Serendipity Talk: Life in the Golden Age of Hollywood and Washington

George Stevens, Jr., while still in his teens, began assisting his director father in filming such masterpieces as Giant, A Place in the Sun, Shane and The Diary of Anne Frank. Stevens was then summoned to Washington by Edward R. Murrow, the head of the U.S. Information Agency during the Kennedy Administration, to run the USIA's film unit. In that role, Stevens produced Nine from Little Rock, Separate but Equal, and The March, documenting the civil rights rally that featured Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. While in Washington, Stevens employed his Hollywood experience in founding the American Film Institute and in creating and thereafter in producing the Kennedy Center Honors for nearly four decades. Stevens recounts his fascinating experience in his recent, highly acclaimed memoir, My Place in the Sun: Life in the Golden Age of Hollywood and Washington. Stevens will discuss his memoir in conversation with our own beloved cinema expert and film course SGL, Leonard King.

George Stevens, Jr. is a director, writer, producer, and playwright. He is filmmaker and founder of the American Film Institute, creator of the AFI Life Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honors. He served as co-chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities for President Obama. His awards and honors include fifteen Emmys, eight Writers Guild Awards, two Peabody Awards, the Humanitas Prize and an Honorary Academy Award. He is the author of Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood's Golden Age at The American Film Institute and the Broadway play Thurgood. His memoir My Place in the Sun was published by the University Press of Kentucky in May 2022.


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