The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded the Emmy award-winning producer/ director Jim Brown, associate professor in the Undergraduate division of the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts, a $550,000 grant for his film Rockin’ the Kremlin. The 90-minute documentary examines how American rock and roll music contributed to the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the fall of the Soviet Union.
“The film focuses on cultural diplomacy and soft power, and the role that rock and roll had in ending the Cold War,” said Brown. It features an exclusive interview with President Mikhail Gorbachev, who talks for the first time about how rock and roll influenced his policies during Glasnost. “We have government officials, rockstars, leading scholars, and an ex-head of the KGB all in the same film,” added Brown.
The Grammy Museum Foundation in Los Angeles will help launch Rockin’ the Kremlin with a concert and a premier at LA LIVE. The NEH grant will now help Brown to finish the film.
Brown currently has five of his documentaries airing on PBS as fundraisers. They are: the recently produced Legends of Folk: The Village Scene; Peter Yarrow Family Special; The Weavers: Wasn't That A Time, co-produced by NYU emeritus professor and legendary documentarian George Stoney; Pete Seeger: The Power of Song; and Peter, Paul, & Mary : Carry It On. He is currently in production for a sixth, titled Don Mclean: American Troubadour.