2014 Press Releases

National Archives Screens -Freedom Summer- May 28 at 7 p.m.
Press Release · Thursday, May 22, 2014

Washington, DC

Director Stanley Nelson will introduce and discuss his new Civil Rights documentary

On Wednesday, May 28, at 7 p.m., the National Archives welcomes filmmaker Stanley Nelson to screen and discuss Freedom Summer, his Civil Rights documentary. This special event is presented in partnership with AFI DOCS Documentary Festival 2014, and in conjunction with both the new Records of Rights exhibit in the David M. Rubenstein Gallery and the upcoming display of the original Civil Rights Act of 1964 (June 18 - September 16, 2014).

This event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance, located on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. The building is open 10 AM —5:30 PM daily, and is fully accessible. Metro: Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station.

About Freedom Summer

In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not look away from events in Mississippi. Over ten memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in an historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation’s most segregated states. Working together, they canvassed for voter registration, created Freedom Schools, and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party with the goal of challenging the segregationist state Democratic Party at the national convention in Atlantic City. Freedom Summer was marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of 35 churches and the bombing of 70 homes and community centers.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders, The Murder of Emmett Till), Freedom Summer highlights an overlooked but essential element of the civil rights movement: the patient and long-term efforts by outside activists and local citizens in Mississippi to organize communities and register black voters — even in the face of intimidation, physical violence and death. A Firelight Films Production for American Experience. (2013; 113 minutes)

Stanley Nelson (Producer/Director/Writer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, MacArthur “genius” Fellow and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences. Nelson is the director of 12 documentary features, including Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple and The Murder of Emmett Till. He is also co-founder and executive director of Firelight Media, which provides technical education and professional support to emerging documentarians. With seven of his films having premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and multiple industry awards to his credit, Nelson is acknowledged as one of the premiere documentary filmmakers working today. Nelson is currently in production on The Black Panthers: Seize the Time, which is the first in a series of three films Nelson will direct as part of a new multi-platform PBS series entitled America Revisited.


?AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute’s annual documentary festival in the WashingtonDC, area. Presenting the year’s best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the seat of our nation’s government. The AFI DOCS advisory board includes Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Albert Maysles, Errol Morris, D. A. Pennebaker and Frederick Wiseman. Now in its 12th year, the festival will be held June 18-22, 2014 in landmark Washington, DC, venues and the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. Visit AFI.com/AFIDOCS and connect on twitter.com/AFIDOCS, facebook.com/AFIDOCS and youtube.com/AFI.

New reservation system for the public:

Starting June 1, reservations for public programs in the McGowan Theater can be made online through the Foundation for the National Archives:

1. Register at http://www.archivesfoundation.org/events

2. Print your email confirmation and bring it to the program.

Walk-ins may be admitted, pending seat availability. To reserve by phone or for more information, call 202-357-6814.

To verify the date and times of the programs, call the National Archives Public Programs Line at: 202 357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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