PBS, Sundance Productions, Smoking Dogs Films,
and Cactus Three Announce a New Documentary About The Historic March on Washington THE MARCH
Premiering on the Eve of the 50th Anniversary
of Original March on Tuesday, August 27th at 8:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.
- Featuring Interviews with Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, Diahann Carroll,
Clarence B. Jones, Tom Hayden, Oprah Winfrey, Andrew Young and More -
Peoria, IL – JULY 1, 2013 — PBS, Sundance Productions, Smoking Dogs Films, and Cactus
Three today announced THE MARCH,
a new documentary honoring the 50th anniversary of the original March on Washington, a watershed
moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Unprecedented in size, the August 28, 1963 massive demonstration
for racial and economic equality issued a clarion call for racial justice that would help usher in
sweeping civil rights legislation and a sea change in public opinion. The event, which will forever
be remembered for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s stirring “I Have a Dream” speech, endures today as
a symbol of unity and monumental impact. Produced by Lina Gopaul and David Lawson, THE
MARCH is directed by John Akomfrah, with Krysanne Katsoolis, Robert Redford and Laura
Michalchyshyn as Executive Producers. Sam Pollard is Consulting Producer, with Gina Belafonte as
Associate Producer. THE MARCH premieres on Tuesday, August 27th at 8:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.
In addition to the U.S. premiere on PBS and WTVP, THE MARCH will be screened by
international broadcast co-producers the BBC and France 3.
THE MARCH reveals the dramatic story behind the event through the
remembrances of key players such as Jack O’Dell, Clarence B. Jones, Julian Bond and Andrew Young.
Supporters and other testimonials of the March include Harry Belafonte, Diahann Carroll, Roger Mudd,
Peter Yarrow and Oprah Winfrey in addition to historians, journalists, authors and ordinary citizens
who joined some 250,000 Americans who thronged to the capital on that momentous day to peacefully
demand an end to two centuries of discrimination and injustice.
“Viewers turn to PBS to provide great programs that explore our nation’s history,”
said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming.
“The 50th anniversary of this major milestone provides the perfect opportunity to examine the legacy
of the original March.”
“The story of people who suffered profound injustice in America and fought it with
sacrifice and courage is something we should never forget,” said Executive Producer Robert Redford.
“I hope the generations who see this film will be inspired by it.”
With exhaustive research and deploying remarkable rare archival footage, THE
MARCH recounts the dramatic events that took place not only in front of the cameras but behind
the scenes, revealing how one of the most important events in the Civil Rights Movement almost didn’t
happen, told by those who refused to back down and whose lives it forever changed.
“The March is the watershed moment of the Civil Rights Movement, the
culmination of a hundred years of activism against segregation and social injustice for people of
color in the U.S.,” said director John Akomfrah. “Re-telling this story is my small contribution to
that monumental struggle.”
In addition to the broadcast of THE MARCH, PBS will honor the 50th
anniversary with a full week of special online programming and events.
PBS Black Culture Connection
website will unveil The March @50, a new web series by Shukree Hassan Tilghman (More Than
a Month), which asks if America has delivered on the original demands of the marchers for jobs
and freedom. PBS member stations will be sparking community engagement with Memories of the
March, a series of video vignettes featuring first-person accounts from those who were present
at the event or whose lives were impacted by the March. PBS Black Culture Connection will host a full
day of special events and activities on the anniversary, including live chats, film screenings, and
hosted discussions on a variety of issues and topics.
Major funding for THE MARCH is provided by the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting’s Diversity and Innovation Fund which supports content that engages diverse viewers
and encourages the use of emerging technologies to reach new audiences, PBS, the BBC and
THE MARCH is a Smoking Dogs Films Production produced by Lina Gopaul
and David Lawson and directed by John Akomfrah. Executive Producers are Krysanne Katsoolis,
Cactus Three, and Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn, Sundance Productions. Sam Pollard is
Consulting Producer, with Gina Belafonte as Associate Producer.
About Smoking Dogs Films
Smoking Dogs Films, formed in 1998 by producers Lina Gopaul and David Lawson and film director
John Akomfrah, was conceived to produce works of imagination and innovation within the broadcast,
film and the creative arts. The three partners had a long and collaborative career prior to the
formation of the company as the founding members of the acclaimed cine-cultural group Black Audio
The three partners have made over forty films and their collaborative works have
won over 35 international awards. Their most recent film, The Nine Muses, collected awards
at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the Asia/Africa Prize at the Dubai International
Film Festival in 2011. In 2005 the company was awarded the prestigious IVCA Clarion Award (UK) for
the company’s effective contribution to cultural diversity in broadcast and film.
Smoking Dogs has produced a number of critically-acclaimed, award-winning, high-profile,
music, arts and social issue documentaries, including biographies of iconic figures such as Malcolm X,
Martin Luther King, Jr., and Louis Armstrong. The company has also produced mold-breaking historical
and social documentaries such as Urban Soul –The Making of Modern Day R&B, Oil Spill–The
Exxon Valdez Disaster, Riot and the lyrical Handsworth Songs. The company’s films
have been made with a number of blue-chip broadcasters, including the BBC, Channel Four TV, A&E, ARTE,
NHK, ZDF, MNET and NTA.
The company’s two most recent productions, The Stuart Hall Project (2013)
and The Nine Muses (2011) launched at the prestigious Sundance and Venice Film Festivals
and were released theatrically.
About Cactus Three
Krysanne Katsoolis is a founding partner of Cactus Three, a New York-based company that specializes
in the production, financing and distribution of specialized films. In the past decade the company
has produced more than 30 award-winning documentaries including Oscar winner The Cove and
Academy Award nominee Which Way Home, Sketches of Frank Gehry, directed by Sydney Pollack,
Once in a Lifetime for Miramax Films, Family Bonds, an HBO series, and
loudQUIETloud — a Film About the Pixies. Katsoolis is currently Co-Executive Producer with
Martin Scorsese on the feature documentary Tanny Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun. Other upcoming
projects include It’s a Disaster and Hard Apple, an animated series.
About Sundance Productions
Launched and founded in 2012 by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn, Sundance Productions develops
and produces innovative, compelling television content for linear and digital platforms in the U.S.
and around the world. Sundance Productions partners with leading storytellers, directors, and producers
for the production of authentic tent pole series and specials across all platforms. In April 2013 Sundance
Productions’ documentary All the President’s Men Revisited was broadcast on Discovery Ch in the US
and is rolling out worldwide. Upcoming projects include Chicagoland a Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin
directed series for CNN and Cathedrals of Culture, a 3D series being executive produced with Wim
Wenders/ Neue Road Media.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967,
is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations
of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the
largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television
and related online services.
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas
and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people
through television and over 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science,
history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class
drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most
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About the BBC
The BBC’s (British Broadcasting Corporation) mission is to inform, educate and entertain audiences with
programs and services of high quality, originality and value. THE MARCH will air on BBC Two
in August 2013, around the time of the anniversary of the March on Washington. BBC Two is a mixed-genre
channel with programs of depth and substance. It includes the greatest amount and range of
knowledge-building programming on the BBC, complemented by distinctive comedy, drama and arts programming.
About FRANCE 3
As a public broadcaster, France 3 is the second largest channel of France Télévisions. THE
MARCH is being co-produced by France 3, one of the five channels of the French largest public
audiovisual group, France Télévisions, the major public production-funding arm in France, and the premier
bouquet of free digital channels, with a 33% market share. The editorial line of France 3’s Documentary
Department, headed by Dana Hastier, is based on Contemporary History and Politics, within the strands
IMMEDIATE HISTORY and FORBIDDEN DOCS.
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org