Documentarian Shola Lynch to Return to UCR for Presentation, Screening

"Free Angela and All Political Prisoners" to be shown following lecture at University Theater


Filmmaker Shola Lynch will return to UCR to discuss and show her film “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” on May 21, 2014.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Renowned documentarian Shola Lynch (’95 M.A., History) will return to the University of California, Riverside for the first time since 2006 for “An Evening with Shola Lynch,” which features a presentation and discussion of her career, followed by a screening of her 2012 documentary “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.”

The presentation and screening will be Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 6 p.m. at the University Theatre on the campus of UC Riverside. The event is free and open to the public, with free parking available in Lot 6.

“We are very excited to have Shola coming back to UCR and to have her engage with our students,” said Ken Simons, director of African Student Programs, which is sponsoring the event. “It should be an exciting and informative evening.”

Lynch said that her presentation will “talk about my life’s work – telling historical stories. I hope attendees leave inspired to be their best selves, and also to be more critical of the media around them.”

Her film, which will be shown after her presentation, tells the story of  iconic black activist Angela Davis, her life as a young college professor, her social activism and her implication in a botched kidnapping attempt that ends with a shootout, four dead, and her name on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. In February 2014, Lynch received the award for Outstanding Documentary-Theatrical at the 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards.

A native of Austin, Texas, Lynch was a child actress on “Sesame Street” and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Texas before coming to UCR. She worked with documentarian Ken Burns on “Frank Lloyd Wright” and the TV series “Jazz,” then went on to work on HBO Sports “Do You Believe in Miracles? The Story of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team.” She directed her feature documentary debut in 2004 on the history-making presidential campaign of black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, “Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed.”

She was recently named the curator for the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

Lynch said that her education at UCR, working with Professors Carlos Cortés, Sterling Stuckey and Jonathan Green, has been a great influence on her career as a filmmaker.

“The Public History Resource Management program trained me to think like a scholar but also tell historical stories visually,” she said. “As it turns out, both skills apply to documentary film making.”

She last visited the UCR campus in May 2006 when she gave the Knox and Carlotta Mellon Lecture in Public History, describing her experiences making the Chisholm documentary.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

African Student Programs at UCR
Tel: (951) 827-4576

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