Laurens Grant


                            FILMS










Laurens Grant is a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Documentary Branch [Oscars] and the Television Academy [Emmys]. She is also a 3-time Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker and a Sundance Institute filmmaker fellow.  Her filmmaking career has taken her all over the world, including the United States, Latin America, Europe and Africa.  [Longer BIO below]







Grant joined the producing-directing team of CNN's critically acclaimed "decades" series. Grant worked with the award-winning team of Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog for the 7-part series on The Nineties which aired July 2017. Grant's episodes are the ACE Eddie award nominated Can We All Get Along? about race and culture and New World Order about the Bush Administration. #NinetiesCNN







                                                   










Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement is directed and produced by Grant and charts the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Actor Jesse Williams of Grey's Anatomy is Executive Producer. The film received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding News/Information [Series or Special]. It aired on BET as part of its new The Truth documentary series and is available on iTunes and Amazon. #StayWokeBET #BlackLivesMatter








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Grant produced the Emmy and Peabody-nominated The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. The documentary premiered at Sundance, representing Grant's third film to premiere at this prestigious film festival. This critically-acclaimed film about the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and a George Foster Peabody award nomination. Grant worked with director Stanley Nelson. The film was awarded one of the top 5 documentaries of 2015 by the National Board of Review and aired on PBS' Independent Lens in February 2016 as one of the highest rated and top social media campaigns to air on PBS. It is now available on iTunes and Netflix with Spanish, French and Italian subtitles. The documentary inspired several Hollywood films including The Stand Off directed by Justin Lin [of Star Trek Beyond and Fast and Furious fame.] @panthersdoc

 


 









Jesse Owens is directed and produced by Grant and is the first full-length documentary about the African-American Olympian. The film recounts the life and legacy of Jesse Owens and how his four-gold medal wins at the 1936 Berlin Olympics defied Hitler's Aryan ideals. The film won a News & Doc Emmy for Outstanding Research, and received two News & Doc Emmy nominations for Outstanding Historical - Long Form documentary, and Outstanding Music and Sound. The film aired on PBS, and in Europe on PBS UK and on WDR in Germany. The film is available on iTunes, Hulu+ and other platforms. The film inspired the Hollywood feature film Race starring Stephan James as Jesse Owens with Jeremy Irons and William Hurt.











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Freedom Riders is produced by Grant, the first feature-length documentary about the 1961 freedom rides, the nation's first multiracial and multi-religious civil rights movement to desegregate the South.  As a result of their efforts, the signs "whites only" and "colored only" were taken down forever. The film won a George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in filmmaking, 3 Primetime Emmys, premiered at Sundance, and was featured on Oprah's last season. The film influenced the Hollywood film Selma and scenes from the documentary are included in the feature film Lee Daniels' The Butler. Grant also sold a narrative miniseries to a top cabler.  #freedomriderspbs  @FreedomRidersPBS














Grant is co-producer of this 4-part series Latin Music USA  which examines the social and political roots of Latin Music in the United States. The series includes: Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Carlos Santana, Linda Ronstadt, Ruben Blades, Gloria Estefan and others. The series is narrated by actor Jimmy Smits.  #LatinoMusicUSA  @LatinoMusicUSA









Grant is co-producer of this 4-part series Slavery and the Making of America which explores the founding of the nation through the eyes of the enslaved. Grant Co-Produced Hour 3 Seeds of Destruction which won a News & Doc Emmy for Outstanding Historical - Long Form documentary.










                                                                                 Photo By Franck Socha


Rokia: Voice of a New Generation [working title] - Grant is directing, producing and writing this documentary portrait about musical maverick singer-songwriter Rokia Traore and her fight to improve women's rights amidst religious crackdowns and political upheaval in her native Mali, West Africa. The film follows Rokia's rising career over 3 continents: Africa, Europe and the United States. 


FILMMAKER BIO


Laurens [pronounced La  RENZ] Grant is a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Documentary Branch [Oscars], and the Television Academy [Emmys]. Grant is a 3-time Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker who was also a Sundance Institute filmmaker fellow. 


Grant is a Consulting Producer on the award-winning documentaries Mr. SOUL! [Executive Producer Blair Underwood] about the first black Johnny Carson and United Skates [Executive Producer John Legend] about the dynamic underground roller rink scene and the racially charged efforts to save the rinks from extinction. Both films are by first-time female filmmakers and had their world premieres at TriBeca Film Festival. United Skates won the TriBeca Audience Award and Mr. SOUL! won the AFI Audience Award.


Grant also worked with Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog on The Nineties,  the award-winning filmmaking team behind CNN's critically-acclaimed "decades" series. Grant produced and directed the episodes Can We All Get Along? about race and culture, which received an ACE Eddie editing award nomination, and New World Order about the George H. W.  Bush presidency. The 7-part series premiered on CNN in July 2017. Check your local listings for rebroadcast times.


Grant directed and produced the documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement about the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The film received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding News/Information [Series or Special] and aired on BET as part of its Truth Series. Actor Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy is Executive Producer. The film is available on iTunes and Amazon.


Grant also produced the Peabody and Emmy-nominated documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. The film premiered at Sundance, representing her third film to premiere at this prestigious film festival. The film opened worldwide in Fall 2015 and played a remarkable 8-week run at Film Forum theater in New York City. It aired on PBS’s Independent Lens series to record-breaking ratings on Feb. 16, 2016. The film was awarded one of the top 5 documentaries of 2015 by the National Board of Review. It is now available on iTunes and Netflix with Spanish, French and Italian subtitles. The documentary has inspired several Hollywood films including The Stand Off directed by Justin Lin [of Star Trek Beyond and Fast and Furious fame.]


Grant directed the documentary Jesse Owens, the first full-length documentary on the African-American sports icon. Jesse Owens won a News & Doc Emmy for Outstanding Research, and received two News & Doc Emmy nominations for Outstanding Historical - Long Form, and Outstanding Music and Sound. The film aired on PBS in the US, and in Europe on PBS UK and WDR in Germany. The film is available on iTunes, Hulu+ and other platforms. The film inspired the Hollywood feature film Race starring Stephan James as Jesse Owens with Jeremy Irons and William Hurt.

Grant also produced the documentary Freedom Riders which premiered at Sundance, won 3 Primetime Emmys, a Peabody, was featured on Oprah's last season, and has influenced the Hollywood films: Selma and Lee Daniels’ The Butler which included scenes of the documentary.


Additionally, Grant co-produced two, 4-hour series for PBS, including the Emmy-winning Slavery and the Making of America: Seeds of Destruction, and Latin Music USA: The Chicano Wave. The entire Latin Music USA series was rebroadcast on PBS in 2017. Check your local listings for broadcast times. 


Before plunging into the world of documentary, Grant was a foreign correspondent in Latin America, based in Mexico City and Panama. She was a stringer correspondent for Reuters, heading up its Panama bureau in Central America. While living and working there, she received a Foreign Press Association Award of Merit for her coverage of Latin American politics, finance and women’s rights. While living and working in Mexico City, Grant was a copy editor for the English-language newspaper The News and also covered the Latin American region for Newsweek, the Texas Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, the San Francisco Examiner and other publications.


Grant received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a major concentration in French language and literature from Northwestern University the Medill School of Journalism. Grant was also awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters, honoris causa, from Governors State University in Illinois. Grant speaks Spanish and French.