Free Master Class With Award-Winning Filmmaker Sam Pollard at CDS, Saturday, 1/14

Bayard Rustin, chief organizer of the March on Washington, poses in front of the national headquarters in New York. Courtesy of AP.

Distinguished filmmaker Sam Pollard will visit Durham over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend to lead a free master class at the Center for Documentary Studies, a rare opportunity for students and film fans to learn about the craft from a veteran filmmaker. Pollard will show pieces from the Katrina documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts; Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin; Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed, about legendary New York congresswoman Shirley Chisholm; and Slavery by Another Name, a feature documentary for PBS that will make its debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

The night before the class there will be reception and a free screening of Brother Outsider, for which Pollard was executive producer. The recipient of more than twenty-five awards and honors since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003 and its national broadcast on PBS’s P.O.V. Series, Brother Outsider has introduced millions to the life and work of Bayard Rustin—“the unknown hero” of the civil rights movement, a visionary activist who dared to live as an openly gay man during a fiercely homophobic time. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Rustin’s birth.

Both the screening and the master class are free and open to the public; no registration is required. Snacks will be provided.

Screening of Brother Outsider
Friday, January 13, 5:30 p.m., reception; 6 p.m. screening, followed by a Q&A with Pollard
Franklin Humanities Institute Garage, Smith Warehouse, C105, Bay 4
114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Durham, North Carolina 

Master Class
Saturday, January 14, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies, Auditoreum
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina 


Samuel Pollard. Image courtesy of

Pollard’s career as a producer, director, and editor spans more than thirty years. His directing and producing credits include the documentaries Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crosswords; I’ll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community; Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun; When the Levees Broke; and Chisholm ’72, among many others. Pollard also edited the Spike Lee films Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers, Bamboozled, and When the Levees Broke. His productions have won multiple Emmy Awards; Four Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the 1965 Birmingham church bombings coproduced by Pollard and Spike Lee, was nominated for an Academy Award. He is a recipient of the Peabody Award, the George Polk Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the Pare Lorentz Award from the International Documentary Association. Pollard teaches film studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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