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12th ANNUAL "DAY OF BLACK DOCS" Saturday, May 5, 2018

Written by 05 Apr,2018

The Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West (BADWest) presents their 12th annual "Day of Black Docs" on Saturday, May 5, 2018, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the American Film Institute (AFI) Mark Goodson Theater, 2021 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027. Free parking is available.

Saturday, May 5, 2018
12PM - 5PM



California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators Momentous Insurance Brokerage, Inc.
  • • Tickets for the entire day's event are $20.00 and can be purchased in advance on-line at
  • Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at AFI. Due to seating, purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended.

MODERATER: Leander Sales

Leander SalesLeander Sales is a member of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild and serving as the Co-Chair of MPEG African American Steering Committee. Has worked with Spike Lee on nine of his feature films in the editing department. Associate editor on Clockers and Girl 6, then as editor on Get on the Bus. Editor of Hookers at the Point: 5 Years Later documentary directed by Brent Owens. As a director, Leander received first prize at the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Film Festival of Oakland, California for his debut feature film Don't Let Your Meat Loaf. The Life I Meant to Live is Leander's second feature film.


Evidence of the Evidence
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Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me
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More films and details to come soon on how to purchase tickets.


Evidence of the EvidenceEvidence of the Evidence

Alex Johnston Director/Producer


The 1971 Attica prison uprising is a signature moment of radical resistance for the American Civil Rights movement. The subsequent retaking of the prison however, "the bloodiest one-day encounter between Americans since the Civil War," is an open wound. Evidence of the Evidence explores this tortured history through a granular interrogation of its archival materials. Utilizing rarely seen video recordings shot by a New York State Trooper, the film offers a visceral ground level account of the events at Attica, but also chronicles the contemporaneous mediation and narrativization of these events. Evidence of the Evidence is a timely and urgent work of both agit-prop and media criticism. The film is directed by Alex Johnston.
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Alex JohnstonAlex Johnston is a documentary media maker, editor, teacher, media archaeologist and PhD candidate in Film and Digital Media at the University of California Santa Cruz. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Documentation also from UC Santa Cruz. His scholarly and creative work engages questions of narrativity, gesture, embodiment, and historical representation in contemporary media practices, with an emphasis on American social movement history. His films, including Way Down in the Hole (2011), NOW! AGAIN! (2014) and Evidence of the Evidence (2017) have screened at a wide variety of venues, including San Francisco's Other Cinema, the New Orleans Film Festival, Iowa City Documentary Film Festival, Thin Line Film festival, and the Miners' Colfax Medical Center, a convalescent home for retired hard rock and coal miners in Raton, New Mexico. Alex is also the managing editor of the online media journal "Now! A Journal of Urgent Praxis." (


Big City Blues 155BIG CITY BLUES

St. Clair Bourne – Director


BIG CITY BLUES A musical documentary about a new look at an old American musical form--the Blues. The film mixes scenes of the city of Chicago with musical performances and interviews with people connected with the Blues. In Big City Blues, the film examines the links between the past and the present: the old time blues singer Jim Brewer is presented alongside Son Seals, Queen Sylvia Embry and Bill Branch. The film is directed by the late St. Clair Bourne, founder of the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West (BADWest), and edited by Director/Editor/Producer Sam Pollard.
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St Clair Bourne2St. Clair Bourne was a Harlem-born and Brooklyn-bred filmmaker, writer, activist, teacher, and organizer. Bourne produced an essential chronicle of African-American life, from his early days as a producer, director, and cameraman for the pioneering series Black Journal (alongside colleagues Lou Potter, William Greaves, Kent Garrett, and Madeline Anderson), to the founding of the Black Documentary Collective (BDC), the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West (BADWest) and the journal Chamba Notes. He also developed projects that explored African-American cultural figures, such as Langton Hughes, Gordon Parks and Paul Robeson. [In a 36-year career in which he made more than 40 films, either producing or directing or doing both, Bourne's works were seen on public television, commercial networks and at film festivals around the country. He passed away in 2007, a towering figure in the documentary film world.



SAM POLLARD – Director/Editor/Producer


MAYNARD Maynard Jackson Jr., the first black Mayor of a major southern city, Atlanta. The Obama before Obama.


In 1968 after the assassinations of MLK Jr. and Robert Kennedy, he announced his candidacy for the Georgia U.S. Senate against known segregationist, Herman Talmadge. His loss ultimately ignited a movement in the south that was started by Dr. King then picked up by Maynard. The “enforcer” of affirmative action and voter turnout, Maynard crafted successful diversity, inclusion & engagement templates still practiced today, and transformed the reputation of Atlanta from the “heart of the confederate south” to a cosmopolitan world-class city. A Film by Sam Pollard.
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SammyDavis2Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me

SAM POLLARD – Director


Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me is the first major film documentary to examine Davis' vast talent and his journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America.


Sammy Davis, Jr. had the kind of career that was indisputably legendary, so vast and multi-faceted that it was dizzying in its scope and scale. And yet, his life was complex, complicated and contradictory. Featuring new interviews with such luminaries as Billy Crystal, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg and Kim Novak, with never-before-seen photographs from Davis' vast personal collection and excerpts from his electric performances in television, film and concert, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me explores the life and art of a uniquely gifted entertainer whose trajectory blazed across the major flashpoints of American society from the Depression through the 1980s. A Film by Sam Pollard.
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Sam PollardSAM POLLARD is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost 30 years. 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. For one of his episodes in this series, he received an Emmy. 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, Pollard received a Peabody Award.


Between 1990 and 2010, Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee’s films: Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers and Bamboozled. Pollard and Lee also 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 Pollard received an Emmy; Four Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombings that 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, 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, Pollard has produced and directed Slavery By Another Name (2012), a 90-minute documentary for PBS that was in competition at the Sundance Film Festival; August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand (2015), a 90-minute documentary for American Masters; Two Trains Runnin’ (2016), a feature-length documentary that premiered at the Full Frame Film Festival; and The Talk: Race in America (2017) for PBS.


Schedule for the event

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
– Registration
12:00 PM
– Evidence of the Evidence
– Q & A with Alex Johnston
- Maynard
– Big City Blues
– Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me
– Q & A with Sam Pollard via Skype


Tickets and Directions


The Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West is a project of Fulcrum Arts' Emerge fiscal sponsorship program.


The Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West (BAD West) is a professional organization providing people of African descent working in documentary film, video or other media the opportunity to network professionally, share resources, exchange ideas and meet socially in order to enhance the development, production, promotion and exhibition of documentaries. The Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West also advocates the recognition and professional advancement of Black documentary filmmakers.