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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

MAYNARD, the Documentary Film About the Life and Times of Maynard Jackson, the First Black Mayor of Atlanta, Moves into Final Production

Maynard Documentary Film

Maynard Holbrook Jackson, the first African American Mayor of Atlanta, GA, served three historic terms.

Atlanta, GAMAYNARD, the much-anticipated documentary film, which is being made about the life and times of former Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson, is turning the power on and moving full-steam ahead into post production.

Thanks to the award-winning documentary filmmaker, Sam Pollard, the work of Auburn Avenue Films, Inc. and the perseverance of Maynard Jackson III, Wendy Eley Jackson and the production team, final interviews have occurred in Atlanta, Jackson’s home town. Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin; Jackson’s widow, Valerie Jackson; Jackson’s children; Douglas A. Blackmon, former AJC reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Slavery by Another Name”, his first law partner, Andrew Patterson; his former CAO at Atlanta City Hall, George Berry; and many other individuals who played major roles in the life of this giant of a man have been in front of the camera. The mayor’s aunt, June Dobbs Butts (the only living daughter of Jackson’s grandfather, John Wesley Dobbs, who was often referred to as the mayor of Sweet Auburn Avenue), provided an applauded interview to round out the history on the Dobbs family.

Pollard, the film’s director and the creative mind that is leading the production, will continue filming evocative imagery in and around Atlanta in February. Other special interviews are in the works which include President William Clinton, former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, and Dr. Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund, who once served as a speech writer for the mayor during his first term in office, as well as the Commissioner of Parks & Recreation for the city. Post production is scheduled for the months of February/March; and then on to the plans of getting the film ready for submission at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2018.

The MAYNARD documentary trailer was recently presented during the Choose Georgia Film Making in the South event at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival recently held in Utah. “We received outstanding support for our efforts while at Sundance,” said Wendy Eley Jackson, with Auburn Avenue Films. “We went to Sundance to have a presence at the table and to begin the process of making more connections within the industry – which we accomplished,” Jackson added.

MAYNARD the documentary will present an intimate view of Jackson from those who knew him best, such as Ambassador Andrew Young, Vernon Jordan, and his childhood friend Sammy Bacote. The film will include video archival footage and rare photographs. The interviews with family and co-workers who helped sustain the Maynard movement during his terms as mayor and beyond will detail the full story of Maynard — the man, the mayor, the game changer, and the politician.

“How did Maynard do it?” is the question that the documentary will answer. In addition to being referred to as “Action Jackson” from time to time, Mayor Jackson was known as an articulate, charismatic and compassionate leader who served a record three terms as Atlanta’s mayor. Among his many successes, he earned his place in Atlanta history books for building the world’s busiest airport and is known nationally for developing a model for affirmative action programs that was used in cities around the United States.

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) will serve as the presenting station for the film and an educational partner for MAYNARD. This partnership will insure that the history lessons of Jackson’s three terms tie into GPB’s extensive educational programming. These lessons, about Atlanta’s first African American mayor, will be provided in perpetuity for students through the GPB Education curriculum which is offered to both teachers and students.

A recently added plus for the MAYNARD movie production team was the Academy Awards Nomination, Best Documentary Film Feature Category, of “I Am Not Your Negro” in which Henry Adebonojo served as a part of the production team for this film. Mr. Adebonojo is the director of photography for the MAYNARD documentary and an award-winning filmmaker and photographer.

For more details about the film, visit www.maynardmovie.com


About GPB
As one of the largest PBS stations in the nation, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB Media), has been creating content worth sharing for over 50 years. With nine television stations, 18 radio stations and a multi-faceted web presence, GPB strives to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of our viewers and listeners with programming that includes statewide radio news, current affairs, high school sports, educational resources for teachers and students and enlightening programs about our state like Georgia Outdoors and Georgia Traveler.


About Auburn Avenue Films, Inc.
Auburn Avenue Films Inc. is an Atlanta based television and film company specializing in development, production, and post production of multi-cultural content for television, film and digital platforms. Their belief in collaborative storytelling allows them to develop high level scripted and alternative programming. For more information please follow our progress about the MAYNARD movie at #maynardmovie or contact Auburn Avenue Films at 404-505-8188. You may also visit the following website: www.auburnavenuefilms.com


About the MAYNARD film Director – Sam Pollard
Samuel Pollard is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost thirty years. He recently completed as producer/director a 90-minute documentary titled The Ground On Which I Stand: August Wilson for the PBS series American Masters. Pollard received an Emmy and Peabody respectively for his work on Henry Hampton’s Blackside production Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads and I’ll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community. As an editor some of Pollard’s credits include Spike Lee’s films Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers, and Bamboozled. Pollard along with Lee also co-produced Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, for HBO which Mr. Pollard received an Emmy; Four Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombings which was nominated for an Academy Award; and When The Levees Broke, a four part documentary that won numerous awards, including a Peabody and three Emmy Awards. He also co-produced and supervised the edit on Lee’s If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise. Pollard also served as producer/director of Slavery By Another Name a 90-minute documentary for PBS and as editor for the feature length documentary Venus and Serena on Showtime.


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