Franklin High School students were treated to a very special private screening of Patrinell: The Total Experience today, with a surprise visit from Pastor Patrinell Wright! The screening was arranged by SIFF and involved the entire 10th grade class. In the early 1970s, Patrinell Wright was hired to teach choral music at Franklin HS and started the Franklin High School Gospel Choir there, which eventually became the Total Experience Gospel Choir. It was very significant for us as filmmakers to be able to screen the film first at the place where the choir started.
When the film ended Patrinell herself walked onto the stage to a standing ovation, accompanied by her husband Rev. Benny Wright, community organizer and former choir chaperone Robert Stephens Jr., and Patrinell’s brother Rev. Gregory Staten. Producer/Co-director Tia Young and I joined the others on stage for the post-film Q&A, which ended with Patrinell singing “Reach Out and Touch”, and that really brought the house down!
Afterwards we were all led upstairs to a mural that was reserved for prominent visitors to sign so Pastor Pat could sign it. She left her signature there among other luminaries including Aaron Dixon, captain of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party.
–Andrew Elizaga, Co-director