THE APOLLO Documentary Films Free Screenings



Talent attending: Roger Ross Williams (Director)

The historic Apollo Theater on Harlem’s West 125th St. is cherished as the platform that launched the careers of countless African-American talents, including some of the most important and influential names: Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5, Jimi Hendrix and more. With incredible archival performances and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look as the theater prepares to open Ta-Nehisi Coates’ multimedia performance “Between the World,” it becomes evident that the venue’s significance is the result of not only the talents to have graced its stage, but the tremendous efforts behind the curtain. The Apollo’s enduring influence on popular culture and commitment to both established and emerging artists in the community is lovingly chronicled in this captivating tribute from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams.

Roger Ross Williams is an award-winning director, producer and writer and the first African American director to win an Academy Award® with his short film MUSIC BY PRUDENCE. Williams has directed a number of acclaimed films including LIFE, ANIMATED, which won the Sundance Film Festival Directing Award, was nominated for an Academy Award® and won three Emmys® in 2018, including the award for Best Documentary. He also directed GOD LOVES UGANDA, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award®. Williams’ most recent project TRAVELING WHILE BLACK, a VR documentary made for Facebook’s Oculus, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Since 2016, Williams has been on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, serving as chair of the Documentary Branch and the documentary Diversity Committee.


Country: USA

Year: 2019

Director: Roger Ross Williams

Screenwriters: Cassidy Hartmann, Jean Tsien

Producers: Lisa Cortes, Nigel Sinclair, Jeanne Elfant Festa, Cassidy Hartmann, Roger Ross Williams

Executive Producers: Nicholas Ferrall, Julie Goldman, Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, Cynthia Sexton, David Blackman, Ken Pelletier, Charles D. King, Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Jayson Jackson, Steven Cohen, Paula Froehle

Director of Photography: Michael Dwyer

Editors: John Steven Fisher, Jean Tsien

Running Time (minutes): 98 min