True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality - HBO, 2019
In the last half-century, America has become the nation with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, authorized the execution of hundreds of condemned prisoners and continued to struggle to recover from a long history of racial injustice.
For more than three decades, Alabama public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has advocated on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. An intimate portrait of this remarkable man, True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it.
Director & Producers: Peter Kunhardt, George Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt
Premiere: 2019 AFI DOCS opening night film
Broadcast: HBO, June 26, 2019
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls - HBO, 2018
An illuminating, exclusive profile of one of the most influential forces in modern American politics. Serving 31 years, the six-term senior Arizona senator agreed to participate in the film shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer, providing unprecedented access to his daily life in Washington, D.C. and Sedona, Arizona. This sweeping account combines the senator's own voice, culled from original interviews, commentary and speeches, with archival newsreel and television footage and previously unseen home movies and photographs. The film also features interviews with family, friends, colleagues and leading political figures. Senator McCain’s recent battle with brain cancer underscores his fighting spirit and resilience as he continues to crusade for the causes he believes in, despite advancing health issues and daunting odds. What emerges is a portrait of an American maverick who has kept his eye on the most important American goals.
Director & Producers: Peter Kunhardt, George Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt
Broadcast: HBO, May 28, 2018 / CNN, August 26, 2018
Awards: ABCNews VideoSource Award, 2018 IDA Awards
Nominations: Best Political Documentary, 2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards
King in the Wilderness - HBO, 2018
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership during the the bus boycotts, the sit-ins, and the historic Selma-to-Montgomery marches is now considered the stuff of legend. But left out of the history books is much of what happened afterward, during the last three years of his life. King in the Wilderness reveals a conflicted leader who, after the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, faced an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum; the Black Power movement saw his nonviolence as weakness, and President Lyndon B. Johnson saw his anti–Vietnam War speeches as irresponsible. King’s fervent belief in peaceful protest became a testing point for a nation on the brink of chaos. Thanks to revelatory conversations with his inner circle of friends, King in the Wilderness unearths a stirring new perspective into Dr. King’s character, his radical doctrine of nonviolence, and his internal philosophical struggles prior to his assassination in 1968. With clarity and compassion, filmmaker Peter Kunhardt invites a sense of penetrating intimacy and insight into one of the most profound thinkers of our time.
Director: Peter Kunhardt, Producers: Peter Kunhardt, Taylor Branch, Trey Ellis, Jackie Glover, George Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt, Jill Cowan, Edited with: Steven Golliday
Premiere: 2018 Sundance Film Festival
Broadcast: HBO, April 2, 2018
Awards: Outstanding Historical Documentary, 2019 News & Documentary Emmys
Nominations: Outstanding Documentary (Television), 2019 NAACP Image Awards
Daughters of Destiny - NETFLIX, 2017
Five girls from India's most impoverished families attend a boarding school designed to create opportunities as they strive for a brighter future. Since 1997, the Shanti Bhavan school has provided free education for some of India’s most impoverished and underrepresented children – the “poorest of the poor.” In Daughters of Destiny: The Journey of Shanti Bhavan, director Vanessa Roth tells viewers the unforgettable story of a school that has changed countless lives for the better. With any luck, it might even inspire others to do the same.
Director: Vanessa Roth, Producers: Vanessa Roth, Lisa Nishimura. Jason Spingarn-Koff, Livio Sanchez, Devorah Palladino, Edited with: Geeta Gandbhir & Karen Sim, Co-Editor: Ryan Dilts
Release: July 2017 (4 Episodes)
Awards: 2018 Television Academy Honor
Nominations: Best Limited Series, 2017 IDA Awards
It is the defining cultural tale of modern America - a saga of race, celebrity, media, violence, and the criminal justice system. And two decades after its unforgettable climax, it continues to fascinate, polarize, and even, yes, develop new chapters. O.J.: Made in America revisits - and redefines - it all. The domestic abuse. The police investigation. The white Bronco chase. The trial of the century. The motive, the blood, the glove. The verdict. The aftermath. Drawing upon more than seventy interviews- from longtime friends and colleagues of Simpson to the recognizable protagonists of the murder investigation to observers and commentators with distinct connections to the story - the documentary is an engrossing, compelling, and unforgettable look at a tantalizing saga. Because at the end of what seems like a search for the real truth about O.J. Simpson, what's revealed just as powerfully is a collection of indelible, unshakeable, and haunting truths about America, and about ourselves.
Director: Ezra Edelman, Producers: Ezra Edelman, Caroline Waterlow, Tamara Rosenberg, Nina Krstic, Libby Geist, Connor Schell, Edited with: Bret Granato & Ben Sozanski, Associate Editor: Ryan Dilts
Premiere: 2016 Sundance Film Festival
Theatrical release: May 2016
Broadcast: June 2016 on ABC and ESPN
Awards (Selected): Best Feature Documentary awards - Academy Award, Independent Spirit Award, Critics Choice Award, Gotham Award, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, International Documentary Association
Editing Awards: Primetime Emmy, Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program / ACE Eddie Award, Best Edited Documentary Feature / LA Film Critics Association, Best Editing
A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers - PBS, 2019
An in-depth look at a Bangladeshi unit of female paramilitary police officers who choose to travel far from their families, friends and all that is familiar to join the United Nations Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The film examines the experience and impact of the female peacekeepers in Haiti and within the larger context of the male-dominated peacekeeping arena. We follow three remarkable women from recruitment, into training, and throughout their tour of duty in Haiti until their return home. The film casts light on the unique contribution female police make in crisis situations and answer the following questions: are women the key to lasting conflict resolution and peace building—and at what cost or benefit to themselves, their families, those they impact on the ground, and the traditional structure of the communities they come from?
Directors: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Geeta Gandbhir, Producers: Geeta Gandbhir, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Irfan Izhar and Perri Peltz, Associate Editor: Nandita Ahmed
Premiere: 2015 Toronto International Film Festival
Broadcast: Women, War & Peace II series, PBS/WNET, 2019
Awards: Humanitarian Award, 2016 RiverRun International Film Festival / Best Documentary, 2016 Bentonville Film Festival
Pioneering the journey from rhythm and blues to funk, James Brown forever changed the face of American music. Mr. Dynamite follows the journey of Brown as he escaped his impoverished Southern roots to become the biggest name in soul music, and one of the most important music talents of the 20th Century. The film utilizes never-before seen concert footage and photographs, interviews of Brown from a variety of sources (including vintage TV series like The Mike Douglas Show and Soul Train), and recent insights from band members and others who knew and were influenced by the singer, to tell the remarkable story of this supremely gifted and enormously influential American musical icon.
Director: Alex Gibney, Producers: Mick Jagger, Victoria Pearman, Peter Afterman and Blair Foster, Edited with: Geeta Gandbhir, Associate Editor: Alex Keipper
Premiere: 2014 Tribeca Film Festival
Broadcast: HBO, 2014
Awards: 2014 Peabody Award
Nominations: Best Music Film, 2016 Grammy Awards / Outstanding Documentary (Television), 2015 NAACP Image Awards
Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley - HBO, 2013
Often referred to as “the funniest woman in the world,” the iconic African-American standup comedienne Jackie “Moms” Mabley broke racial and sexual boundaries and continues to inspire comedians to this day. In her directorial film debut, a modern-day comedy favorite pays homage to this pioneering talent. Featuring recently unearthed photographs, rediscovered performance footage and the words of entertainers and historians, the film includes interviews with Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Sidney Poitier, Kathy Griffin, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Arsenio Hall, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, who emphasize how Mabley paved the way for female comedians and performers everywhere in provocative stand-up routines that challenged racism, sexism and ageism.
Director: Whoopi Goldberg, Producers: Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and George Schlatter
Premiere: 2013 Tribeca Film Festival
Broadcast: HBO, 2013
Nominations: Outstanding Documentary, 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards / Outstanding Documentary (Television), 2014 NAACP Image Awards
Photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was always searching for the humanity within wartime conflict, as evidenced in his award-winning body of work. When he and Sebastian Junger spent a year filming a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in their Academy Award–nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prizewinning film Restrepo, they weren’t simply looking for action; instead, they chose to focus on the many small moments that make war real. Hetherington’s footage of time he spent with the rebel army during Liberia’s civil war and in Libya prior to his untimely death from a mortar blast in 2011 conveys a rare sense of intimacy in sharp contrast to the violence surrounding him. Although he spent most of his time traveling to the epicenter of war zones, he was seeking the truth, rather than adventure. That is Hetherington’s enduring gift. Director Sebastian Junger gracefully weaves together footage of Hetherington at work and moving interviews with his family, friends, and colleagues to capture his compatriot and friend’s unique perspective, compassion, and intense curiosity about the human spirit.
Director: Sebastian Junger, Producers: James Brabazon, Nick Quested and Gretchen McGowan, Edited with: Geeta Gandbhir
Premiere: 2013 Sundance Film Festival
Broadcast: HBO, 2013
Nominations: Best Documentary & Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming, 2014 News & Documentary Emmy Awards
In 2008 Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington dug in with the men of Second Platoon for a year. Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, a stronghold of al Qaeda and the Taliban, has proven to be one of the U.S. Army's deadliest challenges. It is here that the platoon lost their comrade, PFC Juan Restrepo, and erected an outpost in his honor. Up close and personal, Junger and Hetherington gain extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of backbreaking labor and deadly firefights that are a way of life at Outpost Restrepo. Ever wonder what it's really like to be in the trenches of war? Look no further. Restrepo may be one of the most experiential and visceral war films you'll ever see. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers reveal the humor and camaraderie of men who come under daily fire, never knowing which of them won't make it home.
Directors & Producers: Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, Producers: John Battsek and Nick Quested, Editor: Michael Levine
Premiere: 2010 Sundance Film Festival
Theatrical Release: National Geographic Cinema, 2010
Broadcast: National Geographic Channel, 2010
Awards (Selected): Grand Jury Prize, US Documentary, 2010 Sundance Film Festival / Outstanding Editing, 2011 News & Documentary Emmy Awards
Nominations: Best Documentary, 2011 Academy Awards