Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Connie Field

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Name  Connie Field

Role  Film Editor
Connie Field saludthefilmnetwpcontentuploads201408Connie
Books  The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter: The Story of Three Million Working Women During World War II
Awards  Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit - Documentary Filmmaking
Nominations  Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, BAFTA Award for Best Documentary
Movies  Al Helm: Martin Luther Ki, The Life and Times of Rosie t, Freedom on My Mind, Have You Heard from Johannes, Have You Heard From Joh
Similar People  Phil Cousineau, Tom Hurwitz, Lois Vossen, Clayborne Carson

Director Connie Field is best known for directing five feature documentary films: The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980), Forever Activists (1990), Freedom on My Mind (1994), Have You Heard From Johannesburg (2010) and Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine (2013). She and her work have been nominated for two Academy Awards, and won dozens of other film awards, including a Primetime Emmy, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and two International Documentary Association Best Feature and Series awards.


She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the International Documentary Association, and the San Francisco Film Society.

Early life

Field was born in Washington, D.C. and was a full-time organizer for social causes in the late 1960s and 1970s in Boston and New York City. She was a staff member of Resist which funds and supports grassroots groups organizing on the front lines of the peace, economic, social and environmental justice movements; and The Resistance, an organization which persuaded young men of draft age to refuse to cooperate with the Selective Service System—to return all draft cards, including exemptions and deferments, and refuse to be drafted; and to work together to end the Vietnam War. She was a founding member of Bread and Roses, a women’s liberation organization that sought to integrate the recognition of sex discrimination with their work to achieve justice and equality for women, working classes, the poor. She was a journalist for The Old Mole, a radical New Left oriented underground newspaper and a member of Boston Newsreel, one of a group of independent filmmaking and distribution organizations around the country, which made over 60 documentaries in conjunction with grass-roots organizers to serve as catalysts for social change. Upon moving to New York City, she worked for The People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice and the Indochina Peace Campaign, both national organizations working for a just end to the war in Vietnam. During this time, she discovered a history never taught her generation of the many struggles for social equality achieved by previous generations. Both the importance of this discovery and her commitment to social justice would shape the rest of her life and work.

Film career

Connie’s most recent film, Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine, follows the unusual story of a touring play on the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. (written by one of the world’s foremost scholars on Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Clayborne Carson) performed by the Palestinian National Theatre of Jerusalem. This complex journey through the towns of the West Bank begins when an African American gospel choir comes to join the performance. These very religious Christians find themselves in the Holy Land for the first time, and begin a journey which will change all their previous perceptions of the region. Having grown up in churches allied with Israel because it is the Biblical destiny of ‘God’s chosen people,’ they now find themselves colleagues with Palestinians whose image has only been as terrorists on the Christian TV they watch in the United States. After this intense cultural exchange between two peoples new friendships are forged and attitudes are altered. “The parallels of struggle are striking” to the choir members.

Connie’s first film, The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, about American women who went to work during World War II to do “men's jobs,” has become a feminist classic, and has been selected by the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for preservation as a significant component of America’s film heritage. She got the idea for the film from a California “Rosie the Riveter Reunion,” and, with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and other charitable sources, conducted interviews with many hundreds of women who had gone into war work.

Out of these Field chose five representatives, and their reminiscences are intercut with the realities of the period – old newsreels, recruiting trailers, The March of Time clips, and pop songs such as “Rosie the Riveter.” These often serve to highlight the disparities between how women were portrayed in wartime media and the actual experiences of those five women. The film has been in active distribution for over 30 years. It premiered at the New York Film Festival in 1980, which at that time was one of the most important film festivals in America, and went on to be screened at over 50 film festivals all over the world. It was released in movie theaters in the United States, England and Australia to rave reviews. It earned fifteen international awards for Best Documentary, was named “One of the Ten Best Films of the Year” by a number of publications, including The Village Voice and Film Comment, and was voted “Best Independent Feature of the Year” in American Film Magazine. It was originally broadcast on PBS’s American Experience and numerous international TV stations such as Channel 4 in England and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Connie was co-director on the Academy Award nominated documentary Forever Activists (1990), a film produced and directed by Judy Montell about the lifelong activism of seven members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, the American contingent who fought on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War.

Freedom on My Mind (1994) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is a history of the Mississippi Voter Registration Project during the Civil Rights Movement which culminated in Freedom Summer in 1964. It dramatically interweaves powerful personal interviews, rare archival film and television footage, authentic Mississippi Delta blues, and vibrant Movement gospel songs. The film was co-directed and co-produced by Field with Marilyn Mulford. It was nominated for an Academy Award; won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival; was named “One of the Ten Best Films” of 1994 by a variety of film critics, including The San Francisco Examiner and The Oakland Tribune; and Variety called it “a landmark documentary that chronicles the most tumultuous and significant years in the history of the civil rights movement. A must see.” It was also broadcast on PBS’s American Experience.

Have You Heard From Johannesburg (2010) is a seven-film series covering the struggle of the global anti-apartheid movement to end apartheid in South Africa. It has been called “a monumental chronicle not just of one nation and its hideous regime, but of the second half of the 20th century.” The series won a Primetime Emmy Award for its broadcast on PBS's Independent Lens in 2012, and was awarded Best Limited Series by the International Documentary Association, and named Best Documentary of 2010 by The Village Voice and Time Out New York.

Other work includes ¡Salud! (2007), a documentary on Cuba’s role in the struggle for global health equity and the complex realities confronting the movement to make healthcare everyone’s birthright.

Selected filmography

  • Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine (2013)
  • Have You Heard From Johannesburg (2010)
  • ¡Salud! (2007)
  • Freedom on My Mind (1994)
  • Forever Activists: Stories from the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (1990)
  • The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980)
  • Awards and nominations

    The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter

  • Best Documentary nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1981
  • winner, Gold Hugo, Chicago International Film Festival, 1980
  • winner, Golden Marazzo, Festival dei Popoli, 1980
  • winner, Gold Award, Houston International Film Festival, 1980
  • winner, CINE Golden Eagle, 1981
  • winner, Golden Athena, Athens Festival
  • winner, Finalist Award, National Educational Film Festival, 1982
  • winner, Blue Ribbon Award, American Film Festival, 1981
  • winner, John Grierson Award, American Film Festival, Educational Film Library Association
  • Forever Activists: Stories from the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

  • Best Documentary Feature nomination, The 63rd Academy Awards, 1991
  • Freedom on My Mind

  • Best Documentary Feature nomination, The 67th Academy Awards, 1994
  • winner, Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival, 1994
  • winner, Best of Northern California, National Educational Film Festival, 1994
  • winner, Erik Barnouw Award, Organization of American Historians, 1995
  • winner, John O’Connor Award, American Historical Association
  • winner, Bronze Award, WorldFest Houston, 1994
  • winner, Distinguished Documentary Award, International Documentary Association, 1994
  • winner, National Educational Association Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Learning through Broadcasting, 1996
  • winner, CINE Golden Eagle, 1996
  • ¡Salud!

  • winner, Audience Award, Pan African Film Festival, 2007
  • winner, Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Media, Council on Foundations, 2008
  • winner, Film Award, American Medical Students Association, 2007
  • Have You Heard From Johannesburg

  • winner, Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 2012
  • winner, Best Limited Series, International Documentary Association, 2010
  • winner, Gold Hugo for Best Documentary Series, Chicago International Film Festival Hugo Television Awards, 2012
  • Best Documentary Feature nomination, BFI London Film Festival, 2009
  • winner, Best Documentary Feature, Vancouver International Film Festival, 2006
  • winner, Best Documentary Feature, Pan African Film Festival, 2007
  • Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine

  • winner, CrossCurrents Foundation Justice Matters Award, Washington DC International Film Festival, 2014
  • winner, Audience Favorite – Active Cinema, Mill Valley Film Festival, 2013
  • winner, CINE Golden Eagle, 2012
  • References

    Connie Field Wikipedia