Private Project

Run Free

After a Black country singer is offered the chance to sing the National Anthem at the high school football state championship, he is forced to choose between career and cause.

Wes Lee Harrison is a Black country singer currently tending bar in a small midwestern town. One night, Wes gets his chance to perform. The patrons are less than enthusiastic… until Wes starts to sing. Impressed, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff offers Wes the opportunity to perform the National Anthem at the televised State Championship High School Football game. After word of his pending performance gets out, Wes is confronted by two activists who encourage him to take a knee. Should he stand for his career or kneel for his cause?

  • Brandon Ravet
    The Text Committee, Optimistic Realist
  • Brandon Ravet
    The Text Committee, Optimistic Realist
  • Phredley Brown
    Guitarist/Music Director for Bruno Mars, Selena Gomez, Andy Grammer
  • Caity Ware
    We Are Gathered Here, Optimistic Realist
  • Cameron Freeman
    Ex-Housewife, The Real Housewives of Dallas
  • Brandon Ravet
    The Text Committee, Optimistic Realist
  • Phredley Brown
    Key Cast
    Guitarist/Music Director for Bruno Mars, Selena Gomez, Andy Grammer
  • Dana Melanie
    Key Cast
    Wild Nights with Emily
  • Marc Evan Jackson
    Key Cast
    Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Kong: Skull Island, The Good Place
  • Joshua Funk
    Key Cast
    Key & Peele, Kong: Skull Island
  • Amber Friendly
    Key Cast
    The Morning Show
  • Tajh Bellow
    Key Cast
    General Hospital
  • Brett Guennel
    Key Cast
    "Officer 1"
    Watch What Happens: Live
  • Tim Robinson
    Key Cast
    "Officer 2"
    Detroiters, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Musical
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Pan African Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    World Premiere
    Nominated for Best Narrative Feature
  • FLICKERS' Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Rhode Island
    United States
    East Coast Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Brandon Ravet

Brandon Ravet is an award-winning writer/director. Ravet wrote and directed multiple episodes of the sports documentary series Who Made You?, including two one-hour TV specials for CBS starring such sports icons as Tiger, Jordan, Shaq, and Kobe. Ravet has written, produced, and directed several acclaimed web series (International Academy of Web Television for Best Director), and is the creator of The Text Committee, Facebook's first original short form scripted series. In addition to filmmaking and photography, Ravet dedicates his time to his other passion, supervising the crisis line at the Suicide Prevention Center.

Phredley Brown Bio (co-writer/star/songwriter)

Phredley Brown is a producer, arranger, songwriter, and filmmaker from Detroit, MI.  While he is most well known for his work as Music Director, Keyboardist, Guitarist and Vocalist for Bruno Mars, Brown has performed with Sting, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Lenny Kravitz, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Selena Gomez, The Time and many more artists.  Brown has done music direction for performances on the largest TV stages such as the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, The Grammys and countless others.  Most recently, Brown is working as Associate Music Director on ABC’s American Idol.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Run Free was born out of a desire to start a different kind of conversation about the National Anthem protest movement - one that explores our universal humanity in the midst of a political and socioeconomic society that thrives on division. Our film grapples with the questions: Is Wes a black man first or a country singer first? Why should he have to choose? As Wes sings in his title song, “The color of my skin and the cut of my cloth don't always gotta be the same.” In addition to making films, I work as a supervisor and Crisis Counselor at the Suicide Prevention Center. The hundreds of hours I’ve spent taking crisis calls from all over the country has profoundly altered my view of humanity. I’ve talked with people of all different races, religions, sexual orientations, political affiliations, and personal prejudices. When they call us, at the literal end of their rope, all that noise quickly goes out the window. What remains are the raw human emotions that bond every single one of us. I spoke with a man who started by asking me if I was a Jew because he “didn’t wanted to talk to no dirty Jew.” My instinct was to hang up but I proceeded according to my training and within minutes, the hate was replaced with fear, sadness, and loneliness. The call ended with him telling me through tears that I was the first real connection he’d had with another human being in a long time. That conversation stuck with me throughout the making of this film. The purpose of Run Free is not to provide answers but rather to spark conversations that lead to a deeper understanding of what unites us.

Throughout the process I made it a priority to be the change I wanted to see in the country/world and surrounded myself with a diverse team of talented collaborators. I am proud to say that two-thirds of our team are considered gender, ethnic, and religious minorities.

Phredley's statement about the music:

The music in Run Free is inspired by the main agenda of the film - to unite seemingly opposing perspectives sympathetically in the name of everyone’s advancement.  In writing the story and music of a black Country singer, I immediately identified with the notion of sounding different than what might be expected.  I heard somewhere that great storytelling combines familiar-feeling stories on refreshing landscapes.  And that’s what Run Free has allowed me to do as a musician - be myself in a new sonic world.