- DIRECTOR Stanley Nelson
- PRODUCER Laurens Grant
- DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Robert Shepard
- EDITORS Lewis Erskine & Aljernon Tunsil
- ORIGINAL CONCEPT Paul Taylor
- ORIGINAL MUSIC Tom Phillips
- ARCHIVAL PRODUCER Lewanne Jones
- ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Stacey Holman
- EXCLUSIVE CORPORATE FUNDING PROVIDED BY Liberty Mutual
- MAJOR FUNDING PROVIDED BY Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
- ADDITIONAL FUNDING PROVIDED BY National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the WGBH Documentary Investment Group
FREEDOM RIDERS WON THREE EMMY AWARDS!
Freedom Riders won three Primetime Emmy Awards in the following categories: Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking; Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming; and Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming. Congrats to the Firelight Films team! To learn more about the awards, go here. The 63rd Primetime Creative Arts Emmys aired on September 17, 2011 at 8 PM on REELZCHANNEL.
Freedom Riders, directed and produced by Stanley Nelson and presented by the acclaimed PBS series American Experience, is a two-hour documentary film about the hundreds of civil rights activists who challenged segregation in interstate transport in the American South during the spring and summer of 1961.
In 1961, during the first year of John F. Kennedy’s presidency, more than four hundred Americans participated in a bold and dangerous experiment designed to awaken the conscience of a complacent nation.
These self-proclaimed “Freedom Riders” challenged the mores of a racially segregated society by performing a disarmingly simple act. Traveling together in small interracial groups, they sat where they pleased on buses and trains and demanded unrestricted access to terminal restaurants and waiting rooms, even in areas of the Deep South where such behavior was forbidden by law and custom.
Their efforts were met with extreme violence and brought international attention to the fight against segregation, exploitation and racism known as the Civil Rights Movement. Freedom Riders chronicles the story behind this courageous group of civil rights activists. Freedom Riders garnered three Primetime Emmy Awards and was one of 16 films selected from 862 Submissions for the US Documentary Competition of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film was also an Official Selection of the 2010 Silverdocs Documentary Festival and the 2010 Full Frame Documentary Festival.
Director Stanley Nelson and almost 200 Freedom Riders appeared on The Oprah Show on May 4th. For more info click here
The film aired on the PBS series American Experience on May 16, 2011 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides.
For more information about the film, go here.
Based in part on the book: Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice
By Raymond Arsenault