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NAACP questions the delayed screenings of "12 Years a Slave" - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

NAACP questions the delayed screenings of "12 Years a Slave"

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

12 Years a Slave shares the true story of Solomon Northup: a free black man who was abducted and sold into slavery. He ends up working on Louisiana plantations- and the film about his life was filmed in the state- but the film is only now reaching local big screens weeks after its premiere.

"It shows folks in this community what actually happened in our state dealing with slavery, and how we overcame that," says local NAACP President Lloyd Thompson. "I think it will open eyes on both sides- the African American side and the Caucasian side- to show we've come a long ways."

Thompson took to Facebook this week to say ArkLaTex theaters had decided not to show 12 Years a Slave weeks after the Oct. 18 premiere.

The post got more than 30 likes, 20 shares and dozens of comments.

At Robinson Film Center, authorities say that's simply not the case. The theater has requested the film for weeks.

"We really wanted this film," RFC's Alexandyr Kent says. "This is an important film for Louisiana. It's a perfect film for our audience. Unfortunately, it's going to a lot more screens. So it's basic economics.

Kent says the distributor is likely in the middle of a platform release where a film opens in large cities like New York and LA to build buzz before coming to smaller cities. He said that's what happened with The Artist in 2011 and 2012's Silver Linings Playbook.

"It takes audience's a little bit longer to know something like 12 years a Slave than it does to know something like Transformers," Kent says.

Calls to Cinemark and Regal Cinemas regarding film scheduling were not returned.

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