‘The Jack Johnson Story: the Night it Happened’ biopic packs a punch


The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened is a biopic film that shines the spotlight on the life and times of American Icon and first African American heavyweight boxing champion, JACK JOHNSON, from his winning the title in Sydney, Australia, on December 26, 1908, until his tragic and untimely death in an automobile accident in Franklin County, USA, on June 10th, 1946.

The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened is a major motion picture in development, as well as a documentary and companion short film project collaboration between nationally acclaimed Indie-film director/producer Rob Underhill; producer Aaron Snowell, the World Boxing Council (WBC) Official Ambassador and trainer of 27 world boxing champions including Mike Tyson; and film producer Will Williams (production team biographies below).

The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened has rapidly growing support from a wide audience locally around Franklin county and at the state and national level, including government representatives, residents, boxing industry legends and professionals, eye witnesses to the fatal car crash that took Jack Johnson’s life in Franklin County in 1946, and many others interested in having presented on the silver screen a true historical account of Jack Johnson as an American icon.

On Dec 26, 1908, Jack Johnson, nicknamed the “Galveston Giant”, overcame insurmountable obstacles and won the opportunity to face-off in the ring with then heavyweight title holder Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia. By the 14th round police stepped in and ended the fight, and Jack became the first African American heavyweight boxing champion of the world as well as an international celebrity. A tragic car accident on June 10, 1946 ended Jack’s life. Jack was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954.

As part of laying the groundwork for producing the feature documentary, The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened, the filmmakers are producing a narrative short film, “The Night It Happened”, to build awareness, drum up support, and continue to raise funds necessary to produce, promote, and distribute the feature film and documentary.

The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened also serves as a vehicle to showcase Franklin County and the town of Franklinton to draw tourism and infuse funding and other resources into the community.

In another big development, a *STATE FUNDING* grant was recently approved by the Franklin County Tourism Development Authority in North Carolina to support the making of The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened.


Support to bring this important film to life grows daily! N.C. House Rep. *BOBBIE RICHARDSON* >> *17 HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING CHAMPIONS* >> Franklin County Sheriff *KENT WINSTEAD* >> the *Las Vegas BOXING HALL OF FAME* >> the *WORLD BOXING COUNCIL* >> Two-Time *SUPERBOWL CHAMPION, ANTWAN HARRIS* >> PLATINUM music producer *STEPHEN ANDERSON* >> East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame Inductee *EUGENE COARD* >> Carolina Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee *BILL CLANCEY* >> Guinness World Record inductee *WILLIAM HUNTER* >> Legendary boxing figures like *DON KING* …just to name a few, have all endorsed The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened.
AARON SNOWELL, producer/host/actor, The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened.
Aaron is the current World Boxing Council (WBC) Official Ambassador. He has trained over *27 WORLD CHAMPIONS* in his 30-year career from bantamweight to heavyweight, including Mike Tyson. And he is on record as the youngest trainer to train a heavyweight champion. He also trained Rickey Parkey, who delivered the fastest knockout in history: within 8 seconds of the first round.
Aaron has been honored with 1994 Trainer-of-the-Year by the World Boxing Council; 1996 Trainer-of-the-Year by the World Boxing Association; and 1998 Trainer-of-the-Year by the International Boxing Federation.
For over 30 years Aaron has proven himself as an accomplished businessman with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and as a trainer, director, TV/radio producer, event coordinator, community service organizer, and more.
Some of Aaron’s recent accolades for community service include: 2013 World Boxing Council Award for Outstanding Achievement for Community Service; 2014 United Way of Franklin County Silver Award for Build-a-backpack; United Way of Franklin County Gold Award for volunteerism and loyal contributor. Aaron’s record of service goes way back, including in 1995 when he received the International Lion Rotary Club Speaker Award in Rome, Ohio.
ROB UNDERHILL, director/producer, The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened.
Rob is a film and TV director, producer, writer and editor. His films have been in competition at over 200 film festivals worldwide, including ST. LOUIS and SEATTLE (both *Academy Award-qualifying* film festivals), OAXACA (Mexico), SUNSCREEN (Academy-sponsored) and CANNES (France), have received over 100 awards including for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and have scored rave reviews from top film critics like Mark Bell of FILM THREAT and Anne Brodie in CRITICIZE THIS!
Featured on the National Public Radio shows, THE STATE OF THINGS with Frank Stasio andTHE STORY with Dick Gordon, Rob’s work is regularly subject in newspapers, radio, TV-news and more.
Rob’s work has received endorsements from major public figures such as US UN Ambassador Andrew Young, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and former North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue. Carolina STYLE Magazine recognized Rob as one of 25 “Most Stylish People” influencing positive change in the Carolinas through his films. He is a RAWards Indie Art Award recipient for Best Regional Filmmaker. He was the featured Speaker at the 2015 graduation commencement exercises for the Department of English at North Carolina State University.
His work has aired on the ASPiRE network and other national US and European TV outlets. Visit his website at www.RobUnderhill.com; *like* his Facebook for regular updates at www.facebook.com/RobUnderhillProductions.
WILL WILLIAMS, producer/actor, The Jack Johnson Story: The Night It Happened.
Will is an actor, writer, producer based out of Raleigh, NC. He is executive producer of the narrative film, No Child (2015). He has been featured in commercials for Pepsi and Angry Orchard Hard Cider. He has worked on USA Network’s hit series Royal Pains and also was the 2013 model for Volvo National’s packaging campaign. Will has also been in multiple independent films. In 2012 he released the short but impactful book, Happier Ever After. Will’s objective is to act in and produce films that inspire others to better the lives of themselves and those around them.


Today, too few people know this American legend. Help us bring the true story of the inspiration-powerhouse Jack Johnson to life. Together we’ll inspire a new generation of athletes, inclusiveness, positive social change, and with the message that anyone with the right determination can be great.
*LIKE* the FACEBOOK Page: www.facebook.com/JackJohnsonStory
Watch the INTRODUCTORY TRAILER: https://youtu.be/wEGpIgYMdqQ
VIDEO ENDORSEMENT by Rep. Bobbie Richardson, N.C. House of Representatives! http://youtu.be/CdlKE90h_e0
Franklin County WITNESS INTERVIEWS Teaser: https://youtu.be/_y6BX3CkYe0






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