AWARD-WINNING MAKER OF POLITICAL DOCUMENTARIES, TO SCREEN HIS PBS “FRONTLINE” SPECIAL ABOUT THE CURRENT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
NYS Writers Institute, October 22, 2008
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Science Library 340
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Paul Stekler, prize-winning director of political documentaries, will screen and discuss his work including the new PBS “Frontline” special, “The Choice 2008,” about the backgrounds and divergent political paths of Barack Obama and John McCain, on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the author will present an informal seminar on political filmmaking in Science Library 340, on the uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany’s Documentary Studies Program, and are free and open to the public.
Paul J. Stekler, award-winning producer and director of American political documentaries, is co-producer and co-writer most recently of the PBS “Frontline” special, “The Choice 2008,” a film that explores the backgrounds and divergent political paths of Barack Obama and John McCain, in order to shed light on their history-making electoral battle. The film draws on in-depth interviews with the advisers, family and friends closest to the candidates, as well as with notable observers of American politics, who together tell the definitive story of these men and their ascent to their party’s nominations. Since the 1988 electoral battle between Michael Dukakis and George H. W. Bush, “The Choice” has been hailed by critics as the gold standard in election year television journalism.
A coproduction of WGBH Boston and the Kirk Documentary Group, Ltd., “The Choice 2008” will air nationwide on October 14, 2008, with national rebroadcasts scheduled for October 26 and November 3.
Paul Stekler received the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for “George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire” (2000), which he produced and co-directed. The “Boston Globe” said, “The producers masterfully braid revealing political and personal subplots into the main story line, almost any of which could have been spun into a self-contained historical drama.”
Stekler also produced and co-directed “Vote for Me: Politics in America” (1996), winner of Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont-Columbia Journalism awards. In awarding the Peabody Prize, the committee of judges called the film, “a glimpse of our system that ultimately turns the surprising trick of making viewers more appreciative of and less cynical about the political process.”
More recently, Stekler produced, directed, and wrote the PBS special, “Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style” (2004), about a 2002 contest for the Texas State Legislature. The film was nominated for the “outstanding achievement in television writing” award of the Writers Guild of America.
Stekler currently serves as director of the newly-founded Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas at Austin.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.