Our Time Press

Applause for Excellence

Anna Maria Horsford

Anna Maria Horsford started her career as an associate producer of the now-classic “Soul” PBS series of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. She worked alongside the great Ellis B. Haizlip, show host, and a leading producer of cultural projects and events. Now Horsford is running her own production company, Wild Woman Productions.
During the course of our multi-part interview, Ms. Horsford shared the names of many actors and producers who are at the top of their game when it comes to seamlessly incorporating community empowerment and awareness-building in their work.


We chose three filmmakers whom she admires: Louis J. Massiah, founder and executive director of the Scribe Video Center, a media arts center providing educational workshops for community groups and emerging independent media makers (www.scribe.org); and the award-winning husband-wife filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith, founders of 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 advancing underrepresented stories (http://www.firelightmedia.tv/stanley-nelson).


Marcia Smith Nelson, an esteemed, award-winning writer and producer, is co-founder and Executive Director of Firelight Media with her husband Stanley Nelson. Firelight is a nonprofit that provides technical education and professional support to emerging documentarians. The organization received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2015. He is co-founder of Firelight Films, the for-profit documentary production company.

Stanley Earl Nelson Jr. is an American documentarian known as a director, writer and producer of documentary films examining African American history and experiences. He is a recipient of the 2013 National Humanities Medal from President Obama. He has won three Primetime Emmy Awards. Among his notable films are Freedom Riders (2010), Wounded Knee (2009), Jonestown: The Life & Death of People’s Temple (2006), Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice (2005), A Place of Our Own (2004), The Murder of Emmett Till (2003), and The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords (1998). He directed with Marcus Williams, the currently running Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre on PBS.


Louis Massiah is a documentary filmmaker and the founder of the Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia, a media arts center that provides workshops and equipment access to community groups and emerging independent media makers. A MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Massiah has developed community media production methodologies that assists first time makers use media as a creative tool for authoring their own history including the Precious Places Community History project, a documentary video project produced collaboratively with over 90 neighborhood organizations in the Philadelphia area; the Muslim Voices of Philadelphia community history project and the Great Migration – A City Transformed. Massiah’s award-winning documentaries, which include The Bombing of Osage Avenue, W.E.B. Du Bois – A Biography in Four Voices, two films for the Eyes on the Prize II series, and A is for Anarchist, B is for Brown, have been broadcast on PBS and screened at festivals throughout the US, Europe and Africa. He also has produced the five-channel permanent video installation for the National Park Service’s President’s House historic site.