PBS, SUNDANCEPRODUCTIONS, SMOKING DOG FILMS AND CACTUS THREE ANNOUNCE THE MARCH, NEW DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE HISTORIC MARCH ON WASHINGTON
WQED Profiles Pittsburgh Residents Who Were There Online
PBS, SUNDANCE PRODUCTIONS, SMOKING DOGS FILMS,
AND CACTUS THREE ANNOUNCE THE MARCH,
NEW DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE
HISTORIC MARCH ON WASHINGTON
– Premiering on the Eve of the 50th Anniversary of Original March
on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 on PBS and WQED-TV –
– Featuring Interviews with Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, Diahann Carroll,
Clarence B. Jones, Tom Hayden, Oprah Winfrey, Andrew Young and More –
PITTSBURGH – August 1, 2013 — PBS, Sundance Productions, Smoking Dogs Films, and Cactus Three today announced THE MARCH, a new documentary honoring the 50th anniversary of the original March on Washington, a watershed moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Unprecedented in size, the August 28, 1963 massive demonstration for racial and economic equality issued a clarion call for racial justice that would help usher in sweeping civil rights legislation and a sea change in public opinion. The event, which will forever be remembered for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s stirring “I Have a Dream” speech, endures today as a symbol of unity and monumental impact. Produced by Lina Gopaul and David Lawson, THE MARCH is directed by John Akomfrah, with Krysanne Katsoolis, Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn as Executive Producers. Sam Pollard is Consulting Producer, with Gina Belafonte as Associate Producer. THE MARCH premieres on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS and WQED-TV. In addition to the U.S. premiere on PBS and WQED-TV, THE MARCH will be screened by international broadcast co-producers the BBC and France 3.
THE MARCH reveals the dramatic story behind the event through the remembrances of key players such as Jack O’Dell, Clarence B. Jones, Julian Bond and Andrew Young. Supporters and other testimonials of the March include Harry Belafonte, Diahann Carroll, Roger Mudd, Peter Yarrow and Oprah Winfrey in addition to historians, journalists, authors and ordinary citizens who joined some 250,000 Americans who thronged to the capital on that momentous day to peacefully demand an end to two centuries of discrimination and injustice.
“Viewers turn to PBS to provide great programs that explore our nation’s history,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “The 50th anniversary of this major milestone provides the perfect opportunity to examine the legacy of the original March.”
“The story of people who suffered profound injustice in America and fought it with sacrifice and courage is something we should never forget,” said Executive Producer Robert Redford. “I hope the generations who see this film will be inspired by it.”
“We at WQED Pittsburgh are pleased to remember this historic event by broadcasting THE MARCH. In addition, we have collected several interviews with local participants of “the march” that will be available at www.wqed.org/march50 Thursday, August 1 and part of PBS’s online portal called Memories of the March,” said WQED Vice President of Content Darryl Ford Williams.
WQED interviews will include:
• Sala Udin
The former Pittsburgh City Councilman and longtime community leader was a 20 year old from Pittsburgh's Hill District in 1963. When he attended the March in Washington, he was still trying to find a direction in his life. Dr. King's speech changed him forever, launching a career in civil rights activism that continues today. We interview Mr. Udin at Pittsburgh's "Freedom Corner" - a city landmark and the exact spot where he and others boarded the bus to Washington in 1963.
• Phil Hallen
Mr. Hallen was the head of the Falk Foundation, a philanthropic organization that promotes personal and public health for all peoples, especially underserved populations, when he heard about the march. A civil rights worker from his teenage years, he and several others involved in a church community drove to Washington to share their passion with others. Phil Hallen was among the minority of white people in attendance.
• Paulette Potter
This Beaver County, Pennsylvania native was a young teenager in 1963 when she traveled to Washington, DC with her mother to attend the march. The Civil Rights movement was built on people like Paulette and her mom -- with young people and women leading the way. Ms. Potter continued to promote the message of the march throughout her life as an educator.
With exhaustive research and deploying remarkable rare archival footage, THE MARCH recounts the dramatic events that took place not only in front of the cameras but behind the scenes, revealing how one of the most important events in the Civil Rights Movement almost didn’t happen, told by those who refused to back down and whose lives it forever changed.
“The March is the watershed moment of the Civil Rights Movement, the culmination of a hundred years of activism against segregation and social injustice for people of color in the U.S.,” said director John Akomfrah. “Re-telling this story is my small contribution to that monumental struggle.”
In addition to the broadcast of THE MARCH, PBS will honor the 50th anniversary with a full week of special online programming and events. PBS Black Culture Connection website will unveil The March @50, a new web series by Shukree Hassan Tilghman (More Than a Month), which asks if America has delivered on the original demands of the marchers for jobs and freedom. PBS member stations will be sparking community engagement with Memories of the March, a series of video vignettes featuring first-person accounts from those who were present at the event or whose lives were impacted by the March. PBS Black Culture Connection will host a full day of special events and activities on the anniversary, including live chats, film screenings, and hosted discussions on a variety of issues and topics.
Major funding for THE MARCH is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Diversity and Innovation Fund which supports content that engages diverse viewers and encourages the use of emerging technologies to reach new audiences, PBS, the BBC and France 3.
THE MARCH is a Smoking Dogs Films Production produced by Lina Gopaul and David Lawson and directed by John Akomfrah. Executive Producers are Krysanne Katsoolis, Cactus Three, and Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn, Sundance Productions. Sam Pollard is Consulting Producer, with Gina Belafonte as Associate Producer.
About Smoking Dogs Films
Smoking Dogs Films, formed in 1998 by producers Lina Gopaul and David Lawson and film director John Akomfrah, was conceived to produce works of imagination and innovation within the broadcast, film and the creative arts. The three partners had a long and collaborative career prior to the formation of the company as the founding members of the acclaimed cine-cultural group Black Audio Film Collective.
The three partners have made over forty films and their collaborative works have won over 35 international awards. Their most recent film, The Nine Muses, collected awards at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the Asia/Africa Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2011. In 2005 the company was awarded the prestigious IVCA Clarion Award (UK) for the company’s effective contribution to cultural diversity in broadcast and film.
Smoking Dogs has produced a number of critically-acclaimed, award-winning, high-profile, music, arts and social issue documentaries, including biographies of iconic figures such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Louis Armstrong. The company has also produced mold-breaking historical and social documentaries such as Urban Soul –The Making of Modern Day R&B, Oil Spill–The Exxon Valdez Disaster, Riot and the lyrical Handsworth Songs. The company’s films have been made with a number of blue-chip broadcasters, including the BBC, Channel Four TV, A&E, ARTE, NHK, ZDF, MNET and NTA.
The company’s two most recent productions, The Stuart Hall Project (2013) and The Nine Muses (2011) launched at the prestigious Sundance and Venice Film Festivals and were released theatrically.
About Cactus Three
Krysanne Katsoolis is a founding partner of Cactus Three, a New York-based company that specializes in the production, financing and distribution of specialized films. In the past decade the company has produced more than 30 award-winning documentaries including Oscar winner The Cove and Academy Award nominee Which Way Home, Sketches of Frank Gehry, directed by Sydney Pollack, Once in a Lifetime for Miramax Films, Family Bonds, an HBO series, and loudQUIETloud — a Film About the Pixies. Katsoolis is currently Co-Executive Producer with Martin Scorsese on the feature documentary Tanny Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun. Other upcoming projects include It’s a Disaster and Hard Apple, an animated series.
About Sundance Productions
Launched and founded in 2012 by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn, Sundance Productions develops and produces innovative, compelling television content for linear and digital platforms in the U.S. and around the world. Sundance Productions partners with leading storytellers, directors, and producers for the production of authentic tent pole series and specials across all platforms. In April 2013 Sundance Productions’ documentary All the President’s Men Revisited was broadcast on Discovery Ch in the US and is rolling out worldwide. Upcoming projects include Chicagoland a Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin directed series for CNN and Cathedrals of Culture, a 3D series being executive produced with Wim Wenders/ Neue Road Media.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and over 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
About the BBC
The BBC’s (British Broadcasting Corporation) mission is to inform, educate and entertain audiences with programs and services of high quality, originality and value. THE MARCH will air on BBC Two in August 2013, around the time of the anniversary of the March on Washington. BBC Two is a mixed-genre channel with programs of depth and substance. It includes the greatest amount and range of knowledge-building programming on the BBC, complemented by distinctive comedy, drama and arts programming.
About FRANCE 3
As a public broadcaster, France 3 is the second largest channel of France Télévisions. THE MARCH is being co-produced by France 3, one of the five channels of the French largest public audiovisual group, France Télévisions, the major public production-funding arm in France, and the premier bouquet of free digital channels, with a 33% market share. The editorial line of France 3’s Documentary Department, headed by Dana Hastier, is based on Contemporary History and Politics, within the strands IMMEDIATE HISTORY and FORBIDDEN DOCS.
About WQED Pittsburgh
WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 134 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at www.wqed.org/fm; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (www.wqed.org/edu).
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