Watch The Trials of Muhammad Ali to mark 50 years of The Greatest

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Clay v Liston, one of the most famous sporting events in history, after which Cassius Clay claimed the heavyweight title, and then further "shook up the world" by announcing that he was a member of the Nation of Islam and would change his name to Muhammad Ali. These events - and the public outcry and legal battle Ali had to contend with for many years to follow - form the core of our award-winning film The Trials of Muhammad Ali. To mark the occasion, we invite you to watch the opening of the film: Continued

Indie Caucus: Our Open Letter to WETA

The following is an open letter to WETA from the Indie Caucus: February 17, 2014 Dear WETA: We are writing in support of Dawn Porter’s letter to Jeff Bieber and to WETA regarding the programming of her film Spies of Mississippi and the rest of the films that several series offer for Black History month. It is frankly disturbing to note the spate of excellent and important films that are being displaced out of your prime time schedule and replaced with re-runs and Antiques Roadshow. Continued

’63 Boycott Celebrates Anniversary of "Freedom Day II"

February 25th marks the 50th anniversary of "Freedom Day II," a Chicago school boycott that was part of a protest movement eventually leading to the early "retirement" of CPS Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who was perceived as hostile to the interests of the black community. The demonstration followed the original massive school boycott in October 1963 that is the heart of our transmedia documentary ’63 Boycott. ’63 Boycott is a film and website that tells the story of the 1963 Chicago Public School Boycott, when more than 200,000 people protested the segregationist policies of Superintendent Benjamin Willis on October 22, 1963. Freedom Day II, which took place on February 25th, 1964, saw 175,000 students skip school, another highly successful demonstration confirming that the community had a voice in school politics and that Willis’ days were numbered. Continued

Full Frame to honor Steve James with retrospective

We are thrilled to report that the work of Steve James will be honored at the 2014 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. "Full Frame has always been one of my absolute favorite festivals because of its devotion to artistic and challenging documentaries and to making filmmakers feel loved and appreciated,” says Steve James, “That love extends from the passionate festivalgoers to Full Frame’s incredible staff and programmers. It is both thrilling and humbling to attend this year and receive this tribute.” In addition to having screened many of his films over the years, Full Frame previously invited Steve James to curate the festival's thematic program in 2009, where he showcased a series on sports documentaries. Continued

Remembering Joe Agee, featured in Hoop Dreams

Kartemquin Films, home to Hoop Dreams, is saddened to learn of the passing of Arthur Agee's younger brother, Joe. In the film, young Joe goes by the nickname, "Sweety" and the two brothers remained very close throughout their lives. Joe died over the weekend of heart failure related to a longtime battle with diabetes. His and Arthur's mother Shiela, says that Joe was in quite a bit of pain late in his life and now he has joined his father, Bo, in a better place. The Agee family would sincerely appreciate any donations towards the funeral costs. Those willing to do so, can make donations at http://www.gofundme.com/6hyaxo. Continued

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