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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Community Frontline: TCU student documentary gaining acclaim on film circuit

76105: Dr. King Won’t Rise

To be notified of future screening dates and of the online release of 76015, check out the social media accounts @76105doc on Facebook and Instagram.

Community Frontline

2018 – Home Page

If you’re going to serve, you might as well get on the frontline.

Which is what Dante Williams and his good friends did when they formed Community Frontline, a group of leaders in the Stop Six neighborhood in Fort Worth. They are dedicated to solving the various concerns and issues that have long prevented the area from flourishing.

“Community Frontline is a diverse group of local, everyday common citizens that come together in order to impact the community in which we are a part of and in which we live. Groups such as ours are needed because there are sincere issues happening in every community and it takes the citizens to care enough for one another to ensure that everyone’s needs are met,” Williams said. “Community Frontline is an organization that will no longer stand by when help is needed. We will be present to render aid.”

Community Frontline consists of Williams, the president; Quinton Phillips, unit organizer; Derek Carson, management coordinator; and Franklin Moss, media specialist. All four are co-founders. Williams has a degree in construction science and works for a construction firm; Phillips is a juvenile probation officer in Tarrant County; Carson is an attorney at Cantey Hanger LLP; and .

Moss is a senior operations specialist at JP Morgan Chase

The four formed a sense of brotherhood at an early age, offering one another support and stability in an area where adult male involvement was low. Thus, the quartet, and a crew of classmates known as World Wide P? leaned on one another on their way to becoming successful young men.

“World Wide P? or WWP?, was a brotherhood and a mindset that we were bigger than our current condition and that we could actually be known around the world for whatever gifts/talents we had,” said Williams. “Which is why the P had the question mark, because it could stand for whatever we wanted it to (i.e. professional, prospect, playa, preacher, philanthropist, etc.”

After gaining success and experience, the four returned to Stop Six with a call to action, addressing such issues as education, criminal justice, business, jobs, community development, resources, families and health. The group hosts a monthly men’s forum and weekly brotherhood lunch as well as various Stop Six community engagement events.

This call caught the attention of Charity Robinson, adjunct professor in the department of film, television and digital media at Texas Christian University. She led a group of students in a documentary production class to film 76105: Dr. King Won’t Rise. The title is derived from the area’s zip code as well as a thesis the group often references that leaders from the past are gone and it is up to the current generation to effect change.

“This story isn’t just a Fort Worth story, it’s a story that resonates throughout the country,” Robinson said. “The work that Community Frontline is doing is something that can be replicated in communities across the country to implement change. It’s a story that is inspiring and uplifting, one that needs to be heard.”

The film has not only delivered a strong message, but it has also been an award winner. It won Best Documentary Short at the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase earlier this year, and it was selected for the Thin Line Festival in Denton.

“I’m so proud of the success that the documentary has seen so far. The student production team that worked on this project put everything they had into telling this story, and Community Frontline was so open in allowing us to capture the ins and outs of what they do,” Robinson said.

The film will complete its festival tour at the end of 2018, and then will be available online and for public screenings.

“The documentary is extremely humbling to us as founders of Community Frontline. The fact that anyone thinks that the work we are doing in our little part of the world is worthy enough to be filmed is still mind-blowing,” Williams said. “The documentary has had a tremendous impact on letting people from diverse backgrounds in our city see what we are trying to accomplish. It serves as great motivation that no matter how small, we can all make an impact.

“The crew from TCU that created this film are talented beyond description. This is a professional documentary, curated by professional filmmakers, who just so happen to be students. This film is monumental, and the TCU film department deserve all of the praise and accolades that are coming their way,” he said.

Williams said the documentary is a powerful way to effect change. After all, who doesn’t want to see a good film?

“We try to reach people through every medium at our disposal, and the documentary is a game changer. People will sit and watch a film to be informed and to be entertained. What 76105 does is allow the everyday human being the opportunity to see themselves through our experience and challenges them to activate. This film is a powerful accountability measure for our organization and serves as a constant reminder that our work has only begun.”

Robinson said the film has also been a great lesson for her students as well as showcasing the filmmaking talent at TCU.

“This film allowed students to connect with, explore and tell the story of a neighborhood very different than the one in which they live,” she said. “It gave them the opportunity to expand their college experience and enter into a community that would ultimately broaden their world view. It gave them a true example of service and sacrifice and what it means to be a part of a community.

“The film has allowed publicity for the organization and an invaluable collaboration between TCU and Community Frontline.”

Williams said the world is a much better place when people decide to take a personal interest in their environment, no matter where that environment might be. However, he admitted he longs for the day when Community Frontline and groups like it will not be needed.

“We feel that we are doing our part in the world but our true impact will be measured when our group is no longer necessary,” he said. “We hope that Stop Six, the East Side and Fort Worth as whole feel that we are serving well. However, only the stakeholders in which we serve can truly speak to if we are making things better.”

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