In celebration of Black History Month, Wittenberg University welcomes Elisabeth Haviland James, documentary filmmaker, to present the visual arts residency at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 5-6, at the Springfield City School District’s John Legend Theater at The Dome, 700 S. Limestone Street, as the 2017-18 Wittenberg Series continues.
A screening of her films Althea and The Loving Story will be shown each day, respectively, followed by a discussion with James, a film producer, director and editor based in Durham, N.C., where her company, Thornapple Films, is headquartered. The screening of Althea on Feb. 5 also honors National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which takes place Feb. 7.
In 2014, she launched The Falconbridge Collection LLC with her spouse and partner, Revere La Noue, to house their new documentary project, Overland, about falconers around the world and the stories that connect across borders.
In 2015, James was named one of two film fellows in the state by the North Carolina Arts Council. She is the producer and editor of Althea, a feature documentary about pioneering tennis icon Althea Gibson, which was the season opener for PBS’ prestigious American Masters series in September 2015.
Her documentary feature-directing debut, In So Many Words, premiered at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and has screened at festivals, museums and conferences around the country. James was also the producer and editor of The Loving Story for which she was short-listed for an Academy Award and won a George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy Award (Best Historic Program).
A consulting editor to the Farmer Veteran Project and a creative advisor to Sundance darling, Private Violence, James is a graduate of the M.A. program in documentary film and video at Stanford University, where she produced and directed four award-winning short documentaries. Her thesis film, Net Loss, was awarded the Nicholas Roosevelt Award for Environmental Journalism. Her other short films include Flaunt, Worms at Work and Precipice, a national finalist for the 2002 Academy Award in the student documentary category. Other recent credits include producer of The Good Fight and co-producer of The Lord God Bird.
James has worked as a director, producer, cinematographer and photographer with a number of media clients including La Noue, Rex Pix Films, Augusta Films, Roland Films, HBO, PBS, MTV, White Mountain Films, Paul Alexander, National Geographic, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Burt’s Bees and others. Additionally, she has taught documentary filmmaking at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and as an artist in residence at the Oklahoma Arts Institute.