Sam Pollard (long-time Spike Lee editor, as well as director and producer in his own right) is taking on the life of another public figure in a new documentary. The director of “August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand,” which aired earlier this year on PBS, and an upcoming film on John Coltrane titled “A Love Supreme: A Portrait of John Coltrane in 4 Parts,” has begun principal photography in Atlanta on a documentary feature centered on that city’s first African American Mayor, Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr.
Details follow via press release below…
The theatrical documentary about the person and legacy of Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. will tell the story of the man, the politician, and the game changer; and will strive to answer the question: “How did Maynard do it?” Mayor Jackson was known as a charismatic and compassionate leader who served a record three terms as Atlanta’s mayor. Among his many successes, he earned his place in Atlanta history books for building the world’s busiest airport and for leading the affirmative action charge across these United States. The objective is to tell the Maynard story that details his life and to motivate other young politicians that one honest and dedicated individual can make a difference.
The director of the film will be Samuel D. Pollard, known as a prize-winning producer/director of documentary films, who is an Emmy Winner and an Academy Awards Nominee for his work in “Slavery by Another Name,” and more. He leads a team of writers and producers who are just as talented that include Sheila Curran Bernard, Winsome Sinclair, Wendy Eley Jackson, and Daphne McWilliams.
“I am excited about the challenge of making ‘MAYNARD,’ the movie, said Pollard. “When you think about the civil rights movement, one usually thinks about what happened in the 50’s and early 60’s, Dr. King, SCLC, and SNCC. But there was another part of the civil rights struggle and what happened when the walls of segregation were broken and integration was close at hand. There was a group of African American politicians whose job it was to work within the system and make change happen. Maynard Jackson was on the front of the line. This will be his story,” Pollard added.
“MAYNARD” will present an intimate view of Jackson from those who knew him best. The film will include video archival footage and photographs, and rare interviews with family and co-workers who helped sustain the Maynard movement during his administration at Atlanta City Hall. “My father fought the good fight for equal opportunity and economic equality especially for African Americans. He believed the way to accomplish that was through the power of educational achievement, the vote, and economic strength – the book, the ballot, and the buck, as he put it,” said Brooke Jackson Edmond, daughter of Mayor Jackson. “All Atlantans have benefitted from his work as have countless others far beyond Atlanta. There is a thriving African-American business class largely because of Maynard Jackson.”
Auburn Avenue Films executive producers have many things to say, but most importantly, they want the community to know, “This is certainly a labor of love.”
“Fundraising remains most challenging; but as Maynard the man would say, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and so it is for us,” says Maynard Jackson III, who had this idea bloom about one year ago to make this move about the life and times of his father.
Auburn Avenue Films continues the calling for people to submit their Maynard story that will be published in some manner – either a printed copy and/or an on-line version. Many stories that have come forth from people who cared about what Maynard Jackson stood for and have a story to tell about some encounter they had with him during his lifetime. Details about how to submit your “Maynard Story” can be found online at www.maynardmovie.com. Those interested can also email Maynard stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.