Stanley Nelson

Active - 2000 - 2021  |   Genres - History, Culture & Society

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Biography by Andrea LeVasseur

Documentary filmmaker and Revson fellow Stanley Nelson received his B.F.A. from the City College of New York before moving on to the American Film Institute and Columbia University. He has since taught at numerous universities and served on many prestigious committees, including jury positions at the Sundance Film Festival. He was also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the executive producer of Firelight Media, a non-profit production company he founded with partner and writer Marcia Smith. One of Nelson's earliest documentaries was Two Dollars and a Dream, a biography of America's first woman millionaire, Madame C.J. Walker. His next major project was The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, a documentary about early black-owned-and-operated newspapers, with narration by Joe Morton, which won the Freedom of Expression award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999. Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind and Running: The Campaign for City Council (both 2001) were also highly acclaimed. Nelson's next two films competed at Sundance before debuting on the PBS series American Experience. The Murder of Emmett Till, with narration by Andre Braugher, examined the 1955 murder of a young teenage boy in Mississippi, and earned Nelson an Emmy award. He turned to a more personal subject matter with 2003'sA Place of Our Own, a look at his childhood summers spent at Oak Bluffs, the predominately black resort community on Martha's Vineyard.

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