Wednesdays at the Gem
Joanne Hock


Co-writer | Co-director

My grandfather, William Hock, spent his entire career managing movie theatres for Warner Brothers. My grandmother, Ruth Ann Chipley, prim and proper, was his box office girl.

Back then the studios sent their stars out on circuit tours and my grandparents hosted Hollywood greats like Jimmy Stewart, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, and Gypsy Rose Lee.

As a child, I was captivated listening to my grandparents recount stories about the movie business, especially those that took place during The Great Depression. As an adult, I felt compelled to retell their stories and intertwine some of America’s most important, but difficult, history.

Wednesdays at the Gem is not a “white” or “black” story, it is a “human” story that is more relevant than ever. It is a timeless tale about putting aside racial bias and creating something both black and white. Telling this story of segregation and inequality has become an extension of my life, my family, and my Southern upbringing. I have visualized each scene down to the last detail and I cannot wait to start directing this with Rhonda Baraka. Every ounce of it resonates in my being, from the magic of the movies to the immense bravery of a young woman and the power of courage when embodied in a precocious 10-year-old black boy.

Wednesday at the Gem