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Giving Voice

Filmmaker Q&A Screened Friday, July 16, 2021 (Film Available to Watch On Your Own Through Netflix)

Filmmaker Conversation with James D. Stern, Director & Producer, and John Priddy, Windrider Institute CEO and Co-Founder; Live Q&A and Panel Discussion with President and CEO of the August Wilson Cultural Center Janis Burley Wilson and storyteller and activist Celeste Lescene

Sponsored by Savant Investment Group

Watch this Film on Netflix (Subscription Required)

Giving Voice follows the lives of six high school students as they compete in the August Wilson Monologue Competition. August Wilson was an award-winning American playwright, who wrote about the African American experience. Viola Davis described his writing by saying, “He captures our humor, our vulnerabilities, our tragedies, our trauma. And he humanizes us. And he allows us to talk.”


The film shows the power of helping young people (and all people) find their own voice and let different voices create a rich symphony of cultures.

Filmmakers: James D. Stern & Fernando Villena
Run time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Winner of 2019 Sundance Festival Favorite Award

Press for Giving Voice

“…in capturing these moments, Giving Voice becomes as inspirational as [August] Wilson’s words, as fulfilling as each teen’s declaration of self-worth.”
-Robert Daniels, The New York Times

“In a lovely way, the title “Giving Voice” works both ways. Wilson gave voice to characters and experiences overlooked by mainstream theater. Those plays gave Black actors a chance to use their voices playing complex characters telling the truth about their lives. And this competition gives a new generation a chance to use their voices, returning the favor by keeping Wilson’s own voice alive.”
-Nell Minow,

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3 Short Film Program Poster

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Rising Phoenix Film Poster - Netflix

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Watch the Film on Netflix (Subscription Required)

Giving Voice Film Poster - Netflix

Giving Voice
Filmmaker Conversation and Panel Discussion Screened Friday, July 16, 2021
Watch the Film on Netflix (Subscription Required)