|The Color of Friendship|
|Directed by||Kevin Hooks|
|Produced by|| Kevin Hooks|
|Written by||Paris Qualles|
|Starring|| Lindsey Haun|
|Music by||Stanley Clarke|
|Distributed by||Disney Channel|
|Release date(s)||February 5, 2000|
|Running time||87 minutes|
The Color of Friendship (2000) is an Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel Original Movie inspired by actual events about the friendship between two girls, one from the United States and the other from apartheid South Africa, who learn about tolerance and friendship. The film was directed by Kevin Hooks, based on a script by Paris Qualles.
Mahree Bok lives on in a mansion in 1977, during the apartheid-era in South Africa with her parents and little brother, Ronald. They also have a maid who cleans their house. Her father, Pieter Booker, cannot hide his joy when Steve Biko is caught by the South African authorities. Piper Dellums lives in Washington, D.C. is the daughter of Ron Dellums, an outspoken opponent of the South Africa apartheid system and the oppression of black South Africans. When Mahree is chosen to spend a semester at the Dellums's house as part of a foreign exchange program, she is surprised to find that the Dellums are black, and the Dellums are equally surprised to find that Mahree is a white South African. After an initial period of tension and distrust, during which Mahree locks herself into Piper's room, the two get to know each other.
During her stay, Mahree sees people in America, black and white, getting along with each other and realizes that Piper, despite racial differences, is really no different than her. When Steve Biko is killed by South African police, there are mass protests around the world at South African embassies. Employees from the South African embassy in Washington, D.C. comes to the Dellums' house while Mr. Dellums is away and take Mahree with the intention of sending her back to South Africa, presumably to prevent her seeing the mass protests and rallying against the South African government. Mr. Dellums, upon hearing of Mahree being taken away, immediately goes to the South African embassy to get her back, by threatening to announce to the press that the embassy kidnapped Mahree from her host family. During this time, Mahree becomes sympathetic to the anti-apartheid cause and liberation of blacks in South Africa, even bringing back a freedom flag stitched to the inside of her coat when she returns, despite the fact that these flags are banned by the South African government.
TV and VHS Release
The movie was met with overwhelming praise, and was played on the Disney Channel several times throughout 2000 and 2001, after this, the channel stopped airing the movie for unknown reasons. A VHS was released late in 2000, and included the film, as well as the music video for "Galaxy is Ours" from Zenon: The Zequel This has been long out of circulation, and Disney Channel rarely airs or sells DCOMS from before 2004.
- Emmy Award (tie)
- Outstanding Children's Program, Alan Sacks (executive producer), Christopher Morgan, and Kevin Hooks
- Humanitas Prize
- Children's Live-Action Category, Paris Qualles
- NAACP Image Award
- Outstanding Youth or Children's Series/Special
- WGA Award
- Children's Script Category, Paris Qualles
- Young Artist Awards
- Best Performance in a TV Movie (Drama) - Leading Young Actress, Shadia Simmons
- DGA Award
- Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs, Kevin Hooks
- Young Artist Awards
- Best Family TV Movie/Pilot/Mini-Series - Cable
- Best Performance in a TV Movie (Drama) - Leading Young Actress, Lindsey Haun
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