‘True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality’ By Professor Trey Ellis Wins Documentary Emmy Award

BY Felix van Kann, September 23, 2020

Still from True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality, by Professor Trey Ellis. Image courtesy of the Peabody Awards.

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality, the new documentary by Professor Trey Ellis won an Emmy at the 41st News & Documentary Emmy Awards last night. It took the edge over four other projects in the Outstanding Social Issue Documentary category. 

 

"I am so thrilled by the Television Academy's honor," Ellis said in a comment. "Every accolade that brings more attention to Bryan Stevenson and EJI's vital work is another small step toward justice."

 

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality is a portrait of the life and legal defense work of attorney Bryan Stevenson in representing the incarcerated poor and falsely accused victims of a racist judicial system in Alabama and the Deep South. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and led the creation of its National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a memorial to the thousands of victims of racial terror and lynching, both based in Montgomery. Through that narrative and the documentary, we see how the American judicial system itself is historically and directly accountable for sustaining racial violence, white supremacy, and the exploitation of Black people. The film already won the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications’  26th annual Vision Award and a Peabody Award earlier this year.

 

It’s Ellis’ second Emmy win after taking home the prestigious award in the Outstanding Historical Documentary just last year


Original: 8/18/20

 

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality, the new documentary by Professor of Professional Practice Trey Ellis and ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium, directed by alumnus Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt '07, both received nominations at the 41st News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Ellis’ film competes in the Outstanding Social Issue Documentary category while Perlmutt’s Netflix documentary is on the list for the Outstanding Historical Documentary award. The winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 22 at 8pm EDT, two days after the main Emmy Award ceremony.

 

The documentaries add two more nominations to the already long list of nominations Columbia affiliates have received at this year’s Emmy Awards

 

"My whole team and I are so honored by the nomination, but also thrilled that more people may come to know Bryan Stevenson and EJI's vital work,” Ellis said in a comment. He served as executive producer and interviewee on the project that is available for streaming on HBO. 

 

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality is a portrait of the life and legal defense work of attorney Bryan Stevenson in representing the incarcerated poor and falsely accused victims of a racist judicial system in Alabama and the Deep South. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and led the creation of its National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a memorial to the thousands of victims of racial terror and lynching, both based in Montgomery. Through that narrative and the documentary, we see how the American judicial system itself is historically and directly accountable for sustaining racial violence, white supremacy, and the exploitation of black people. The film already won the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications’s  26th annual Vision Award and a Peabody Award earlier this year.

 

Professor Trey Ellis is an Emmy and Peabody-winning filmmaker, an American Book Award Winning novelist, and playwright. He has written screenplays for, among others, Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, HBO and Showtime. His HBO film, The Tuskegee Airmen, was nominated for an Emmy and went on to win a Peabody Award and several NAACP Image Awards. His screenplay for the Showtime film Good Fences, which starred Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover and was produced by Spike Lee, was shortlisted by PEN West for best teleplay and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He is currently developing a television series about Amos ‘n’ Andy with Samuel L. Jackson based on Mr. Ellis’s Black List.com celebrated screenplay. Ellis is both an alumnus of the Sundance Institute and a Sundance international mentor. He was the subject of a half-hour PBS documentary and was featured in the book, Why We Write: Personal Statements and Photographic Portraits of 25 Top Screenwriters. He was an Executive Producer/Interviewer for the HBO documentary feature King in the Wilderness, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017 and was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Historical Documentary.

 

ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium explores the shocking murder of singer Victor Jara in 1973 that turned him into a powerful symbol of Chile's struggle. Decades later, a quest for justice unfolds. The film is available on Netflix

 

Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker with a BA from Brown University and an MFA from Columbia University. He has taught filmmaking at Columbia University, William Paterson University, and all over Africa for organizations including Mira Nair’s Maisha Filmlab and Peter Gabriel’s Witness. Perlmutt’s film credits include directing and/or producing Havana Motor Club (2016), Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel (2011), Control Room (2004), and the Student Academy Award-winning documentary Lumo (2007). He most recently directed and produced a documentary on Ebola for The Discovery Channel, and directed the documentary ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium for Netflix.

 

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) is a service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational, and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy Awards for News & Documentary, Sports, and Daytime television programming, as well as achievements in television Technology & Engineering. NATAS membership consists of more than 18,000 broadcast and media professionals represented in 19 regional chapters across the United States. Beyond awards, NATAS provides extensive educational programs through its Foundation, including regional and national scholarships and Student Production Awards.

Still from ReMastered: Massacre at the Stadium, directed by alumnus Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt '07