PBS acquires Stanley Nelson’s “Black Panthers” doc

PBS Distribution has picked up the U.S. theatrical rights to Stanley Nelson's doc The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution and is planning a limited release for the fall.
February 3, 2015

PBS Distribution has picked up the U.S. theatrical rights to director Stanley Nelson’s documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month.

The doc will get a theatrical run in select cinemas this fall before airing on PBS doc strand ‘Independent Lens’ in winter 2016. PBS will also handle VOD and home entertainment distribution.

Nelson tells the story of the black nationalist and socialist group – founded in 1966 in Oakland – from the perspective of loyal and former party members, police, FBI informants, journalists, detractors, and white supporters.

“I am gratified that PBS has the courage and foresight to bring this film to audiences across the country,” said Nelson in a statement. “The Black Panthers made an indelible imprint on American culture and politics. The story of their rise and fall is essential history for understanding the times we live in, and the complicated political dynamics that are still at play.”

Nelson, whose credits include Freedom Riders and The Murder of Emmett Till, was among a group of doc talent that gathered during Sundance to discuss the impact public broadcasting support has had on their careers.

Watch the trailer for The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution below:

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.