A film tribute to the Windsorite Walter Perry and his annual celebration of Emancipation held each August 1st from 1933 to 1968.
The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth is a documentary tribute to the larger than life, rascal Walter Perry. He created one of the largest celebrations of African American–African Canadian culture each August 1st in "South Detroit", better known as Windsor, Ontario. Between 1934 to 1968, the Greatest Freedom Show on Earth saw the the town's population double over night for the three day celebration of the British Emancipation Act. This act was responsible for the freeing of slaves in the British empire, some fourty years before the Lincolns' declaration.
The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth, a showcase for new musical talent saw the introduction of new Black artists, such as Stevie Wonder and 15-year-old Diana Ross, who won the talent competition in 1959, with her band the Primettes, later renamed the Supremes, taking the first prize of $75.
Actual Audio from the Bandshell of "The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth" circa 1959, "America the Beautiful" -- The Troubadours - courtesy The Walter Perry Freedom Foundation
The documentary's tells this important story in two parts:
Episode One: The first episode sets the stage and focuses on the British Act of Parliament that began the fleeing of slaves through the Detroit / Windsor border. The episode covers the perilous journey that families took to cross the river into Windsor from the US, and the important role that the church and gospel music played in bringing them to freedom.
Episode Two: Our second Episode focuses on the celebration that saw Windsor's population double with African American/Canadians each August 1st.
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All film projects have inherent risks to the schedule as production progresses through the various stages from planning through shooting to post production. The benefit of this project is that much of this film has already been shot and is in the editing stage.
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