(San Francisco)—In a year when cartoons inflamed riots around the world, the power of imagery to provoke—whether anger, laughter or tears—is undisputed. No one knows this better than legendary editorial cartoonist Paul Conrad, the master of delivering a graphic punch in one frame. PAUL CONRAD: Drawing Fire is a tribute to this distinguished editorial cartoonist. Narrated by TOM BROKAW, the film features more than 200 of Conrad’s classic cartoons.
Over his remarkable 50-year career, Conrad has drawn and quartered 11 American presidents (from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush) and fearlessly tackled every major social and political issue the nation has confronted. Along the way, he's won three Pulitzer Prizes, as well as a long list of journalism’s most prestigious awards. His favorite distinction: his 1973 inclusion on Richard Nixon’s Enemies List. His favorite irony: holding the Richard M. Nixon Chair at California's Whittier College (1977-78).
An extraordinary artist and journalist, Conrad epitomizes the fiercely independent voice that has been vanishing from American news media in recent years. The film will have its television premiere on the Emmy Award–winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Terrence Howard, on Tuesday, November 7, at 10pm (check local listings). Also airing during Independent Lens’s November Salute to Politics and Journalism will be DEMOCRACY ON DEADLINE (November 21) and TWO SQUARE MILES (November 28).
The PAUL CONRAD interactive companion website (pbs.org/paulconrad) features detailed information on the film, including an interview with the filmmaker and links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more.
Produced & Written by Barbara Multer-Wellin and Jeffrey Abelson
Directed by Barbara Multer-Wellin
Edited by Jeffrey Abelson
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Barbara Multer-Wellin’s work as a documentary writer/producer has been seen on HBO, Showtime, PBS, Lifetime, The Discovery Channel, UPN, Lifetime, Fit-TV, TBS, and TLC. She most recently produced TAKING THE HEAT: The First Women Firefighters of New York City, narrated by Susan Sarandon, for 2006 season of Independent Lens. Multer-Wellin was nominated for two News and Documentary Emmy Awards (in writing and research) for HBO’s Violence: An American Tragedy. She also produced Funny Is Money: Comedy In The 20th Century, directed by Norman Jewison for Showtime; two seasons of The Justice Files, one of the Discovery Channel’s highest-rated series; sixteen hours of global wildlife adventure for World Gone Wild; War Games for TBS; Speaking Of Women’s Health for Lifetime; and 13 hours of fitness/nutrition makeover series Ultimate Goals for FitTV.
Jeffrey Abelson started his career producing, directing, and editing high profile music-videos (including eight #1 MTV hits). He pioneered and popularized the hybrid 'movie/music-video' format (from Ghostbusters to Terminator-2), resulting in this dual-use format becoming a staple of movie marketing campaigns. More recently, he's been producing, writing, and editing documentaries, as well as developing feature films and television series -- with projects set up at HBO Films, Showtime, PBS, and the Disney Channel. Next up for Abelson is Love In Vain, a music-driven movie about blues legend Robert Johnson; The Cheese and the Worms, a dramatic feature to be directed by Werner Herzog; and RockZone, a TV series featuring Twilight Zone-style dramatizations of classic songs, launching with Bob Dylan's "Knockin’ On Heaven's Door."
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