Join Sam Pollard, director of NYJFF Main Slate selection Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, for a behind-the-scenes master class on documentary filmmaking. An Emmy and Peabody award-winning director, Sam Pollard has directed and produced numerous documentary films.
Sam Pollard is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost thirty years.
His first assignment as a documentary producer came in 1989 for Henry Hampton’s Blackside production Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads. For one of his episodes in this series, he received an Emmy. Eight years later, he returned to Blackside as Co-Executive Producer/Producer of Hampton’s last documentary series I’ll Make Me a World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community. For the series, Mr. Pollard received the George Peabody Award.
Between 1990 and 2010, Mr. Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee’s films: Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers, and Bamboozled. As well, Mr. Pollard and Mr. Lee co-produced a number of documentary productions for the small and big screen: Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, a biographical sketch for HBO for which Mr. Pollard received an Emmy; Four Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombings that was nominated for an Academy Award; and When the Levees Broke, a four-part documentary that won numerous awards, including a Peabody and three Emmy Awards. In 2010 he co-produced and supervised the edit on the follow up to Levees, If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise.
Since 2012 Mr. Pollard has completed as a producer/director Slavery by Another Name, a 90-minute documentary for PBS that was in competition at the Sundance Festival; August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand, a 90-minute documentary in 2015 for American Masters; Two Trains Runnin’, a feature-length documentary in 2016 that premiered at the Full Frame Film Festival, and also in 2017 The Talk: Race in America for PBS and CPB. His latest film, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me for American Masters, premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.