THIRTEEN's American Masters Presents Exclusive U.S. Broadcast Premiere of MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE on Feb. 21 on PBS During Black History Month11:13 PM
With unprecedented access, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou's incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words.
"It was a unique privilege to be the first filmmakers to tell Dr. Angelou's full story and exciting to uncover stories that most people hadn't heard," co-director and co-producer Bob Hercules (American Masters – Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance, American Masters – Bill T. Jones: A Good Man, Forgiving Dr. Mengele) said.
"The film reflects on how the events of history, culture and the arts shaped Dr. Angelou's life, and how she, in turn, helped shape our own worldview through her autobiographical literature and activism," co-director and co-producer Rita Coburn Whack (Curators of Culture, Remembering 47th Street, African Roots American Soil) said.
"It is bittersweet that Dr. Angelou takes her rightful place in the American Masters series posthumously," executive producer Michael Kantor said. "We are fortunate that Bob and Rita captured these insightful interviews with her just prior to her death so we can all learn from her wisdom firsthand."Today, American Masters launches a year-long online campaign, #InspiringWomanPBS, based on themes central to Dr. Angelou's life: artistic expression, academic success, active community engagement and acceptance of difference.
A video compilation series of the best submissions will be featured on PBS' Instagram Stories and Snapchat channels throughout the year.
WNET Education will work with local PBS stations and local arts organizations across the country to engage diverse audiences in the campaign through a series of free, community-based screening events.
"Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise" premiered to critical acclaim at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Launched in 1986, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors.
American Masters – "Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise" is a co-production of The People's Poet Media Group, LLC, THIRTEEN's American Masters for WNET, and ITVS in association with Artemis Rising. Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack are directors.
Funding for Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise is provided in part by IDP Foundation, Ford Foundation/Just Films, National Endowment for the Arts, National Black Programming Consortium, Anne Ulnick, Michael Metelits, and Loida and Leslie Lewis.
Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Vital Projects Fund, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation and public television viewers.