work within the institutions and systems of the time allowed him to bridge the gap between the two races and change Columbia for the better.
Battle died in 2013 at age 88.
The 55-minute documentary tells his story through archival film footage, newspaper accounts, still photos, and through interviews with former students, colleagues, community leaders, Battle’s children and Battle himself.
“The film is really an insider’s look at desegregation as it happened in Columbia and the personal toll it took on Battle and his family to bridge the gap between Columbia’s black and white communities,” said Michael Hicks, University of Missouri Extension film and TV producer, who co-directed and edited the film.
The project was funded with 90 individual donations.
“We would not have been able to make this film without all the donations from the community and I am very grateful for the support,” Hicks said. “This is a great example of how MU Extension works hard to find alternative ways to fund projects.”
Middleton and Hicks collaborated on the film with Juanamaria Cordones-Cook, MU professor of Spanish, and Barbara Williamson, associate teaching professor in the MU College of Education.
“Battle: Change from Within” is available on DVD from University of Missouri Extension Publications. For more information, go to http://extension.missouri.edu/p/DVD23.
A three-minute preview of the film is available at http://youtu.be/3aouPdS6Lpw.
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