Olympic Pride, American Prejudice


In 1936 when 18 African-American athletes participated in the Berlin Olympic Games, history forgot all except one.

This is the story of the other 17.

“Deft and comprehensive” The New York Times


Olympic Pride, American Prejudice explores the experiences of 18 African American Olympians who defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to win hearts and medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Set against the strained and turbulent atmosphere of a racially divided America, which was torn between boycotting Hitler’s Olympics or participating in the Third Reich’s grandest affair, the film follows 16 men and two women before, during and after their heroic turn at the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. They represented a country that considered them second class citizens and competed in a country that rolled out the red carpet in spite of an undercurrent of Aryan superiority and anti-Semitism.

They were world heroes yet returned home to a short-lived glory. This story is complicated. This story is triumphant but unheralded. This story is a vital part of history and is as relevant today as it was almost 80 years ago.

“Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” is produced by Coffee Bluff Pictures in association with Spark Productions. For more information on the film, visit OLYMPIC PRIDE, AMERICAN PREJUDICE website.


Deborah Riley Draper — Writer, Director, and Producer
Dr. Amy Tiemann — Executive Producer
Blair Underwood — Narrator and Executive Producer
Michael Draper— Executive Producer

Nominated for 2017 Outstanding Documentary


The Olympic Pride, American Prejudice Premiere at Silverspot Cinema was a Success!

The Red Carpet Reception and Q&A was sold out!

Local Press

100% on the Tomatometer! ReviewsRotten Tomato Reviewers
“Riley doesn’t portray this fellowship of black athletes as victims, but as pioneers proving themselves against white supremacy behind enemy lines. And yet this doc also pulls them back down to earth as mere men and women competing against the odds, human to human.”
Full Review The Village Voice
“Deft and comprehensive” Full ReviewThe New York Times

Projects In Development

He Wanted the Moon

Brad Pitt Developing Medical Drama ‘He Wanted the Moon’ With Tony Kushner Read More


Empathic. Pangaeaic. Raw. Conservation. Tradition. Talons. OVERLAND is a feature length documentary taking audiences on a global odyssey of falconers, their magnificent hunting birds and their relationships with the cultural, natural and geopolitical landscape. Read More

Honor for Sale

‘Honor for Sale’ NYPD Scandal Movie in the Works Read More


Spark Productions is a Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based independent media production company that adds a spark of insight, energy and momentum to every project it touches, in order to bring great stories to life as feature or documentary films. Spark Productions seeks socially-relevant stories outside the Hollywood mainstream that deserve to be produced and discovered by a devoted audience. The company currently has seven projects in the development pipeline.

img_5209-576x1024DR. AMY TIEMANN

Dr. Amy Tiemann is the Founder and President of Spark Productions and Co-Owner of Manifold Recording, a full-service media production studio in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

As an award-winning author, educator and media producer, Dr. Tiemann brings informed insights to each of her varied projects. As a scientist she earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University. Her background includes years of cutting-edge brain research as well as extensive classroom teaching experience. As an author, she is currently finishing her fifth book. She is a nationally-recognized advocate for personal safety for people of all ages and recently earned her black belt in to-shin do ninjutsu. Each of these areas of expertise informs Dr. Tiemann’s perspective as an Executive Producer.