Seligman to help present ‘12 Years a Slave’ at Grange

"12 Years a Slave" will be shown at the Whallnonsburg Grange with a dinner and discussion beforehand March 15.

"12 Years a Slave" will be shown at the Whallnonsburg Grange with a dinner and discussion beforehand March 15.

—  On Saturday, March 15, the Champlain Valley Film Society will present a screening of the Academy Award-winning film “12 Years a Slave,” at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, 1610 Route 22.

“12 Years a Slave,” was honored with the Oscar for Best Picture during the Academy Awards March 2. The movie tells the story of Saratoga Springs resident Solomon Northup, his sale into slavery and efforts to reunite with his family.

The movie was based on Northup’s 1853 memoir. While living as a free man, Northup is tricked by a false job offer and captured and sold to Louisiana plantation owner William Ford. As he is passed among different owners, Northup worked to survive and come up with a plan to earn his freedom back.

“We appreciate the chance to show films that explore our local history and we thank our guest speakers for helping us better understand the lives of free blacks, slavery and the Underground Railroad in the North Country,” Film Society president Sue Reaser said.

Northup lived in Minerva in Essex County as well as Fort Edward and Hebron in Washington County and Glens Falls in Warren County along with Saratoga Springs.

Along with a screening of the film that was additionally awarded with Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for star Lupita Nyong’o, there will be a soup and chili dinner along with a presentation by historian Rachel Seligman and members of the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association.

Seligman is the Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs.

The North Country Underground Railroad, based at Ausable Chasm in Keeseville, documents the history of the underground railroad, slavery and abolition in the Champlain-Hudson corridor.

Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. with Seligman discussing her book, “Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years a Slave.” A book signing and comments from the Historical Association will start at 7 p.m., with the movie starting at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for dinner and the movie, with reservations requested by Thursday, March 13, by emailing info@cvfilms.org or by calling 963-4170. For the movie only, tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for youth under 18.

For more information, visit cvfilms.org.

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