A group of extras dressed in mid-1800s attire filled the front section of seats inside the Newtown Theatre as busied men and women with walkie-talkies zoomed around and readied sets pieces and equipment for the moment when a camera would roll and begin filming a scene for the upcoming indipendent drama film "The North Star."
Tuesday's scenes showed a crowd of people listening to a hymn performed by actor and former "American Idol" star Jermaine Jones. An actor portraying Frederick Douglass, a famed American abolitionist, gave a speech in the next scene.
The film's story is based on true events that have been "long held in the archives of the Mercer Museum in Doylestown," the film's press department said in a release.
The independent film tells the story of slaves Benjamin "Big Ben" Jones and Mose Hopkins who escaped from a plantation in Virginia after finding out they are about to be sold. The duo use the Underground Railroad to make the journey to the free North. The two slaves end up befriending a Quaker family and eventually fleeing to nearby Buckingham Township, according to information released by the production.
Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter plays the role of Big Ben. Trotter was not spotted at the set on Tuesday.
Other stars of the film include:
- Clifton Powell ("Ray")
- Michael Rapaport ("Hitch," TV's "Prison Break")
- Lynn Whitfield (HBO’s "Josephine Baker Story")
- April Woodall (Broadway actress and vocalist)
- Keith David ("Crash")
- Alana Lee
The movie started filming in Bucks County a few days ago and is expected to continue filming for the next several weeks.
No release date for the film has been announced.
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