Filmmaker says he's looking at movie on Montana's 1st Black mayor

Phil Drake

Is Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins ready for the big screen?

An Emmy Award-winning independent filmmaker posted Tuesday on social media that he plans to do a feature film on Collins and has bought the rights to his life story.

“Reach out if you have resources or skills to help tell this story,” Dan Smith said in a Facebook post.

Dan Smith

Provided photo

Collins on Wednesday said it is a project that is still in the works and that Smith is coming to Helena on Sept. 5 to talk and see how to proceed.

Collins is a Liberian immigrant who is reportedly the first Black mayor in Montana. He came to Montana in the 1990s fleeing civil war. In the move, he became separated from his wife for nearly three years. He is now a child protection specialist with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and recently retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve, where he served for more than 20 years.

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