Sam Pollard, Director, is one of the most respected names in the world of documentary cinema, the recipient of an Oscar nomination and multiple Emmy awards. He produced the HBO documentaries Four Little Girls, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, and If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise. Pollard directed the acclaimed documentary Slavery by Another Name, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and subsequently aired on PBS. He also directed four episodes of PBS’s American Masters--including, most recently, August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand--and two installments of the groundbreaking series Eyes on the Prize.
Pollard edited the documentaries Sinatra: All or Nothing at All, Joe Papp in 5 Acts, By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, and Feel Like Going Home, part of The Blues series presented by Martin Scorsese. Since 1994 Pollard has served on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Common, Narrator and Executive Producer, is an Academy Award-winning actor and musician, as well as a renowned author and philanthropist. He was recently seen in Selma, a film centered around the 1965 civil rights marches that changed America, and also appears in Barbershop 3 alongside Ice Cube, Nicki Minaj, and Eve.
Prior to acting, Common rose to prominence as one of hip hop’s most poetic and respected lyricists. He has recorded ten studio albums, including Nobody's Smiling and Finding Forever, and garnered multiple Grammy Awards. In 2000, he launched his own philanthropic effort, The Common Ground Foundation, whose mission is dedicated to the empowerment and development of disadvantaged youth in urban communities.
For their collaboration in "Glory," Common and John Legend won an Academy Award in 2015 for “Best Original Song In A Motion Picture.” Whether inspiring audiences through music, movies, television, books or his foundation, Common continues to break new ground, and remains one of hip-hop’s most innovative, positive voices. www.thinkcommon.com
Gary Clark Jr., Featured Music, is bringing the soul of the blues to a new generation. With his debut album Blak and Blu, he became the first artist recognized by the Recording Academy with Grammy nominations in both the Rock and R&B categories for the same album in the same year. "Please Come Home" off Blak and Blu won the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance.
The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, the highly anticipated follow up, was released in 2015. Rock, R&B, blues, soul, pop, psychedelia, punk and hip-hop are all part of Clark’s expansive musical embrace. He also contributed two acoustic blues performances to the soundtrack for 12 Years a Slave. Gary Clark Jr. Live came out in 2014. Learn more at www.garyclarkjr.com.
Benjamin Hedin, Producer and Writer, has written for a number of publications, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, The Nation, Chicago Tribune, The Oxford American, and Poets and Writers. He has taught at New York University and The New School and is the editor of Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader, widely regarded as one of the finest collections of music writing. His nonfiction chronicle, In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now, was published in 2015.
Dava Whisenant, Editor and Co-Producer, got her start in features as an Editorial Assistant for Steven Soderbergh. She co-edited Focus Features’ 3D documentary Under The Electric Sky, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and also edited the PBS feature documentary Merle Haggard: Learning to Live With Myself. Whisenant served as Supervising Editor of NBC’s Emmy-nominated docu-series Who Do You Think You Are? and Supervising Producer for the U.S. version of Hairy Bikers, a humorous travel series produced by BBC Worldwide. For many years she was an editor for The Late Show With David Letterman.
Whisenant is the director and producer of The Industrial Musicals Movie, a feature documentary in postproduction.
Natalie Kingston, Director of Photography, has worked with distinction on dozens of feature films, documentaries, commercials, and music videos. In 2011 she was honored with the Zeiss Precision Image Award for her film After the Circus. Two years later she received a Gold Addy Advertising Award, Special Judges Award, and the Best of Show Award for The Passion Series, a collection of short documentaries. And at the 2013 48 Hour Film Festival in New Orleans, she was given the award of Best Cinematography for her work on the film Wanderlust. Recently she completed production on Atchafalaya, a short film. Her production company is www.constructfilms.com.
Christopher North, Score, is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has contributed to the score for more than 40 films. He has been featured at Carnegie Hall and on multiple Grammy Award-winning recordings, and played bass with Quincy Jones, the Dixie Chicks, Rosanne Cash, as well as in Broadway orchestras. Variety recently dubbed him a "notable asset."
Since 1997 North has taught at New York's 92nd Street Y. He is a 2015 Sundance Institute Lab Fellow. Hear more at www.christophernorth.com.
Apparat, Animation Design, is a multi-disciplinary animation studio based in Stockholm, Sweden. Their work was featured in Searching for Sugar Man, the 2013 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary. Apparat has also contributed animation to commercials for IKEA and Toca Boca and several music promos and documentaries. Please visit them at apparatfilm.se.
* Photo courtesy Civil Rights Movement Veterans