Stanley Nelson’s highly anticipated new documentary “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” will be distributed by PBS Distribution in select theaters in the fall of 2015.
The film will also be broadcast as part of PBS’ independent film series "INDEPENDENT LENS" in winter of 2016.
Promising a definitive portrait of the Black Panther Party – its rise and fall – acclaimed veteran director Stanley Nelson aims to paint a complete and accurate account of the revolutionary black nationalist organization, a film that should act as a reminder, as well as an education (especially for the uninitiated, unaware of those whose shoulders they stand on).
As Nelson himself states, the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party is a story "that hasn’t been told," adding that, "the Panthers have been part of other films, or there have been stories about individual Panthers. But there’s never been a really great movie about the Black Panther Party."
The documentary will not only look at the rise and fall of the Party, but also its influence on how African Americans consider themselves today, especially in consideration of recent (and ongoing) collective action within communities nationwide, in response to multiple incidents of police brutality that led to fatalities. A key Panther practice was its monitoring of police officers, and challenges of police brutality.
“I am gratified that PBS has the courage and foresight to bring this film to audiences across the country, and we are thrilled to call them our partners,” said Mr. Nelson. “The Black Panthers made an indelible imprint on American culture and politics. The story of their rise and fall is essential history for understanding the times we live in, and the complicated political dynamics that are still at play.”
“We are delighted to support the work of one of today’s most important independent filmmakers, Stanley Nelson, with whom we have enjoyed a long and productive relationship,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “This film represents the kind of provocative, thoughtful independent filmmaking that has long been at the heart of PBS’ mission, and we are happy to work with PBS Distribution to steward ‘Black Panthers’ through theatrical, broadcast on PBS stations, and on to VOD and home entertainment.”