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Block Party Movie to air on Juneteenth at MLK park

Block Party Movie

The Juneteenth comedy, “Block Party” is in theaters. Grand Rapids is showcased on the big screen. The film was shot in Martin Luther King Park, and this weekend residents are invited to a free showing.

“It’s my hometown. I love Grand Rapids, and part of our mission is to shoot in areas that aren’t typically exposed to the television and film industry.”

Coming home can mean different things to different people. For President of Branch Out Productions, Lisa Mathis, it’s had a blockbuster effect.

“It was absolutely thrilling to be able to go back into areas where I went as kid.”

Her latest movie, “Block Party” of which she’s the creator/producer, was filmed right in Grand Rapids’ Martin Luther King Park area. The comedy follows a recent Harvard grad, Keke McQueen, who’s eager to ditch her hometown of Grand Rapids for her dream job in Atlanta, but when her Grandmother starts showing early signs of dementia, it’s up to her to save their beloved Juneteenth Block Party.

Mathis says it’s somewhat inspired by her own memories of the neighborhood.

“People would be pulling out their bbq’s and it would just be a party in the park until the lights went down…every Sunday in the summer time at Martin Luther King Park it was like a block party.”

Now she wants to give back to neighbors who had been gracious enough to let the crews film in their own backyard. Branch Out Productions will be hosting a free screening of the PG13 flick at MLK Park on Juneteenth as well as a holiday celebration, starting at 1pm.

“As we’re facing the first official federal holiday of Juneteenth, watching this film is a great way to fold in a new tradition.”

For those who want to see the film in theatres, Mathis says there’s a list of available studios at JuneteenthBlockParty.com.

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