MILWAUKEE, February 5, 2016 – Indie Lens Pop-Up, presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Independent Lens, and Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV), is excited to offer an advance screening of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a film by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson.
In the late 1960s, as change was coming to America — as cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights — a new revolutionary culture was emerging seeking to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, at least for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution premieres on Independent Lens Tuesday, February 16 at 8:00 PM on MPTV 10.
MPTV will host a free preview of the documentary that is open to the public. After the screening, there will be a discussion with Walter Chesser, Clayborn Benson III, and Dr. Kenneth O’Reilly. Chesser was a member of the Milwaukee Black Panthers chapter, Benson is Historian and Executive Director of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum, and Dr. O’Reilly is the author of “Racial Matters: The FBI’s Secret Files on Black America, 1960-1972.” O’Reilly was a resource for Stanley Nelson this documentary, and currently teaches at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
The screening will be held on Monday, February 8 at 6:00 p.m. at Wisconsin Black Historical Society & Museum, located at 2620 W. Center Street. The screening is free and open to the public, but seating is first come, first served. RSVPs are strongly recommended and can be made via email at [email protected] or by calling (414) 297-7514.
The film is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and dozens of others, alongside a soul-power soundtrack of the music so integral to the Party’s identity. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of The Revolution is an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that gave rise to a new revolutionary culture in America.
Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) is southeastern Wisconsin’s premier non-commercial media organization. MPTV consists of two high-definition television stations, WMVS and WMVT, and seven additional digital television services. The MPTV stations are the area’s only over-the-air source for PBS and other national public television programs, and also offer a diverse schedule of their own award-winning local series and specials. The stations are watched by over 614,329 viewers each week throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. For more information, visit www.mptv.org.
About the Filmmakers
Stanley Nelson (Director/Writer/Producer) is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellow, and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in August 2014. Nelson has directed and produced numerous acclaimed films, including Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple and The Murder Of Emmett Till. He is also co-founder and Executive Director of Firelight Media, which provides support to emerging documentarians. Currently in production is Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the second in a series of three films Nelson will direct as part of a new multiplatform PBS series entitled America Revisited.
Laurens Grant (Producer) is a Peabody and three-time Emmy award-winning producer and director who has been making films for more than a decade. Her documentary Jesse Owens won an Emmy for Outstanding Research and received two Emmy nominations, for Outstanding Historical – Long Form and Outstanding Music and Sound. Grant also produced Freedom Riders, which premiered at Sundance, won a Peabody, three Primetime Emmys, was featured on Oprah, and clips are featured in Lee Daniels’ film, The Butler.
About Indie Lens Pop-Up
Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on PBS’s Independent Lens, Indie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders and organizations together to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics, to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation. Can’t attend in person? Find Independent Lens on Facebook for information on our online Pop-Up events.
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00 pm. The acclaimed series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For more visit pbs.org/independentlens. Join the conversation at facebook.com/independentlens and @IndependentLens.