Freep Film Festival: Through the Banks of the Red Cedar

The daughter of Michigan State University football legend Gene Washington uncovers the Spartans’ key role in integrating college football in the ‘60s, a Duffy Daugherty-led effort that resulted in one of MSU football’s greatest eras — and changed the game forever. The film unfolds through the eyes of the filmmaker Maya Washington as she details her father's journey and his impact on the present generation. A College Football Hall of Famer, Gene Washington migrated from the segregated South to MSU where he’d play alongside highly decorated teammates like Bubba Smith, George Webster and Clinton Jones, a quartet that made history by all being selected in the first round of the 1967 NFL draft.  

As director Washington peels back MSU’s story, she develops a newly formed appreciation for the game and a deeper connection to her father, just in time to witness the Spartan football team ascend to national prominence 50 years later.

2018. 1 hour, 10 minutes. Directed by Maya Washington. Unrated. World Premiere.


The fifth annual Freep Film Festival arrives April 11-15 at a variety of venues centered in greater downtown Detroit. Full schedule, links to buy tickets and more at