Mario Van Peebles has his eyes focused on the upcoming election cycle.
The actor and filmmaker is set to direct the docuseries The Beat Goes On for Partners in Kind Productions, a new production company designed to center “storytelling at the intersection of inspirational impact and entertainment,” The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively reveal. For the series, Van Peebles will shadow civil rights leaders, organizers and activists through the 2024 election.
The Beat Goes On marks a partnership with civil rights nonprofit the Drum Major Institute and the Drum Major Coalition. Martin Luther King III, a civil rights advocate, global humanitarian and chairman of the board of the Drum Major Institute, and Arndrea Waters King, a champion of nonviolence and social change initiatives and president of the Drum Major Institute, will co-executive produce the series alongside Van Peebles. King III is the oldest son of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
“Our hope is for The Beat Goes On to be an inspiring message for potential voters, highlighting the work of grassroots organizers across the nation who are working tirelessly to embrace social action and bring about the change we need to see at this pivotal moment,” said King III.
Added Waters King: “We want every individual to know that they have the power to uniquely contribute to the movement that will bring about real change, true justice and real equity. This docuseries will be many things: a wake-up call, a motivating message for those currently doing the work to keep going, a call-to-action for those on the sidelines to get involved and believe that they, too, can effectuate change, and a beacon of hope for the future we know is possible.”
Van Peebles said he’s “incredibly honored” to be involved in the project and to be working with the King family and Partners in Kind. “The steadfast work by organizations that are seeking to keep our fundamental rights and democracy alive deserves this spotlight.”
Scottsdale, Arizona-based Partners in Kind was co-founded in 2022 by philanthropists Gillian Hormel and Shelly Tygielski. They’ve recently named Dorothy Toran as president of the company. Toran has worked in the unscripted space and is credited as an executive producer of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and she recently produced several Race in America specials.
“America is at an inflection point,” said Toran. “We have to find impactful ways to celebrate our differences and protect our shared humanity. At Partners In Kind, we believe that storytelling is a powerful tool to that end.”
Van Peebles’ recent credits include Superstition, Wu Tang: An American Saga, A Million Little Things, Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Salt-N-Pepa and the upcoming Outlaw Posse and Black Cake. He’s currently writing a tribute to his father to be performed at Lincoln Center.