University of Pittsburgh
March 26, 2009

The University of Pittsburgh's Black Action Society to Host Famed Director Spike Lee March 31

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's Black Action Society (BAS) will host famed filmmaker Spike Lee at 8:30 p.m. March 31 in 120 David Lawrence Hall, 3942 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the event commencing at 8:30 p.m.

Lee, writer, actor, producer, director, and author, revolutionized the role of Black talent in cinema with sociopolitical critiques that challenge cultural assumptions about race, class, and gender identity.

His debut film, "She's Gotta Have It," earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986 and set him up for a career at the forefront of American cinema. His work continues to garner huge success. His 1989 film, "Do The Right Thing," earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay as well as Best Film and Best Director awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Lee's 1992 drama, "Malcolm X," received two Academy Award nominations. Other critical and box office successes include I"nside Man," "25th Hour," "Summer of Sam," "Jungle Fever," and"Clockers."

Lee also works in documentary and sports programs. He recently completed "When the Levees Broke," a documentary about the plight of Americans stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and previously received Emmy and Oscar nominations for his HBO documentary "4 Little Girls." His sports piece on Georgetown University's coach John Thompson for HBO/Real Sports won an Emmy Award.

In addition to his film achievements, Lee also has produced and directed music videos for artists like Tracy Chapman, Anita Baker, Public Enemy, Bruce Hornsby, Chaka Khan, Miles Davis, Phyllis Hyman, Naughty by Nature, Arrested Development, and Michael Jackson. He also has tried his hand at writing, authoring six books to date.

Lee attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., and then earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in film production at New York University's Tisch School of Arts in Manhattan. He is working on a musical, Passing Strange, which will debut at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Founded in 1968, Pitt's Black Action Society is dedicated to promoting the cultural, educational, political, and social needs of students. The group seeks to encourage its members to become strong, educated leaders who reinforce a healthy collective body in the attempt to better the quality of life for all students.

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Glory Ojiere at 412-648-7880 or programming.bas@gmail.com.

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