Sputnik, Guerilla Media and Bluegrass
Filmmaker Hoffman to Show Documentaries on Campus

The Elon University School of Communications will be hosting acclaimed documentary filmmaker David Hoffman on campus Wednesday and Thursday. He will be showing his documentaries “The Fever of ’57,” “ Bluegrass Roots: On The Road With Bluegrass Musicians” and “Guerrilla Media: A Citizen's Guide to Using the Electronic Media for Social Change.” The event is sponsored by ElonDocs, the School of Communications program for documentary production.

Hoffman is one of America’s veteran documentary filmmakers. During his 40-year career, he has made four feature-length documentaries and more than 100 primetime documentary television specials and series, mostly for PBS, A&E and Discovery. Many of his reality-style films present recent American history.

Hoffman is known as a traditional filmmaker, who often functions as a director, writer, cameraperson and editor. He will be showing three of his documentaries in various locations on campus this week.

The Fever of ’57,”7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Koury Business Center Digital Theatre, Room 101: This documentary, which was made by Hoffman, his editor John Vincent Barrett and his producer, 24-year-old Eric Reid, tells the story of the aftershocks and global intrigue after th e Russians beat the United States into space. Just two hours after Sputnik's launch, NBC Radio interrupted the World Series with an announcement: "Listen now for a sound that forevermore separates the old from the new: the beep-beep-beep." An arms race exploded and almost provoked World War III. This documentary explains how President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Premier Nikita Khrushchev privately agreed not to put nuclear weapons in space. The showing will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Hoffman.

"Guerilla Media,” 4:15 p.m., Thursday, McEwen 011: A guerrilla is defined as one who wages irregular warfare. In this film, Tony Schwartz shows how individual citizens can use irregular methods to craft messages inexpensively and effectively for radio and television in an effort to enact social change. Hoffman will show excerpts during an interactive discussion about how to use the media and how the media use you.

“Bluegrass Roots,” 7:30 p.m., Thursday, McEwen 011: This historic documentary was the very first television special (1964) shot documentary-style in the mountains of North Carolina. It follows Old Man Bascom Lunsford as he casts the talent for his Asheville Mountain Music Festival. The film is a who's who of the most extraordinary singers, players and dancers the bluegrass mountains had to offer. The showing will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Hoffman.

Elon alum Ikey Little, a friend of Hoffman’s, played an integral role in bringing the filmmaker to campus.

“Ms. Little was instrumental in planning this visit, for which we are so grateful,” said Brooke Barnett, associate professor and adviser to ElonDocs.


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