Giving Voice

Filmmaker: James D. Stern, Fernando Villena
Runtime: 90 min

Synopsis: Created as a way of celebrating the life and work of one of America’s greatest playwrights, the August Wilson Monologue Competition provides an opportunity for young thespians, primarily students of color, to discover, embrace, and perform Wilson’s powerful words that speak directly to them about the African American experience. Hopefuls select a monologue from one of Wilson’s ten Century Cycle plays and compete regionally for selection to the final round of competition performed at the August Wilson Theater on Broadway. In this remarkable film, co-directors James Stern (Every Little Step) and Fernanado Villena (Any One of Us) profile several aspiring young actors on their journey, interspersing their performances with scenes from their personal lives as well as interviews about Wilson’s works with Oscar® winners Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

About the Filmmakers

JAMES D. STERN’s directed documentaries are Every Little Step, American Chaos, Sport in America, The Year of the Yao, So Goes the Nation, and MJ to the Max. Stern is also a two-time Tony Award®-winning producer.

Giving Voice marks FERNANDO VILLENA’s second work as a director. His editing credits include Rize, Every Little Step, and Crank: High Voltage. Villena’s first directing credit is the HBO Sports Original, Any One of Us.