Matters of Race

Race shapes Americans' sense of national and individual identity.

Film Signature Image
Premiere Date
September 23, 2003
240 minutes
Funding Initiative
Series and Special Projects

Orlando Bagwell

Orlando Bagwell returned to filmmaking after establishing Ford Foundation’s Just Films fund, a $50 million initiative supporting the next generation of filmmakers. Over a nearly 10-year tenure at Ford, Bagwell supported several critically-acclaimed films from across the globe including Mother of George, The House I Live In, Detropia, American Show more Promise, and Time Is Illmatic. With the launch of LakeHouse Films, Bagwell continues his highly distinguished career of over 25 years as a documentary filmmaker in which he has been honored with 4 Emmy Awards, numerous Emmy nominations, three Peabody Awards, two DuPont Awards, and several Grand Prize recognitions at prestigious film festivals worldwide. Serving in a range of positions from Producer/Director to Executive Producer, Orlando has been the creative force behind a variety of projects from biographical documentaries —Citizen King, A Hymn for Alvin Ailey, Malcolm X: Make It Plain— to social-issue films — Matters of Race, The Great Depression and two episodes in the landmark Eyes on the Prize series, to name a few. Through LakeHouse Films, Orlando is currently serving as an Executive Producer on 3 1⁄2 Minutes, a documentary examining the “stand your ground” law in light of the shooting death of teen Jordan Davis. In connection with 3 1⁄2 Minutes, Orlando produced a NY Times’ OpDoc, When Music Turns Deadly, that was presented at Film Independent’s annual showcase. Show less

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The Film

How does race affect the way Americans view ourselves and others — in the past, present, and future? This four-part series looks for answers in diverse communities, enlisting the perspectives of leading writers and emerging filmmakers. Examining racial dynamics in places like Los Angeles, Hawaii, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and Siler City, North Carolina, Matters Of Race travels the decade of the 1990s in search of our changing national identity.