September 29, 2015 11:52 am
Last night, Kartemquin’s The Trials of Muhammad Ali won the Outstanding Historical - Long Form award at the 36th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. The event, attended by over a thousand industry executives, journalists, and producers, took place on September 28, 2015 at the Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall in New York City. Director Bill Siegel accepted the prestigious award and used his acceptance speech to highlight the ways Ali continues to impact our lives. Referencing the current #BlackLivesMatter movement, Siegel said, “Muhammad Ali has been representing Black Lives Matter for a long time now. That time is now." The film’s collaborators, including editor Aaron Wickenden, producer Rachel Pikelny, KTQ Vice President of Finance & Operations Suzanne Niemoth, KTQ Executive Director Justine Nagan, and KTQ Founder and Artistic Director Gordon Quinn appeared with Siegel on stage. The Trials of Muhammad Ali documents the boxer's toughest bout, his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service during the Vietnam War. It is a fight film tracing a formative period in Ali’s life, one that is remarkably unknown to many young people today and tragically neglected by those who remember him as a boxer, but overlook how controversial he was when he first took center stage. The film, broadcast on PBS Independent Lens in April 2014, received 3 overall Emmy Nominations: Best Documentary, Outstanding Historical Programming – Long Form, and Outstanding Editing. With PBS receiving a total of 17 wins, Trials was among a collection of compelling short form and long form news & documentary pieces. Major congratulations to the film’s contributors on this much-deserved achievement! The Trials of Muhammad Ali is available on DVD and digital platforms.