festival program / Documentary Achievement Award

River City Drumbeat


Marlon Johnson and Anne Flatté are veteran documentary filmmakers whose exquisite work has been a staple at the Miami Film Festival. With River City Drumbeat, they may have created their most profound and powerful film yet.

Edward "Nardie" White has devoted his life to leading an African-American drum corps in Louisville, Kentucky for three decades, inspiring youth from his neighborhood to thrive, by connecting them with the cultural traditions of their ancestors. Now Albert, whose destiny was shaped by the drumline, must take up the mantle for the next generation. Meanwhile, student drummers Imani, Jailen and Emily navigate adolescence and life changes in a multigenerational tale of music, love, and legacies set in the American South.

River City Drumbeat, in addition to showcasing extraordinary music and talent, is about the collective power of role models; and an example of the sheer force that different personalities can have in shaping destinies.

Event Dates

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MDC’s Tower Theater Miami 1

MDC’s Tower Theater Miami 2

Director Bio

Marlon Johnson is an Emmy award-winning producer and director of Singular (19), Symphony in D (17), and Deep City: Birth of the Miami Sound (14) all of which have been screened at the Miami Film Festival.

Anne Flatté is an award-winning filmmaker, director of Symphony for Nature and producer of Serenade for Haiti (17).

Cast & Credits

  • Director(s)
    Marlon Johnson, Anne Flatté
  • Producer(s)
    Owsley Brown, Marlon Johnson, Anne Flatté
  • Cinematographer(s)
    John Anderson Beavers, Juan Carlos Castañeda
  • Composer
    B. Quincy Griffin
  • Cast
    Edward "Nardie" White, Albert Shumake, Imani Keith, Jailen Leavell, Emily Carey, Ed Hamilton

Film Info