Carriage Properties agent Henry Laurens was in for a treat earlier this week when he learned that a local film team held a screening for recently-produced John Laurens’ War. A fifth-generation descendant of John Laurens, Henry is a Charleston native and prides himself in having roots that run through the deepest histories of the city.
The film was directed, co-written, and co-produced by Chris Weatherhead, alongside husband Clarence Felder as co-writer and Executive Producer. Robbin Knight (starring as John Laurens) & Richard Almes are also co-producers. John Laurens’ War is funded in part by the South Carolina Humanities Council and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, has won six international awards, five awards from Accolade in California (in acting, direction and cinematography) and a Gold Remi award from the 50th Houston Worldfest film festival.
Based on a true story, the film focuses on John Laurens and his fight to end slavery in America. In the film, Laurens and his freed slave, Phillip Shrewbury, defy many in their fight–including Laurens’ own father. In addition to his fight to end slavery, the John Laurens’ history tells the stories of his loyalty and service to George Washington. As one of Washington’s most trusted, Laurens was sent to France to convince the King to give America funding and naval support. A task that Ben Franklin was not able to successfully complete, Laurens was able to secure.
Laurens met a tragic end at the age of 28. During the 1782 Battle of Combahee with the British near Beaufort, SC, Laurens and his infantry were ambushed.
For those who may be unfamiliar with John Laurens, the soldier is also a featured character in Broadway’s Hamilton.
More information about the film, including a 5 minute trailer and many behind-the-scenes photos, can be found on the John Lauren’s War website.