Don McLeroy in plaid shirt with backdrop of bookshelf

The Revisionaries Wins 2014 duPont Award

December 18, 2013 by Craig Phillips in

The Independent Lens film The Revisionaries, by Scott Thurman, has won the 2014 duPont Award. The duPont honors excellence in broadcast and digital journalism in the public service, and is administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. They are considered a broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.

Independent Lens is extremely proud to have championed The Revisionaires to a national PBS broadcast,” said Lois Vossen, the senior series producer. “Scott took an evenhanded approach as he followed the State Board of Education through a series of controversial decisions that swelled into a national debate over the separation of church and state. Throughout, he allows the viewer to decide what should be the dividing line between the secular and non-secular worlds.”

Here’s the duPont announcement’s description of The Revisionaries, which shared the prize with several other excellent works:

An original documentary about the culture wars in America today told through the inner workings of the Texas Board of Education

Shot over the course of three years, director Scott Thurman gained unique access to the Texas Board of Education, America’s most influential, where a few citizens are fighting a battle to shape the course of American education through the revision of public school textbooks. Viewers see both sides of the debate, meeting key players and witnessing them tangle over critical issues like evolution.

This effective documentary presents a powerful civics lesson in the culture wars between conservatives and liberals. The writing is spare and effective, and notable for its evenhanded tone. Thurman successfully captured intense debates, soul searching and back room compromises at the Texas Board of Education that affect us all.

The Revisionaries was also the winner of the most recent Independent Lens Audience Award, and aired on PBS earlier this year.

George Stephanopolous, the anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” announces all the winners here:

Update from the filmmakers after the awards ceremony:

Here’s a video link to the awards ceremony:
Our award is at 52:28

Craig Phillips

Craig is the digital content producer for Independent Lens, based in San Francisco. He is a film nerd, cartoonist, classic film poster collector, wannabe screenwriter, and owner of/owned by cats.