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Penn Hills

Anti-violence movie has Pittsburgh-area premiere on Wednesday

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, 5:24 p.m.
Penn Hills Cinema at 76 Federal Drive in the Penn Hills Shopping Center will host a movie premiere of 'Drop: A Story of Triumph' on Sept. 6.
Michael DiVittorio
Penn Hills Cinema at 76 Federal Drive in the Penn Hills Shopping Center will host a movie premiere of 'Drop: A Story of Triumph' on Sept. 6.

A movie that promotes education as an alternative to violence and discourages high school students from dropping out will make its Pittsburgh premiere in Penn Hills.

“Drop: A Story of Triumph” will be shown Wednesday (Sept. 6) at 6 p.m. at the Cinemas at the Penn Hills Shopping Center, off of Rodi Road.

The movie stars Tray Chaney of HBO's “The Wire” and actors Jordan Norris and Dominique Spencer.

Chaney is expected to appear, along with former Steeler Will Allen.

It is presented by the Black Women for Positive Change as part of its fifth annual Week of Non-Violence, Justice and Opportunities.

“We want to encourage these students to influence their family, friends and neighbors to finish high school and avoid the pathway to prison,” said Black Women for Positive Change Chairperson Diane Powell. “We developed the film out of concern over the high drop-out rates in this country. (Roughly) 1.2 million students per year drop out. (Approximately) 65 percent of the African-American and Hispanic men who are in prison dropped out of school.”

The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Many seats, however, will be filled by Penn Hills School District male athletes and coaches as part of a special invitation.

Approximately 20 Indian basketball players and two coaches, and 50 football players and seven coaches will attend.

“The event offers a united approach with representatives from the community and school district administration to emphasize the importance of academics and education,” Superintendent Nancy Hines said. “The coaches were willing to forgo practice time to sit in that theater with their athletes and reinforce this message.”

Head football coach Jon LeDonne believes the film's message will have a positive impact on the young men.

“Academics are the foundation of success and we emphasize this everyday with our student-athletes,” LeDonne said. “Football is a vehicle we can use to drive this home. We are thankful for the opportunity to view ‘Drop' as a team and hope to use it as a reference in the future.”

The Week of Non-Violence in October is in memory of “Trayvon Martin and other young people who have lost their lives to violence,” according to a release from Black Women for Positive Change.

Martin was a 17-year-old African American male from Miami Gardens, Fla. who was fatally shot in Sanford, Fla. by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer.

Zimmerman was acquitted of the crime in July 2013.

More information about the premiere is available online.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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