production notes
about the director

about the director

As a theatre and African-American politics major in College, John D. Harkrider developed a strong ambition to direct socially conscious films. Wary of the artistic compromise attendant in relying upon others to finance his projects, John decided to take another route: he became a lawyer to earn enough money to finance his own films.

John worked for fifteen years in New York City, eventually becoming a partner in a leading Wall Street firm. While engaged in pro bono work for the NAACP, he learned of a case being brought by them against a hotel company in the Sea Islands of South Carolina. The company had improperly taken land owned by freed slaves for the development of golf resorts. When John told his firm he was interested in helping the NAACP with this case, he was informed that the firm represented the very hotel company that had misappropriated the land.

This experience prompted John to write the screenplay, Mitchellville, and soon after becoming a partner in his firm, he financed its production.

The screenplay concerns the mythology of history, that our present reality masks our personal and collective histories. Gabriel, a man defined only by his ambition, is haunted by a secret history. Every night, he dreams of a place, which also has its own secret history. As Gabriel discovers the history of Mitchellville, he reveals his own.