‘MLK/FBI’ Director Sam Pollard Named the 2021 Hirshon Artist-in-Residence at The New School

Pollard will be the 2021 Dorothy H. Hirshon Artist-in-Residence at the School of Media Studies at The New School, where he will host a public screening and discussion and lead master classes for students at the New York City university

  Pictured: Sam Pollard

New York, February 16, 2021 -- The School of Media Studies at The New School is thrilled to announce award-winning producer and director Sam Pollard as its Spring 2021 Dorothy H. Hirshon Artist-in-Residence. During his online residency, Pollard will lead a master class and share his filmmaking process with New School students. In addition, Pollard will host a public event featuring his work, followed by a discussion and Q&A of his work with Michelle Materre, Director of the Media Management Program & Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film.

Sam Pollard is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost thirty years. His most recent documentary, MLK/FBI was released this January to universal critical acclaim.

"Pollard’s documentaries are a thoughtful investigation of the African-American experience in the US, and yet, as a recent New York Times article points out, he is “clear-eyed about American history, culture, and race relations without condemnation or hopelessness,” said Vladan Nikolic, Dean of The School of Media Studies at The New School.

His first assignment as a documentary producer came in 1989 for Henry Hampton's Blackside production Eyes on The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads, earning an Emmy for one of the episodes in this series. Eight years later, he returned to Blackside as Co-Executive Producer/Producer of Hampton's last documentary series I'll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community.  For the series, Mr. Pollard received The George Peabody Award.  
Between 1990 and 2010, Mr. Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee's films: Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers, and Bamboozled.  As well, Mr. Pollard and Mr. Lee co-produced a number of documentary productions for the small and big screen: Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, a biographical sketch for HBO for which Mr. Pollard received an Emmy, Four Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombings which was nominated for an Academy Award and When The Levees Broke, a four part documentary that won numerous awards, including a Peabody and three Emmy Awards. Five years later 2010, he co-produced and supervised the edit on the follow up to Levees If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise.
Since 2012, Mr. Pollard has completed, as a producer/director, Slavery By Another Name, a 90-minute documentary for PBS that was in competition at the Sundance Festival, August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand, a 90-minute documentary in 2015 for American Masters, Two Trains Runnin,’ a feature length documentary in 2016 that premiered at the Full Frame Film Festival, also in 2017 The Talk: Race in America for PBS and CPB. His latest film Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me for American Masters premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Master Class with Sam Pollard, 2021 Spring Hirshon Artist-in-Residence
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
4:00-6:00 PM EDT
Open to anyone with a New School email address (required to register)

"Through His Eyes: Sam Pollard's Historical Lens" Screening, 2021 Spring Hirshon Artist-in-Residence
Thursday, February 25, 2021
6:00-8:00 PM EDT
Open to the general public

The Dorothy Hirshon Artist-in-Residence program was established by the late New School Trustee Dorothy Hirshon, to honor and promote excellence and education of the filmmaking arts at The New School. Previous Hirshon Artists-in-Residence have included Mary Harron, Raoul Peck, Sean Baker, Laurie Anderson, James Cameron Mitchell, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Benh Zeitlin, Ramin Bahrani, and John Waters.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.



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The New School
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