The Black Fives (2014)
The Undocumented (2011)
Freedom Summer (2006)
Without a Pass (1991)
I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education (2004)
MLK Boulevard: The Concrete Dream (2003)
Two Towns of Jasper (2002)
Making Peace: The Underground Railroad (1996)
Making Peace: Turn-A-Lot Around (1996)
Declarations: The Spiritual Deficit and The American Dream (1993)
In Search of Our Fathers (1992)
More Than A Month
A Son’s Sacrifice and Bronx Princess
Marco Williams is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and professor of film production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has been nominated three times for the Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize.
Williams’ most recent completed film is The Undocumented, a PBS broadcast/Independent Lens feature length cinema verite documentary addressing the deaths of illegal border crossers in Arizona’s border region.
Banished (2007), directed and produced by Williams, tells the story of three American communities where 100 years ago white residents forced thousands of black families to flee their homes. The film documents black descendants as they return to confront their shocking histories. The film was awarded the Knight Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Features at the Miami International Film Festival and the Full Frame Documentary Festival Spectrum Award.
Williams’ film Freedom Summer (2006), was part of the primetime Emmy Award winning series: Ten Days that Unexpectedly Changed America.
Williams’ film Two Towns of Jasper (co-directed by Whitney Dow) received the 2004 George Foster Peabody Award and the 2004 Alfred I duPont Silver Baton. It is the winner of the 2002 Pan African Film Festival Outstanding Documentary Award, the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival Silver Award for Best International Documentary (2002); it is also the recipient of the 2002 DoubleTake/Full Frame grand prize: The Center For Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award, and the winner of the 2002 Independent Feature Project Third Annual Anthony Radziwill Documentary Achievement Award. Two Towns of Jasper was broadcast on POV on PBS, the film and the directors were featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Nightline with Ted Koppel, and the film was the catalyst for a live town hall meeting—“America in Black and White”, anchored by Ted Koppel.
Other directing credits include: The Black Fives, (2014), Inside: The New Black Panthers (2008), Making Peace: Rebuilding our Communities (1995), The Spiritual Deficit and The American Dream (1994), Without a Pass (1992), and From Harlem to Harvard (1982).
In 1994, Williams and six other young filmmakers, were featured in the book, ‘What I Really Want to Do Is Direct: Seven Film School Graduates Go to Hollywood’, by movie journalist Billy Frolick. The book followed the lives of seven young, would-be directors over three years as they struggled with the ups-and-downs of the Hollywood world.
Williams received a B.A. from Harvard University, in Visual and Environmental Studies. He received a Master of Arts degree from UCLA in Afro-American Studies and a Master of Fine Arts also from UCLA in their Producer’s Program.
To get in contact, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I AM A STORYTELLER, AN EDUCATOR, AND A MENTOR
I have always wanted to make a difference. I have tried to fulfill this aspiration by creating, teaching, and consulting.
My creative medium has been media film, video, digital. Through these platforms, I have sought to challenge the status quo, to interrogate and investigate our collective psyche as Americans. This has been the foundation of my aspirations to make a difference.
Since 1979, I have been making documentary films that examine themes of injustice. My films are about America; about whom we have been; who we are; who we aspire to be. I have committed myself to creating a record of America by trying to deal with the topics that challenge our sense of who we are and our sense of justice, but more importantly, to make films that will have sustained impact. As a viewer of several of my films told me: you make films about the stories we prefer to keep hidden.
Yes, I try to tell the stories we’d rather not tell.
My films have examined the residue of slavery through various prisms. Two Towns of Jasper is a response to a racially motivated murder. Banished looks at the legacy of American racial cleansing. MLK Blvd: The Concrete Dream considers the meaning of naming a street for Martin Luther King Jr., and Freedom Summer is a film about the death of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.
I have tackled the issue of race in America because as an artist I seek to explore the difficult– and race is generally a subject that people would rather not talk about, much less think about. In a sense, to investigate or interrogate race invariably creates an environment, a scenario fraught with risk. In this way, my films create a dynamic of opposition to the norm and status quo.
This was true even at the start of my career when my films were explicitly personal– From Harlem to Harvard and In Search of Our Fathers each seed the personal into my work. Both were told from a first person point of view. The success of In Search of Our Fathers gave me the opportunity to tell stories differently.
Aesthetically, I am working very hard to not be confined by my approach to telling stories. I strive to push against any single notion or expectation that others have of me or my work. All creative people must evolve to survive.
For example, my early films document horrors and atrocities. Now, I want my work to consider solutions, as well as prospects and mechanisms for change.
TEACHING — SEEKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
I have been a professor for more than twenty years. I have taught at the University of North Carolina School of Filmmaking. I have spent a year as the Lehman Brady Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies, a joint professorship at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For the past sixteen years, I have been a Professor at The Tisch School of the Arts, Undergraduate Department of Film and Television.
Teaching extends to other forms of mentoring and consulting; I help to develop the next generation of storytellers and society changers.
I HAVE CONSULTED ON AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARIES:
Old South by Danielle Beverly
Following Boruch by Paula Eiselt
Bible Quiz by Nicole Teeny
More Than a Month by Shukree Tilghman
Reporting on The Times by Emily Harrold
721 Broadway New York, NY 10003
212 998 1486
Writing; Fiction, Non-Fiction & Television directing; Producing; New Media
MA UCLA; MFA, UCLA
Review/Television; A Search for Father: Success Without Reward
Duke University Q&A
“Once in a while, there’s a documentary that comes along that really strikes a chord… Two Towns of Jasper is raw, it is provocative and controversial… Marco Williams and Whitney Dow knew that there was a story to be uncovered in Jasper, not just about the town, but about America, and ultimately, each one of us… Their film is a raw and uncensored look at racism in our country of America.”
– Oprah Winfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show 1/21/03
PBS Documentary: ‘Two Towns of Jasper’
A Racially Motivated Murder Leads to a Uniquely Reported Documentary
Marco Williams’ Bone-Deep Sense of Fairness
MARCO WILLIAMS IS USING HIS FILM AND GAMES TO CROSS NEW BORDERS
Life Without Father: A Film Re-examines Family Roles
Black Autobiographical Documentary, by Jim Lane
International Documentary Association: Playback: marco-williams-search-our-fathers
Interview on The State of Things
A Search for Father: Success Without Reward
Murders That Matter
Murders that Matter is a cinema verite documentary that follows the efforts of Movita Harrell-Johnson, an African American Muslim who becomes an activist against gun violence in the African American…
Lonnie Holley: The Truth of The Dirt
Lonnie Holley: The Truth of the Dirt is an intimate portrait of a self-taught African American visual artist and musical performer from Birmingham, Alabama. Everything that Lonnie encounters is imbued…
Crafting An Echo
Crafting an Echo is a documentary about the artist’s process. It follows the creative process of Greek choreographer Andonis Foniadakis commissioned dance for the Martha Graham Dance Company, over the…
The Undocumented is a feature length cinema verite documentary that exposes a little known consequence of United States immigration policy. Since 1998 more than 2000 dead bodies and skeletal remains…
Banished vividly recovers the too-quickly forgotten history of racial cleansing in America when thousands of African Americans were driven from their homes and communities by violent racist white mobs. The…
Two Towns of Jasper
In 1998 in Jasper, Texas, James Byrd, Jr., a black man was chained to a pick-up truck and dragged to his death by three white men. The town was forever…
In Search of Our Fathers
“I was twenty-four years old, the first time I learned my fathers name.” IN SEARCH OF OUR FATHERS documents the filmmaker’s seven year journey to find and to meet the…
Freedom Summer revisits Mississippi during the Summer of 1964 when three civil rights workers were murdered. The documentary examines the impact of their death on the eventual passage of the…
MLK Boulevard: The Concrete Dream
In the United States, there are more than 680 boulevards, avenues, streets, drives, and lanes in towns, counties, and cities named in honor of the slain Civil Rights leader,…
I Sit Where I Want
Made for Viacom’s “N” network as 50th anniversary special for the historic Brown v. Board of Education court ruling, the film tracks 15 students at a Buffalo, NY high school…
Inside The New Black Panthers
INSIDE THE NEW BLACK PANTHERS examines this organization as it seeks to redefine the black struggle for equality and demand liberation from what it sees as white supremacy. By contrasting…