"Legend of Love," written and directed by John Quashie and produced by Phillip Brooks, is a fictional story of forbidden love between a black freed slave woman and the white son of a ruthless plantation owner.
Quashie, a West African native, and the son of a foreign embassy employee said the story, which is set in a post-Civil War South, "is really about my father and mother because they have a marriage problem when it comes to class and race."
For Preston Flagg, who plays the male lead, Adam, the message behind the story is that, "love transcends everything."
"Adam is the son of the plantation owner that falls in love with Eve, a blind, freed slave woman," said Flagg, a Dallas native. "This film is about our love story of getting over the boundaries set by society and our family."
Amye Gousset of Tupelo, Mississippi plays the role of Belle, who, according to Gousset is a "mean, bitter woman."
In the story, "I am married to Charlie," she said. "Charlie and I have taken it upon ourselves, basically, to purify the land of all the freed slaves. According to God's will, we need to go out and purify the land from these people that we think don't belong."
The story said Gousset, "has opened my eyes up so very much to where things were to where we are today."
In the story, Madeline, Belle and Charlie's daughter, is promised to Adam, and they discover Adam has fallen in love with one of the freed slaves.
"It is our life-long duty to do whatever we can to end this relationship with him and get him with our daughter," said Gousset.
In describing her character and that of Charlie, Gousset said, "we are 100 percent bitter, angry, evil, racist."
But she said if there is a defense for their characters, "we certainly feel we are doing God's will. We firmly believe this is what God wants us to do. We believe we are under His control and He is leading us to do this."
Mavis, the matriarch of the family and mother to Eve, is the role of local resident Angelique Feaster Evans.
Evans said Mavis "is the pillar of strength from which everyone in the family draws strength. The setting is post-civil war, so she has seen the worst in her lifetime but is hoping and expecting the best in the years to come."
Unfortunately, said Evans, in this time of Mavis' life she is losing everything and everyone around her.
"First her husband, then her niece, later her daughter and eventually she will lose her own life because she is standing on her faith and convictions," Evans said. "She is just resolving in her spirit to die for what is right and to die for what she believes in."
Post-production should be complete toward the end of the year in time for the 2012 festival season. There will be a local film premiere with the date to be announced.