April 4, 2019
On April 4th the March on Washington Film Festival and NYU Washington, DC co-sponsored a screening and panel discussion of While I Breathe, I Hope – a documentary following South Carolina politician Bakari Sellers through his campaign, offering an eye-opening look at what it means to be young, black, and a Democrat in the American South.
Follow Sellers on his 2014 bid for lieutenant governor, through the 2015 Charleston massacre, and to the present, as he takes on a national role on CNN. Through his experiences, this film offers audiences a window into the legacy of race in politics in the United States and serves as an inspiration to young leaders and change makers of today.
Symone Sanders, CNN Political Commentator and Senior Advisor for Political Outreach and Communications at Priorities USA, joined Bakari Sellers in a discussion that followed the film. Emily Harrold, Producer of While I Breathe, I Hope, George Hornedo, Senior Policy Advisor, Let America Vote, and Broderick Johnson, Producer, March on Washington Film Festival, gave introductions before the film.
Emily Harrold, Director/Producer, is a documentary filmmaker from Orangeburg, South Carolina. Her films have screened at such festivals as the Tribeca Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Telluride Film Festival. Harrold produced the documentary feature, Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators, which premiered at the LA Film Festival in June 2017 and won the Documentary Audience Award at Nantucket Film Festival in June 2017. The film is distributed by The Orchard. Harrold collaborated with Tribeca Digital Studios to produce and direct a short documentary film, La Cocinera, which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and before an online release in June. The film has over 100,000 views online. Harrold’s film Reporting on The Times: The New York Times and The Holocaust received a Student Directors Guild of America Award, was a Documentary Finalist in the 2012 Student Academy Awards, and received a Special Jury Mention from the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. The film opened theatrically in San Francisco, California and is distributed by Filmakers Library. Harrold has worked for RadicalMedia, Zero Point Zero, Partisan Pictures, BBC2, Gigantic Pictures, The Futuro Media Group, and Insignia Films. Her recent credits include Discovery’s TIGERLAND, CNN’s The End: The Last Days of the Obama White House, PBS’s The White House: Inside Story, and PBS’s America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa. Harrold is a graduate of New York University, where she earned honors majoring in Film Production and US History.
A champion for women, Symone D. Sanders is a CNN Political Commentator and Senior Advisor for Political Outreach and Communications at Priorities USA. She is also a former Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School. Symone rose to prominence during her tenure as the National Press Secretary for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.. At 25, Symone demonstrated an uncanny command of the issues earning her a place in history as the youngest presidential press secretary on record and a spot on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of 16 young Americans shaping the 2016 election.
However, Symone was not new to presidential politics. When she was 16, she introduced former President Bill Clinton at a luncheon in Omaha, Nebraska. Following her remarks, President Clinton said, “Symone spoke so well I really hate to follow her.” President Clinton went on to write about Symone in his book, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.
Now, Symone draws from her experience on the national stage to provide perceptive analysis on political and social issues. Her lively presentations challenge the conventional wisdom that strong communities are only defined by what we have in common. Instead, she outlines the way our differences contribute to effective social movements.
In January 2019, Symone began at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife Center for the Political Future as a Residennt Fellow.
Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2014 he was the Democratic Nominee for Lt. Governor in the state of South Carolina.
Earning his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, where he served as student body president, and his law degree from the University of South Carolina, Sellers has followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, in
his tireless commitment to service taking championing progressive policies to address issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and childhood obesity.
His impressive list accomplishment in addition to having served on President Barack Obama's South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election, Sellers is widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and leading voice for his
generation. That coupled with his uncommon ability to reach across the aisle and get things done has led to numerous accolades including being named to TIME Magazine’s 40 Under 40 in 2010 as well as 2014 and 20015 “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African-Americans.
He has served as a featured speaker at events for the National Education Association, College Democrats of America National Convention, the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Sellers practices law with the Strom Law Firm, LLC in Columbia, SC and is a Political Commentator at CNN. He is married to Dr. Ellen Rucker-Sellers.
The March on Washington Film Festival was founded in 2013 in Washington, DC to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The inaugural festival attracted over 1,000 attendees to ten events over the span of two weeks at venues across Washington DC. The flagship festival is held every July in Washington, DC and serves as a national platform to tell, celebrate, and increase awareness of the untold events and heroes, known and unsung, of the Civil Rights Movement. The Festival uses film screenings as a platform for panel discussions featuring filmmakers, academics, and activists and brings together an audience that is diverse in age, class, and ethnicity. The March on Washington Film Festival is proud to continue our efforts in providing unique platforms for our student and emerging filmmakers who compete during our annual film festival.