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Stanley Nelson Jr.        

Emmy Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker Known for "Freedom Summer" and "Attica"

An award-winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson has over 20 years' experience as a producer, director, and writer of documentary films and videos. He is the founder and president of Half Nelson Productions, Inc., an independent production company.

Nelson's independently-produced films include a number of PBS productions, including Shattering the Silences, a 90-minute film on the growing presence of and challenges to minority faculty in higher education; Methadone: Curse or Cure, a one-hour documentary on the methadone maintenance program for the treatment of heroin addiction; Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madame C.J. Walker, a documentary on the life and times of the African American businesswoman who became the nation's first self-made woman millionaire; Puerto Rico: Our Right to Decide, the story of competing visions for the future of Puerto Rico, shot on location; Freedom Bags, a documentary on the northern migration of African American domestic workers during the first half of the 20th century; and the South Africa segments of Mandela, the story of Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

Nelson's credits also include several productions for the Smithsonian Institution, including Free Within Ourselves, a documentary portrait of African American artists, and Climbing Jacob's Ladder, a 30-minute film concerning African American church history. He has produced several films on location throughout West and southern Africa.

Nelson's television credits include serving as a producer for many PBS programs, including "Listening to America" and "What Can We Do About Violence?" with Bill Moyers, and "Election '93," for which he was nominated for an Emmy award. He was also a producer for the acclaimed Fox-TV series, "TV Nation."

A graduate of the Leonard Davis Film School at the City University of New York, Nelson has taught film production at Howard University. He has been a fellow of the American Film Institute, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts, and a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. For three years, Nelson served on the selection panel for the Fulbright fellowship in film.

Speech Topics

The Murder of Emmett Till

Freedom Riders

Freedom Summer


Stanley Nelson on the Challenges of Making 'Miles Davis: Birth of ...
Stanley Nelson dropped by TheWrap's studios at Sundance to talk about the challenges of making the two-hour documentary "Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool."
Chicago is a 'Boss' town in Stanley Nelson's documentary on black ...
Documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr. mentions these icons in his latest work, “Boss: The Black Experience in Business,” wherein he explores the history  ...

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