Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson is today’s leading documentarian of the African-American experience. His films combine compelling narratives with rich historical detail to illuminate the under-explored American past. A MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Nelson has received numerous honors over the course of his career, including five Primetime Emmy Awards for his films, as well as lifetime achievement awards from the Emmys, the Peabodys, and IDA. In 2013, Nelson received the National Medal in the Humanities from President Barack Obama. His latest film, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, premiered at Sundance in January 2019.

In 2000, Mr. Nelson, along with his wife, Marcia A. Smith, founded Firelight Media, a non-profit production company dedicated to using historical film to advance contemporary social justice causes, and to mentoring, inspiring and training a new generation of diverse young filmmakers committed to telling underrepresented stories.