Filmmakers featured on Friday, November 9

On Friday, November 9, Brian Kaufman and Kathy Kieliszewski, who directed 12th and Clairmount with Bill McGraw, will discuss their film about 1967 Detroit and one of the fiercest civil disturbances in the United States. Using archival newsreels, home movies, contemporary photographs, art work, and interviews, the directors create a portrait of a city on the edge of harrowing change.

 Brian Kaufman

Brian Kaufman

 Kathy Kieliszewski

Kathy Kieliszewski

Brian Kaufman is executive video producer at the Detroit Free Press, where he has worked for over a decade to bridge the gap between traditional video journalism and documentary film. He has won three Emmy awards. Kaufman’s work spans a broad range, from news-driven shorts to feature films on social and environmental issues.

Kathy Kieliszewski is a four-time Emmy award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. She was part of the team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism for a multimedia series that examined the difficulties and unintended consequences of fulfilling President Trump's pledge to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.  She oversees the video and photographic efforts of a staff of 12 photographers and editors at the Detroit Free Press. More on 12th and Clairmount

  Odile Allard is founder/CEO of Revolt Cinema located in Paris, as well as Extinkt Films in New York City. She is the producer of I Pay for Your Story (Lech Kowalski, 2017, 86 minutes), and will answer questions following the screening. For the film, Kowalski set up on a porch in Utica, NY and offered people twice the minimum wage to record their stories on camera. The personal stories tell of a tenacious cycle of poverty-drugs-prison, but also a strong survival instinct with a fragile hope for a better future. Kowalski, who spent part of his childhood in Utica, is a cult figure director in underground cinema. Kowalski and Allard’s two most recent films deal with environmental issues, Holy Field Holy War and Drill Baby Drill, which screened at Glimmerglass Film Days in 2013. More on I Pay for Your Story….

 Travis Wilkerson

Travis Wilkerson

Travis Wilkerson, called “the political conscience of American cinema” by Sight and Soundmakes films in the tradition of the “third cinema,” wedding politics to form in an indivisible manner. His film Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? takes us on a passage through the American South to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the outmoded societal mores that allowed it to happen. Wilkerson tells the story of how his great-grandfather, a white shopkeeper in Alabama, got away with killing a black man.  More on Did You Wonder Who Fired The Gun?...

 Gretchen Sullivan Sorin

Gretchen Sullivan Sorin

Friday also includes two sold-out events. Ric Burn’s film-in-progress Driving While Black, based on the research and forthcoming book by acclaimed African American historian Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, shows how travel literature helped black travelers navigate through Jim Crow America. Ric Burns has been writing, directing and producing historical documentaries since his collaboration on the PBS series The Civil War (1990), which he produced with his brother Ken and co-wrote with Geoffrey Ward. Since founding Steeplechase Films, he has directed some of the most distinguished programs for PBS. Gretchen Sorin is director and Distinguished Professor at the Cooperstown Graduate Program. She has worked for more than 200 museums as an historian, exhibition curator, strategic and interpretive planner and writes about African American history, art and museums. She serves as senior historical advisor for the film. More about Driving While Black

After the screening of RBG, the celebrated documentary about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Justice’s son Jim Ginsburg will answer questions. He is founder of the classical music label Cedille, which this summer released “Notorious RBG in Song.” More about RBG

Future posts will highlight filmmakers and special guests appearing during the rest of Film Days. See schedule