The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a prestigious $500,000 production grant to the filmmakers of the national documentary, "Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race". It is the only America's Media Makers film production grant given in the city of Los Angeles, and one of three awarded in the state of California.
Bridging the Divide tells the little known story of how Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor elected in a major U.S. city with an overwhelmingly white population, rose to power, changed Los Angeles through an extraordinary multi-racial coalition, and in the process, transformed American politics. It is timely that this grant is being awarded in 2013, the 40th anniversary of Tom Bradley's election as mayor.
Bridging the Divide is being produced by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Lyn Goldfarb and Emmy award winner Alison Sotomayor.
"Why are we producing a documentary on Mayor Tom Bradley? We believe in the power of storytelling and the value of our shared history. Tom Bradley's story is part of a new narrative for the City of Los Angeles. He transformed Los Angeles by bridging racial and ethnic divides, and his incredible achievements and legacy should be not forgotten," says Lyn Goldfarb, the documentary producer, director and writer.
"Remarkably, Tom Bradley's story has never been told and our history books often exclude his significance in the national political landscape. We believe this film will promote dialogue about racial and ethnic tolerance, long-term relationship and community building, diversity and leadership. Our hope is that this film will inspire and build leadership skills among our young people, and illuminate our understanding of race," remarks Alison Sotomayor, the documentary producer, research director and writer.
Bridging the Divide has also received major funding from Cal Humanities, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the California Community Foundation, Los Angeles City Council Heritage Fund, LADWP, and generous donations from local foundations and individual supporters. The documentary and a companion educational video with curriculum materials are being produced by the non-profit OUR L.A.
Sotomayor is an award-winning producer, writer & researcher. She produced KCET's news/public affairs program, Life & Times, for many years and was awarded 2 Emmys & 4 Golden Mikes. She associate produced the PBS doc, The New Los Angeles. Author's website Email the author