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Almost Cured

“After the first touchdown, the crowd was a little less racist, and after the second touchdown, they were Almost Cured”. Almost Cured is an honest, personalized account about racial integration in a small North Carolina Appalachian community in the midst of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in 1963. Against a distressing backdrop of the South in tumultuous upheaval with widespread protests, bombings, deaths, and thousands of arrests, the teenage African-American players on the newly-integrated high school football team have the “weight of the world on their shoulders” as the team and community navigate to the championship game. Told through firsthand recollections and archival media, this heartfelt and revealing movie acknowledges that although we were and still are just ‘Almost Cured’, there is hope if we focus on what unites us.

  • Tom Dierolf
  • Tom Dierolf
  • Durward Rogers
  • NAACP- North Carolina Transylvania County Chapter
  • Sergio Miguel Silva
    Assistant Editor/Color Grading
  • Melissa Pons
    Sound Design
  • Carter Heyward & Susan Sasser
    Executive Producer
  • Gene & Sally Baker
    Co Producer
  • Frances & Ben Collins-Sussman
    Co Producer
  • Frances & Ben Collins-Sussman
    Co Producer
  • Cliff Brookshire
    Key Cast
  • Dr. Keith Elliott
    Key Cast
  • Lloyd Fisher
    Key Cast
  • Paul Gardin Scruggs
    Key Cast
  • Tommy Kilgore
    Key Cast
  • Dr. Betty Reed
    Key Cast
  • Nancy Brookshire
    Key Cast
  • Richard "Moby" Sorrells
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Historical, Sports, Social Issues
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 7, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Boone Film Festival
    Boone, NC
    United States
    November 3, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Brevard 150th Year Anniversary
    Brevard, NC
    United States
    October 15, 2018
  • Indigo Moon Film Festival
    Fayetteville, NC
    United States
    October 13, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Tryon International Film Festival
    Tryon, NC
    United States
    October 6, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Online Global Peace Film Festival
    Orlando, FL
    United States
    September 18, 2018
    Florida Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Full Bloom Film Festival
    Statesville, NC
    United States
    September 14, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Knox Film Fest
    Knoxville, TN
    United States
    September 15, 2018
    Tennessee Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Asheville Film Festival
    Asheville, NC
    United States
    September 8, 2018
    Official Selection
  • FAM Fest International Film Festival
    Charlotte, NC
    United States
    August 8, 2018
    Documentary Award
  • Cape Fear Independent Film Festival
    Wilmington, NC
    United States
    June 14, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Longleaf Film Festival
    Raleigh, NC
    United States
    May 12, 2018
    North Carolina Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Ozark Foothills FilmFest
    Batesville, AR
    United States
    April 21, 2018
    Arkansas Premiere
    Best Documentary Short
  • Beaufort International Film Festival
    Beaufort, SC
    United States
    February 24, 2018
    South Carolina Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival
    Flagstaff, AZ
    United States
    February 16, 2018
  • Chandler International Film Festival
    Chandler, AZ
    United States
    January 15, 2018
    World Premiere
  • Spotlight Documentary Film Awards
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    December 20, 2017
    Silver Award
  • Direct Short Online Film Festival
    United States
    Best Documentary Non/fiction of the Month (Dec. 2017)
Director Biography - Tom Dierolf

Tom Dierolf, PhD, is currently a trainer/researcher at a World Heritage Site. He has over 30 years of international/US experience in rural community development, including 12 years in Appalachia. Tom has published photos from several NCAA Division I sports and a professional NFL game. A first-time filmmaker, he combined his passions for social justice, visual arts, sports, history, and Appalachia to make Almost Cured. Tom received a Certificate in Documentary Studies at Duke University in 2016.

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Director Statement

Almost Cured is a historical documentary on a series of events experienced by a community in the mountains of Western North Carolina (WNC) during the 1960’s Civil Rights Era. Production was done in WNC (and TN) while I was resident in the community and a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign (104%) provided funds for finishing touches and film festival submission.

For viewers from Western North Carolina or Southern Appalachia, it helps them better understand their history. For viewers from outside the region (including more eastern parts of NC), it can help to dispel common negative misconceptions about Appalachia. For everyone, it is an engaging, and sometimes counterintuitive, story about race relations that shows there is some hope if we focus on what unites us.