IDA Conversation Series: Roger Ross Williams
Interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz
The premiere event of the Summer/Fall season of the IDA Conversation Series spotlights the brilliant work and extraordinary career of the Academy Award®-winning director Roger Ross Williams. The evening will feature a clips program and lively conversation between Roger and series host/interviewer Ben Mankiewicz.
Bursting on the documentary scene in 2010 with the exceptional short Music by Prudence, Roger became the first African American director to win an Academy Award. Roger’s second feature, the shocking God Loves Uganda, which tackled the complex and troubling role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, premiered at Sundance 2013, won over a dozen awards, and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. In November 2015, Roger’s short Blackface, on the tradition of Black Pete in the Netherlands, for CNN Films, premiered to immense controversy and sparked a national debate on racism and the legacy of slavery.
The conversation will culminate in a discussion of Roger’s current film, the exquisite Life, Animated. Set for a national theatrical release on July 1st, Life, Animated is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. Already one of the most talked about and celebrated films of 2016, the film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where Williams won the prestigious U.S. Documentary Directing Award.
Choosing to tell an incredibly broad array of stories, never shying away from controversy, and managing to find exactly the right cinematic voice to match the subject matter, Roger has, in just a few short years, become a leading and vital voice in documentary. Join us for this special opportunity to explore in-depth Roger’s unique vision and singular commitment to craft, and to delve into the fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that illuminate both his career and the art of documentary.