HBO Max, HBO and Anonymous Content’s AC Studios announced today that they are reigniting the legacy of the Oscar-nominated and Peabody and Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize in multiple formats across the HBO Max and HBO brands.
Starting today, viewers will be able to stream part one of the original pioneering docuseries on HBO Max, followed by the premiere of a one-hour Max Original documentary special, Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground, set to debut August 19.
The special will be directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison (A Love Song for Latasha), whose work is a meditation of the spirit and conjures ancestral memories to explore the intersection of fiction and non-fiction storytelling.
Eyes on the Prize is a critically-acclaimed documentary series on civil rights in America. It tells the landmark story of the era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today.
Documentary special Hallowed Ground honors Henry Hampton’s masterpiece Eyes on the Prize (1987-1990) and conjures ancestral memories, activates the radical imagination and explores the profound journey for Black liberation through the voices of the movement. A portal through time, Hallowed Ground is a mystical and lyrical reimagining of the past, present, and future.
Executive producing alongside Patrisse Cullors, Field/House Productions’ Mervyn Marcano and De La Revolución Films’ Melina Matsoukas are Anonymous Content’s Joy Gorman Wettels, Bedonna Smith, Blackside’s Judi Hampton and Sandra Forman, and Sophia Nahli Allison.
AC Studios will serve as the studio on the project, which was developed and pitched in partnership with AC’s The Lab. Hampton is a former civil rights worker and the sister of the legendary documentarian and historian Henry Hampton, who created and executive produced the original series and founded Blackside.
HBO is also in production on a new documentary series reflecting on the legacy of the movement covered in the original Eyes on the Prize, and its ties to the present day as we witness history in the making unfold in front of the cameras and behind the scenes. This next iteration of the documentary series will also be available to stream on HBO Max.
To produce the special and docuseries, co-founder and former executive director of BLM, artist, activist, bestselling author, Patrisse Cullors and award-winning storyteller and co-founder of Blackbird, Mervyn Marcano, have joined forces with Blackside, the original producer of the documentary and Anonymous Content.
Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max, said: “We are very proud to be partnering with this dynamic team of activists and storytellers to bring this important work to our viewers. Across HBO and HBO Max, we are committed to providing a platform for authentic voices representing diverse, essential stories. We are honored to collaborate with our incredibly talented producing team to bring the legacy of Henry Hampton’s groundbreaking work to a new generation.”
Patrisse Cullors, Executive Producer, added: “I’ve watched the original ‘Eyes on the Prize’ a thousand times. And every single time I’ve watched it I’ve been moved to tears and moved to action. My organizing work and artistic practice was shaped by the hours of documentation I witnessed through ‘Eyes.’
“I am over the moon that I get to be a part of history by teaming up with Blackside, my producing partner, Mervyn Marcano, and the brilliant teams at Anonymous and WarnerMedia as we work to integrate the story of modern-day civil rights leaders for the new Eyes on the Prize: Hallowed Ground”
Mervyn Marcano, Executive Producer, said: “I’m thrilled to be continuing the enduring legacy of Eyes on the Prize, which told a fuller and more complex story of the long fight for racial justice in our country. It’s why Hallowed Ground, helmed by our visionary director Sophia Nahli Allison, serves as the perfect start to a new chapter for ‘Eyes’ — it is an emotional reflection on our journey through turbulent times and the truths we need to tell each other to forge new futures.
“There are indeed so many stories left to tell about who we are as a nation and where we are going, and we are lucky to have Eyes on the Prize continue to light the way.”
Joy Gorman Wettels, Executive Producer, commented: “As a teenager watching Eyes on the Prize, I was shocked, ashamed and moved by what Blackside brought to light that wasn’t being taught in school. Witnessing truth on film can move people of all ages to action, which is why we banded together to bring ‘Eyes’ back in a new way. We are all grateful that Judi entrusted this team of brilliant Black creatives who are shaping the culture like Sophia, Melina, Patrisse and Mervyn, and also thank Sarah Aubrey, Christy Haubegger and the entire WarnerMedia team for providing the perfect home for us.”
Judi Hampton, Blackside President and CEO, and Executive Producer, said: “I remember watching the pilot of Eyes on the Prize with Henry when it was first created, and I immediately knew this film would be a life-changer for all who saw it. A special thank you to Joy Gorman and Anonymous Content for reaching out to me years ago with passion for the original series and a dream to help bring ‘Eyes’ to a new generation. We are grateful for the stellar team of artists and activists who’ve come together to reimagine Eyes on the Prize in a way that will move and inspire a whole new audience.”