‘Black Documentary Cinema’ series to launch on Documentary Channel

“Black Documentary Cinema,” a monthly initiative spotlighting cutting-edge projects, will begin airing Feb. 22 on the Documentary Channel.

Poet-filmmaker S. Pearl Sharp’s “The Healing Passage: Voices From the Water,” which looks at the present-day impact of the Tran-Atlantic slave trade, will launch the series. A clip appears above.

“Since the early 1940s, black documentary filmmakers have used their craft to bring truth to history, to expose the accomplishments of the African Diaspora and to celebrate the global, unique qualities of our culture,” Sharp said.

The New York-based Black Documentary Collective (BDC) and Los Angeles-based Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers-West (BAD West) are collaborating with Documentary on the series. Future presentations are scheduled to include Shola Lynch’s 2006 Peabody Award winner “Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed,” and Phil Bertelsen’s “Beyond the Steps: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater,” which depicts the company’s pivotal ventures abroad while establishing new roots at home in New York City.

“We are excited to provide a platform for both up-and-coming and well established African-American filmmakers to showcase their work,” Documentary prexy/COO James Ackerman said. “S. Pearl Sharp’s film is the perfect example of the documentaries we look forward to premiering every month.”

Documentary Channel is primarily available through Dish (channel 197) and DIRECTV (channel 267).

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