61ºF

Movie based on historic African American artists hits road block

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A movie based on Florida's historic African American artists, who are known as The Highwaymen, faces another road block.

Production is in its final stages in South Florida, but the film cannot be finished because of a permit problem.
Filmmakers place the blame on property owners at the place where they’re filming.

Those owners declined to comment.

The movie producers are now at a standstill until the foundation is fixed.

The movie, "The Unknowns: Talent is Colorblind," is set in the 1960s, when a group of black men sold their paintings on the highway from the trunks of their cars.

"It's a big noise, this film, because nobody's ever done an art film. It's historical," producer Walter Shaw said.

But the historic film is having a hard time accelerating.

Shaw said he poured thousands of dollars into fixing up a vintage Fort Lauderdale property for the movie.

"This has been a chore. Six months of my life has been here," he said.

Shaw's plan was to use the space to shoot scenes for the movie and ultimately turn it into a public museum to showcase the paintings.

Now there's a major speed bump.

"We can't give these plans a go-ahead because you have two outstanding permits that are expired and never were inspected in 2000, and now you've got to stop," he said.

Shaw and his attorney point the finger at the landlords, claiming they knew the permits where dated, but proceeded with the deal anyhow.

"These buildings, because they didn't close out the building permit 17 years ago, we're going to have to bring in cranes, we're going to have to pull these buildings off the foundations, and that will cost about $60,000. That's a big problem," attorney Michael Feinstein said.

The pricey problem with the foundation has put a halt to movie production for now.

"This film is very inspirational," actor Genji Jacques said. "It's going to touch a lot of lives. It's going to inspire a lot of kids."