AFI Docs to honor Stanley Nelson

The annual festival has named Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution director Stanley Nelson (pictured) as this year's Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.
May 6, 2015

AFI Docs has named documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson (pictured) is this year’s Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.

Nelson, whose latest film is The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, will receive the honor at a free public event during the American Film Institute-run festival, which runs from June 17 to 21 in Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, MD.

On June 19, Nelson will participate in a presentation of his work and a discussion with Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday at the National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater.

“Stanley Nelson’s masterful documentation of American history will continue to inspire audiences and young filmmakers for generations,” said AFI Docs director Michael Lumpkin in a statement. “We are proud to pay tribute to Nelson’s vibrant career and his ability to provoke change through documentary filmmaking.”

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution will also screen during the festival. The doc premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and will get a theatrical run this fall via PBS Distribution. It will then air on PBS’ documentary strand ‘Independent Lens’ in 2016.

Nelson’s past films include 1999′s The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, 2003′s The Murder of Emmett Till, 2006′s Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple and 2011′s Freedom Riders.

The Murder of Emmett Till won an Emmy, a Peabody Award and a Special Jury Prize at Sundance, and helped lead the U.S. Justice Department to revisit the 1955 murder case of a 14-year-old African-American boy killed after he allegedly flirted with a white woman.

Past Guggenheim Symposium honorees include Barbara Kopple, Spike LeeAlbert Maysles, Frederick Wiseman, Errol Morris and Alex Gibney.

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