New York, NY — Dec. 18, 2013 — Gail Dolgin and Robin Fryday’s Academy Award®-nominated short film The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, which had its national broadcast premiere in 2012 on PBS’s POV (Point of View) documentary series, has won a 2014 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, it was announced today by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. This was the last film made by Dolgin, who passed away October 2010.
This is the 12th duPont-Columbia Award for a POV film. Produced by American Documentary Inc., and now in its 26th season on PBS, POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers.
The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honor excellence in broadcast and digital journalism. The 14 winning programs appeared on air, online or in theaters between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. George Stephanopoulos of ABC News and Michel Martin of NPR will host the duPont Awards ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library. The winners are listed on www.journalism.columbia.edu.
Hailed by critics as among the most important and relevant programming on television, POV films have won numerous awards, including 32 Emmy Awards®, 15 George Foster Peabody Awards, three Academy Awards®, two IDA Best Continuing Series Awards, the Prix Italia and the Webby.
About ‘The Barber of Birmingham’:
In the days before and after Barack Obama’s 2008 victory, an 85-year-old civil rights activist and “foot soldier” looked back on the early days of the movement in The Barber of Birmingham. World War II veteran James Armstrong (1923-2009) was the proud proprietor of Armstrong’s Barbershop, a cultural and political hub in Birmingham, Ala., for more than 50 years. In his small establishment, where every inch of wall space was covered in newspaper clippings and photographs, hair was cut, marches organized and battle scars tended. Armstrong, who carried the American flag on the Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights in 1965, known as Bloody Sunday, links the struggles of activists of the past with a previously unimaginable dream: the election of the first African-American president.
Gail Dolgin, Director/Producer
Gail Dolgin was best known for Daughter from Danang, which follows a Vietnamese mother and her Amerasian daughter as they reunited after a 22-year separation. Directed and produced with Vicente Franco, the film won the 2002 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary and was nominated for an Academy Award. It was broadcast on PBS’s American Experience. Her other films include Summer of Love, commissioned by American Experience and broadcast in 2007, Cuba Va: The Challenge of the Next Generation; New Bridges; Face to Face and Why Vote.
Dolgin served as a story consultant and mentor to many filmmakers in the Bay Area, and was on the selection committee for several film festivals, including Sundance. She knew that The Barber of Birmingham it would be her last film; she succumbed to breast cancer in October 2010.
Robin Fryday, Director/Producer
Born and raised in Chicago, Robin Fryday is a photographer based in Marin County, in northern California. Her career as a child photographer spans almost 20 years and is linked to a commitment to use her work to help underprivileged children. She co-founded and co-chairs the Bay Area Heart Gallery, a collaboration between photographers and public and private child adoption agencies. Her photos have been used to raise money for nonprofit agencies that feed and school the impoverished in Peru, India, Bhutan and Haiti. The Barber of Birmingham is her first documentary film. Fryday is currently in post- production on a documentary short, Riding My Way Back, a story about a soldier, a horse and healing.
POV Series Credits:
Executive Producer: Simon Kilmurry
Co-Executive Producer: Cynthia López
Vice President, Programming and Production: Chris White
Coordinating Producer: Andrew Catauro
Produced by American Documentary, Inc., the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV has brought more than 365 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. Visit www.pbs.org/pov.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the desJardins/Blachman Fund and public television viewers. Funding for POV’s Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Special support provided by The Fledgling Fund and the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.