For Sam Pollard, Emmy and Peabody award-winning a director, producer, picture editor and frequent collaborator with Spike Lee (Style Wars, Mo' Better Blues, Girl 6, Bamboozled, Clockers, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Four Little Girls and August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand), and for Lillian Benson, recipient of the 2017 Motion Picture Editor's Guild Fellowship and Service Award and Emmy and Peabody award-winning picture editor (Get In The Way: The Journey of John Lewis and Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise) documentary filmmaking has proven to be the most powerful form of expression artistically, personally and professionally.
Coming up during the civil rights movement of the late 1960’s and 70’s New York they recognized the documentary film form as a medium that amplified their own voices and talents in telling the story of African Americans. Though their paths crossed on several New York-based projects, it was the Peabody and multi-Emmy award-winning, Eyes on the Prize Parts 1 and 2, the landmark 14-part documentary series, telling the story of the American civil rights movement from 1952 to 1985 that was the most pivotal experience.
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In this episode, Pollard and Benson tell their story of rising up through the New York documentary film scene to become two of the most important and influential documentarians of their generation.