×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hilfiger ‘Proud’ of black sailors

Fact-based pic produced by designer's daughter

NEW YORK — Adding a new strand to his association with black culture, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger has created film division THEntertainment to produce “Proud,” the true story of a WWII warship manned by African-American sailors.

Produced by the designer’s daughter Ally Hilfiger and written and directed by Mary Pat Kelly, who did a book and docu on the subject, the film stars Ossie Davis, Stephen Rea, Darnell Williams, Denise Nicholas and Vernel Bagneris.

The drama honors the men of the USS Mason, the only crew of African-American sailors to take a ship into combat, fighting Nazi submarines in foreign waters and racism at home. Davis stars as a veteran who passes on the story to his grandson.

“In these times we need our heroes, and history had forgotten the men of the USS Mason,” said Hilfiger. “Such an exciting story and yet hardly anyone knew about it. These men deserve to have their story told.”

“I’m thrilled and very grateful to Tommy Hilfiger,” said WWII veteran Lorenzo DuFau, who served as the model for Davis’ character. “I pushed racks of dresses in the Garment District as my first job after the war, and now here’s Tommy Hilfiger, a fashion icon, telling our story.”

The film was shot in Buffalo and on board the USS The Sullivans in Elmira, N.Y., as well as Derry, Northern Ireland, where the Mason’s first port visit was re-created.

A wrap party at which Hilfiger’s new company will be announced is scheduled for Thursday at New York’s 46th Street dock on the Navy’s new USS Mason, named after the original.

More Film

  • Berlin Film 'The Ground Beneath My

    Berlin Competition Film 'The Ground Beneath My Feet' Sold to Germany's Salzgeber (EXCLUSIVE)

    Salzgeber has acquired the German rights for Berlin Film Festival competition title “The Ground Beneath My Feet” from sales agent Picture Tree International. Variety has been given exclusive access to the film’s trailer. Salzgeber will release the film, directed by Marie Kreutzer, mid-May. Picture Tree describes the movie as a “contemporary female-led drama touching on [...]

  • Donald Glover'Atlanta' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    Childish Gambino Surprises Beverly Hills Crowd With Reimagined 'Redbone'

    Donald Glover made an unexpected appearance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series tonight (Jan. 15), held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and presented by the HFPA. Joining “Black Panther” composer and Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who was the subject of a Q&A conducted by “The Treatment” host Elvis [...]

  • 76th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS --

    Film News Roundup: Glenn Close Selected for Oscar Wilde Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Glenn Close gets an honor, AFI names its Directing Workshop for Women participants and Teri Polo gets cast in a Christmas drama. CLOSE HONOR Glenn Close will be honored on Feb. 21 by the US-Ireland Alliance at the 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards, held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in [...]

  • Jason Reitman Ghostbusters

    Jason Reitman to Direct Secret 'Ghostbusters' Movie

    Sony Pictures is getting the wheels in motion for the next installment in the “Ghostbusters” franchise, and it knows who it’s going to call to direct: Jason Reitman. Sources tell Variety that Reitman, whose father, Ivan, directed the first two “Ghostbusters” movies, will direct the latest pic in the famous franchise. Reitman has also co-written a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    ‘Glass’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Glass.” Ads placed for the superhero thriller had an estimated media value of $9.89 million through Sunday for 1,183 national [...]

  • Danny Glover

    Danny Glover Joins 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' Sequel

    Danny Glover has joined the cast of Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sequel. His role is being kept under wraps, as is the storyline. Glover will star opposite Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, all of whom are set to return. Awkwafina is in final negotiations for a significant part in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content