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:

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.