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Freedom Riders Sweeps Emmys

It was a total surprise and complete pleasure to be at this year's Primetime Emmy Creative Arts Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, where Freedom Riders swept every category it was entered in and took home three Emmys.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been fortunate to win Primetime Emmys in the past, but we have never had such a clean sweep. The awards were for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking (aka Best Documentary), Editing for Nonfiction and Writing for Nonfiction.

At the ceremony was the Firelight Media team that produced the film, led by filmmaker Stanley Nelson; my colleague, Lauren (Barb) Prestileo, project manager for both the film and our 2011 Student Freedom Ride; and Ray Arsenault, author of Freedom Riders, the book on which the film is based. At the spectacular Governors Ball following the ceremony, our table stood out for its collection of shining gold statuettes.

All credit, of course, goes to those brave Americans who risked their lives by boarding buses 50 years ago and ended up bending the curve of history. Thank you for taking the mantle of change onto your shoulders and making our world today a better place.



Mark Samels is the Executive Producer of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.



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