PHILIP AND TANYA HART PREP BESSIE COLEMAN MOVIE – ‘Flying Free with Bessie Coleman.’
Philip and Tanya Hart are prepping a movie about aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman. Based upon Philip Hart’s source material from his two Bessie Coleman books for young readers and a treatment developed by the Harts while at Disney Studios, the two producers are now moving ahead into development and production of ‘Flying Free with Bessie Coleman.’ The Hart’s daughter Ayanna Hart is a producing partner on this movie.
Bessie Coleman earned her pilot’s license in France in 1921 becoming the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license two years before famous pilot Amelia Earhart earned her license. Bessie Coleman’s mother was African American while her father was Native American. Upon returning to the United States from France after earning her pilot’s license Bessie Coleman barnstormed the nation doing air shows and promoting aviation as a career for African Americans. Her goal was to open a flight school to teach aviation mechanics and to give flying lessons. The Bessie Coleman Aero Club opened in Los Angeles in 1929 thus becoming the first all-black flight school in the world. Philip Hart’s great-uncle James Herman Banning was the chief pilot for the Bessie Coleman Aero Club, which in 1931 put on the first all-black air show at LA’s Eastside airport.
Philip Hart is author of “Up in the Air: The Story of Bessie Coleman,” (1996), “Bessie Coleman: Just the Facts,” (2005), and “Flying Free: America’s First Black Aviators,” a 1992 Notable Children’s Trade Book. These three books for young readers were published by Lerner Publishing Group and their paper back rights were acquired by Scholastic. Philip Hart is also author of the 2013 Oxford University Press online photo essay “Early African American Aviators” which includes a chapter on Bessie Coleman. Philip and Tanya Hart are producers and writers of the 1987 PBS documentary film “Flyers In Search of a Dream” which tells the stories of early African American aviators, Including Bessie Coleman. This film is available in the PBS Video catalog and from Netflix.
The Harts are planning for a 2018 release of “Flying Free with Bessie Coleman.”
About Philip and Tanya Hart
The Harts have produced, written and hosted film, television and radio content for over 30 years. They were recipients of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors Diversity Award in 2011. Tanya Hart has won Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards and Ohio State Awards for her documentary films and television programs. Philip Hart’s book for young readers “Flying Free: America’s First Black Aviators” was named Notable Children’s Trade Book in 1992. The Harts 3-hour syndicated radio documentary “Ray Charles: The Music Lives On” is available at www.cdbaby.com/tanyahart2 and on streaming services such as iTunes, Spotify, Apple, etc. Another of their syndicated radio programs “Hart Moments” aired nationally for 10 years. The Harts also developed a pilot for a syndicated radio relationship program titled “Hart Notes.” Tanya Hart is also a professional vocalist having sung with the Boston Pops, Freddie Hubbard, Webster Lewis, and Maurice Starr (New Edition, New Kids on the Block) and has “Tanya Hart Sings” available at www.cdbaby.com/tanyahart and on streaming services such as iTunes, Spotify, Apple, etc. “Hollywood Live with Tanya Hart” airs Monday–Friday on American Urban Radio Networks’ (www.aurn.com) 300 affiliate stations nationwide. Tanya Hart launched BET’s west coast operations in 1990 and launched that network’s first west coast program “Live From LA with Tanya Hart” in 1990 where she also served as producer. Tanya Hart is co-chair of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors. Philip Hart is also an urban planner and developer and in 2010 was named Diversity Executive of the Year by Commercial Property Executive
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