Forever Tree Film

Featured Song from the Soundtrack:
Soul Adventurer by M.anifest and Polly A.

Project Summary

An Indiana Jones like female driven adventure story, steeped in black history, about family, love and the pursuit of legends

Forever Tree Film

Directed by: Alrick Brown

A Simple World Film
in association with
Many Women Productions
presented by
Bentonville Film Festival

Beginning in 1920s Harlem...

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Meet the Characters


Meet the Creators

Director: Alrick Brown

Recognized as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces to Watch, Alrick Brown is an award winning writer, director and producer.  His collective works have screened in over 65 festivals worldwide, earning numerous awards and honors.  Among them is the HBO Life Through Your Lens Emerging Filmmaker Award for the critically acclaimed documentary Death of Two Sons, which he produced.  In 2004 he was one of four NYU students featured in the IFC Documentary series Film School; produced by Academy award nominee Nannette Burstein.

His first feature, Kinyarwanda, made its world premiere as recipient of the prestigious World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.  Since then, Kinyarwanda has screened internationally in over 20 festivals, adding more than a half dozen honors to the writer/director’s credits. Alrick is also an educator, but found his medium after visiting the slave castle of Elmina, in Ghana, during a two-year tour with the Peace Corps in Cote d'Ivoire.  The interactions with the people of his village, and his overall experiences in West Africa, informed his creative expression.  An expression first fostered by his birth in Kingston, Jamaica and migration to, and upbringing in Plainfield, New Jersey.

Since then Alrick’s work has been described as cinematic archeology because of his vision to unearth stories that otherwise would not be told.  His commitment to revealing the heart of and world around a story is what draws audiences, peers and clients to his work.

In 2013 Alrick became a Mid-Atlantic Artist Fellow. Beyond film, he has ventured onto the small screen directing ABC’s "Final Witness", ESPN’s short doc series “Spike Lee’s Lil’ Joints -- And of the Son: The Legend of David & Jackie Robinson” and writing and producing for Investigative Discoveries Emmy-Award winning series "A Crime Two Remember".

Alrick graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and a Masters of Education, where he taught undergraduate courses on the African American image in cinema. He received his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he later taught various courses to both undergraduate and graduate film students and is now an Assistant Professor in Undergraduate Film and Television.


Producer/Writer: Stephen Hintz

A native of Milwaukee, Hintz is a published author and social critic who has written cultural biographies, interviews and film scripts. After dedicating much of his early career to at-risk youth through mentoring programs of his own design and the Boys & Girls Clubs, he attended the New York Film Academy in NYC. While there, he worked for Kevin Spacey’s Triggerstreet.com before returning to Milwaukee to shoot his first feature, Cool Breeze. From there, he headed to Hollywood, where he worked on the Fox lot for Midwest natives Bob Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. at State Street Films. While there, he penned the script for Playin’ for Money which was shot in Tokyo in 2011. Shortly thereafter, he wrote the original scripts for the first season of award-winning children’s cooking show, The Chewy Cafe. He then produced the indie thriller Drowning in Alabama, which is currently in post-production. Hintz also wrote and sold the inspirational baseball film Hill about baseball player Rickey Hill. He then executive produced, director Alison Eastwood’s Battlecreek and is in active development with historical adventure films The Forever Tree and Buffalo Boys. The short film version of "The Forever Tree" was shot in NYC in December of 2016 and will premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival in 2017. Hintz is currently in active development of a film revolving around the stark similarities between Atlanta’s wealthy and impoverished communities with longtime producing partner Chrishaunda Lee Perez. He is also developing the WWII script about the wartime experiences, death and rediscovery of his grandfather Loren Hintz entitled, Finding Loren. Hintz lives in Arkansas with his wife Rashauna and daughters Dimaya, Phoebe and Maren.


Writer/Producer: Chrishaunda Lee Perez

Chrishaunda Lee Perez is a writer, producer, and orator who believes in combining the power of communication and art to tell thought-provoking and multi-dimensional stories that will help shape a growing diverse and fully inclusive entertainment and literary landscape. Most recently, Chrishaunda was invited by Stephen Hintz to co-write and co-produce a dynamic short film titled “The Forever Tree”, an adventure tale about a young woman who embarks on a quest for a legendary tree of life in Africa. The film will be premiering at the Bentonville Film Festival in May of 2017. She also serves as co-writer for the feature film version of the story, which is currently in development. In 2012, Chrishaunda co-executive produced “The Apostle and The Savior”, a short film written and directed by filmmaker Jason Perez. She has also written various television pilots and screen plays. Prior to writing for television and film, Chrishaunda served as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and as a co-host of a PBS family show, Animal Attractions. A graduate of Wesleyan University, her first opportunity to develop a self-written project happened when Chrishaunda Lee’s senior thesis play, “Getting Under Our Own Skin”, was later produced off-off Broadway in 2003. She has been writing ever since. Today, Chrishaunda Lee has two literary works in development: One, a moving novel about teen girls and the precipice of womanhood. Another is a memoir for Jama Hedgecoth, the treasured founder of the world beloved Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Georgia. A screenplay Chrishaunda wrote that encapsulates the stark similarities between Atlanta’s wealthy and impoverished demographics, she has again teamed up with Stephen Hintz to co-produce.


Writer: Marc Novak

Marc believes motion pictures can contribute positive stories for our contemporary times. Marc graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in English Literature where he also was captain of the Fighting Irish cross country and track teams. His keen interest in running was one factor that drew Marc to Jeremy Jackson’s novel, Life at These Speeds, which he adapted as 1Mile to You.

After graduation, Marc studied Greek drama and myth at the Aegean School of Fine Arts in Greece and traveled to Japan, where he worked as an advertising copywriter for Sharp Electronics. During his years abroad, Marc was a travel correspondent for the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Daily News, and Fodor’s Travel Guides. Returning to America, Marc earned an M.A. from Cornell University in Japanese Literature. After editing for the Cornell University Press and writing feature articles for the Ithaca Journal, Marc moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in motion pictures.

He started as a reader and story analyst for Avenue Pictures (Angels in America and The Merchant of Venice). He also helped select scripts and projects for the prestigious Film Independent (producers of the Independent Spirit Awards) screenwriting and directing labs.

His optioned screenplays include the true-story 12th century romance Heloise and Abelard, Honest Abe, a contemporary farce inspired by The Music Man, and Ride the East Wind, based on the story of the only American-born kamikaze pilot in WWII.

Marc has teamed up with Scott Alvarez to develop projects under the Cinema Revival banner, including: When the Twilight Comes, an inspirational story about an African-American family who, by leaning on faith and gospel music, reunites over a father’s death and forgives a son’s betrayal; Carded, a teen thriller about a girl who receives a fake ID for her 18th birthday and is mistaken for the young woman on her ID, a young woman who happens to be wanted dead or alive; 787, a thriller about a man who uncovers supernatural events on a routine plane flight.

Marc co-wrote The Forever Tree short film, about a young African-American woman in 1920 who discovers an oral legend to be true. It will premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival in May, 2017. Marc is currently developing the feature with Chrishaunda Lee Perez and Steve Hintz, as well as another feature, Finding Loren, about the Hintz family’s search for their grandfather, who died in a bomber crash in Italy in the last days of WWII.

Marc is also producing Road Dog Sisters, based on the true story of three girls who run away from a group home to find the oldest girls’ biological mother. It is currently in pre-production.