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Five Years of Films at the Stone

August 2017

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

These are the words of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. – a man who inspired thousands with his messages of democracy, justice, hope, and love. These words are also found on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The memorial, affectionately referred to as the “Stone of Hope,” is an impressive dedication to his life and legacy – and the perfect setting for the annual #FilmsAtTheStone event, an outdoor summer film series hosted by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and The Memorial Foundation Inc.

Through a series of inclusive movies shown throughout the summer, Films at the Stone highlights the importance of Dr. King’s work and beliefs and challenges audiences to respond to adversity with the tenants of the Memorial, including democracy, justice, hope, and love.

This year featured the following films:

  • Fences: Adapted from August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play and directed by Denzel Washington, the film centers on the life of a black garbage collector named Troy Maxson (played by Washington) in 1950s Pittsburgh. Troy, who is is very bitter after the color barrier was only broken after his retirement from the Negro Leagues and takes out his constant frustration on his loved ones, especially his youngest son who has dreams of his own. More here.
  • Moana: Young teenager Moana, voiced by Auli’i Cravalho, the daughter of a Polynesian tribal chief is the future leader of her tribe. However, her destiny has been foretold as she is chosen by the island to find a precious artifact that can save her people. Teamed up with demigod Maui, voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the two travel across a dangerous ocean filled with incredible sea creatures to a legendary island. More here.
  • Hidden Figures: The untold story of three female African-American mathematicians who aid in providing the critical calculations for NASA’s space race against the Soviet Union, all the while facing racism from their white co-workers. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. More here.

Now in its fifth year, the MPAA is proud to support Films at the Stone and to advance Dr. King’s message of love and inclusion through diverse films. The event is part of our growing Inclusion and Multicultural Outreach program that includes collaborations and partnerships with more than 20 national civil rights organizations and multicultural groups. We are proud to support the Memorial Foundation, and others, working to promote inclusion in the entertainment industry.