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It’s All True—Emerson’s fifth annual documentary festival

Boston, MA (April 4, 2016)—On Wednesday, April 6, and Thursday, April 7, Emerson College will celebrate exceptional nonfiction work at It’s All True, the College’s fifth annual documentary festival. The event will showcase screenings of original student films on April 6, hosted by acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson. On April 7, the festival wraps up with a special screening of Nelson’s documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and a discussion with Nelson will follow.

All screenings are free, open to the public, and will take place at Emerson’s Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room (559 Washington Street, Boston). Doors open at 6:30 pm., seating is first come, first served. 

“Documentary filmmaking is a vital and growing part of Emerson’s Visual and Media Arts program. This year’s six selected student films, both undergraduate and graduate work, showcase a diverse array of cultures, issues, and individuals—each one so compelling because they are indeed all true stories.” said Marc Fields, associate professor in Visual and Media Arts and Graduate Program Director at Emerson.

Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00pm

Student Documentaries to be Screened (free, open to the public) with special guest filmmaker Stanley Nelson:

Jonah Stands Up by Hannah Engelson

The late Jonah Bascle, a New Orleans comedian, artist, activist and 2010 mayoral candidate was born with muscular dystrophy. The documentary explores Jonah’s creativity and his unique way of facing his disability and mortality.

A Dialogue with Islam by John General

Growing up in the U.S. in the shadow of a perpetual war on Islamic terrorists, the filmmaker tries to find credible answers to the question, “Is Islam a violent religion?”

Out of Focus by Mustapha Kelloud

This portrait of a self-reflective blind man reveals his struggles, coping mechanisms, and even his own neglect.

A Different New Year by Cheng Jin

It’s the first Chinese New Year for two young girls in China’s Sun Village, a voluntary adoption center for children whose parents are in prison.

From the Golden Gate to the Farallons by Jack Bushell

Marathon swimmer Simon Dominguez tries to be the first to complete the treacherous 30-mile swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands.

A Living Wage by Dan Albright/Andy Keyes

The story of two workers in the front lines of the struggle in Boston for a $15 minimum wage and union rights. 

Thursday, April 7, 7:00 pm

Screening and lecture with filmmaker Stanley Nelson (free, open to the public):

Emerson’s School of the Arts presents documentarian Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Award-winning producer, writer, and director of documentary films including Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, Freedom Riders, and The Murder of Emmett Till, Nelson is also co-founder and executive director of Firelight Media, supporting emerging documentary filmmakers. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in August 2014. His film, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, explores the rise of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s, its significance to American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons that surface when a movement derails. In this first feature-length documentary to showcase the Black Panther Party, Nelson combines archival footage and interviews with the people who were there and witness to this pivotal movement in American history.

About Emerson College  

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,780 undergraduates and 670 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its experiential learning programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic. The College has an active network of 32,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit

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