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PANEL: Through Their Lens: The American Condition
Kleinert James Art Center WOODSTOCK
10/14/2017, 2:00PM
$ 15


Saturday 2 pm

Do the arts have a responsibility to society? In the current climate, as arts funding undergoes greater scrutiny, the purpose and function (if any) of art becomes ever more significant. Documentary films provide a lens through which audiences come face-to-face with all kinds of people in a variety of circumstances; films illuminating such issues as racial discrimination, inequality in education, voter rights, clean energy, same sex marriage, medical marijuana, gender equality, community organizing -- all subjects of concern in America today. In this panel, stellar documentarians come together to discuss their role in making films that help define the American Condition: the values, hopes, struggles, and victories of citizens all across the country.


Richard Rowley is an Academy Award-nominated director and Sundance Film Festival winning cinematographer, with 19 years experience producing and directing and 23 years shooting for screen and television. His documentary feature Dirty Wars pioneered a fusion of nonfiction reportage and dramatic narrative storytelling, winning him dozens of festival awards and an Academy Award nomination. His other theatrically released documentary features have been honored at scores of festivals around the world, from Berlin to Sundance. Rowley has directed, produced and filmed dozens of television documentaries for Channel 4, BBC, Canal +, ZDF, ARD, CBC, PBS, CNN International, Al Jazeera, and others. Recently, he was lead cinematographer for Showtime's climate change series, Years of Living Dangerously, and one of the directors of EPIX's America Divided.

James Redford writes, produces and directs for Film and Television. Prior to completing Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution for HBO, James' other HBO films include Toxic Hot Seat, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, Mann v. Ford, and The Kindness of Strangers. While completing Happening, James traveled the world as an American Film Showcase ambassador with his two award-winning documentary films, Resilience: the Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope and Paper Tigers. James, along with his father, Robert Redford, co-founded, and currently chairs, The Redford Center, a nonprofit media entity that engages people through inspiring stories that galvanize environmental action.

Bob Herbert is the director and executive editor of Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class. He's the author of Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America, published by Doubleday, and the moderator of Bob Herbert's OP-ED.TV, a weekly interview program on CUNY-TV. For nearly 20 years, Herbert was an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, writing about politics, urban affairs and social trends. Previously, he worked at The Daily News as general assignment reporter, national correspondent, consumer affairs editor, city hall bureau chief and city editor. and he became a columnist and a member of the Editorial Board. In addition to newspaper work, Herbert was a national correspondent for NBC News. He has won numerous awards, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors award for distinguished newspaper writing and the Ridenhour Courage Prize for the fearless articulation of unpopular truths.

Sam Pollard is a Peabody Award and Emmy Award winning filmmaker. His work as an editor and as a producer, director spans nearly 30 years. Pollard's first assignment was as producer of 1989's Henry Hampton's Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads, for which he received an Emmy. He was co-executive producer and producer of Hampton's series, I'll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community, and received a Peabody Award. From 1990–2010, Pollard teamed up with Spike Lee as an editor for several of his films. Since 2012, he has produced/directed Slavery by Another Name for PBS; August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand for PBS' American Masters series; the feature documentary Two Trains Runnin; and this year's The Talk: Race in America for PBS.


Nancy Abraham, SVP, Documentary Programming for HBO is responsible for the development and production of HBO Documentary Films that have garnered numerous awards including Emmys, Peabodys, DuPonts and Academy Awards. Previously, Abraham was Director of Film Acquisition and spent three years in Budapest as Director of Programming for HBO Hungary.

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