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freedom riders

May 11, 20113 years ago

Freedom Riders Screening at National Mall - Thursday, May 12!

FREEDOM RIDERS on the National Mall!


For one night only, all 10 Film Forward films screen simultaneously on the National Mall, with the filmmakers and special guest presenters at each location.
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 6 p.m.

McGowan Theater
National Archives, Constitution Ave., N.W.
between 7th St. and 9th St.
Washington, DC

FREE admission; ticket required.

THE HOST: Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services

For more info, go to
May 5, 20113 years ago

Backstage with Stanley Nelson on Oprah

"I think the lesson of the Freedom Riders is that you have to take the first step and just step out there and try to make a change." - Stanley Nelson

"I would rather be dead than not free, and that is the reason I got on that bus." - Freedom Rider

On Wednesday, May 4th, 2011, The Oprah Show commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Riders movement that challenged segregation and won. Oprah reunited almost 200 Freedom Riders who had risked their lives to change America, and showcased filmmaker Stanley Nelson's bold new film that tells their story, Freedom Riders. During the opening of the show, Oprah declared: "if it were not for these American heroes, this country would be a very different place right now.The lives of millions of you watching at home would be dramatically different. I know my life would be were it not for them."

Oprah asked everyone to gather their families and tune in to the PBS broadcast of Freedom Riders on May 16, 2011.

Backstage with Stanley Nelson
Click here to see the backstage interview with award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson.

Oprah's Tribute to the Freedom Rides
Click here to view Oprah's multimedia tribute to the Freedom Riders.

Why I Got on the Bus...
Click here to hear why the Freedom Riders joined the struggle and risked their lives.
May 5, 20113 years ago

Freedom Riders and Stanley Nelson on Democracy Now!

In this episode of Democracy Now , journalist Amy Goodman interviews filmmaker Stanley Nelson and two Freedom Riders, Bernard Lafayette and Jim Zwerg, who are featured in Nelson's powerful new documentary Freedom Riders. Freedom Riders is scheduled to air on PBS' American Experience on May 16, 2011 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.
May 2, 20113 years ago

Freedom Riders and Stanley Nelson on OPRAH May 4

Oprah Winfrey and Stanley Nelson Celebrate the 1961 Freedom Rides
Tune-In: May 4th on The Oprah Show!

Chicago, IL – Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, and nearly two hundred Freedom Riders will appear on a special episode of The Oprah Show. One week before the national PBS broadcast of the documentary Freedom Riders, which chronicles their heroic victory, Oprah Winfrey will sit down with leaders of the Freedom Riders’ movement and Stanley Nelson who is bringing their little known story into living rooms across America.

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April 19, 20113 years ago

Straight From China: Stanley Nelson Blogs About His Experience Screening FREEDOM RIDERS in Beijing

Stanley Nelson is screening FREEDOM RIDERS throughout China for two weeks. The tour is sponsored by Film Forward, an initiative of the Sundance Institute. Below is his blog entry:

I didn't know quite what to expect as the plane approached Beijing. I had been there 16 years ago but I heard the city had changed a great deal since 1996. There was no way that I could have anticipated the massive changes that have occurred. One of the first things that struck me was that there are cars everywhere and smog to go with it. Our hotel is more modern then any hotel I had seen in the States. American and European stores are all over and the people are very, very fashion conscious. When I remarked to a Chinese person about the changes they replied "Oh you must have been here when it was still 'the time of the bicycles.' "

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April 8, 20113 years ago


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.

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