Jesse Owens - 53 min doc/USA/2012
Directed by: Laurens Grant
Laurens Grant pays tribute to the legendary 1938 Olympic Champion Jesse Owens who at only 22 years of age made history in Nazi-ruled Berlin and became one of the world's most celebrated athletes. Being African-American, he thumbed his nose at Hitler's Aryan supremacy ideology by setting Olympic & world records unchallenged for decades. On his return to segregated America, Owens was celebrated as a national hero. When the Civil Rights movement finally gained momentum a generation later, he was all but forgotten. A PBS' American Experience and Firelight Films production.
Yelling to the Sky - 94 min drama/USA/2011
Directed by: Victoria Mahoney
A visceral coming-of-age story featuring a sobering, breakthrough performance by Zoë Kravitz and an amazing one by Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, The Big C)
Initially an introverted, quiet teen blending into the crowded corridors of her high school, Sweetness's (Zoë Kravitz) attitude abruptly changes lanes. Contending with the pressures of an alcoholic father, an emotionally-absent mother, and the lingering threat of violent bullies which all finally take their toll on her, precipitating the young woman's descent into a world of reckless ambivalence.
LAURENS GRANT (Producer/Director) is a multiple Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. She recently won a Primetime Emmy as the producer of the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentary Freedom Riders. Before working in documentary, Grant was a foreign correspondent in Latin America. She headed up the Panama bureau for Reuters, and wrote about Latin American politics and culture for many publications including Newsweek, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas and the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Yelling to the Sky" serves as Mahoney's debut feature film as writer, director and producer. With the film, Mahoney attended the Directors and Screenwriters Sundance Institute Labs and was named an Auerbach Fellow, Maryland Fellow, Annenberg Fellow, Cinereach Fellow, IFP Narrative Lab fellow and was named to Filmmaker Magazine's 2010 list of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film".