Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The Atlanta Film Festival (AFF) and Auburn Avenue Films hosted a special advanced screening of the highly anticipated documentary MAYNARD. The invitation only event took place at the historic Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State and was attended by Civil Rights icons the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Ambassador Andrew Young.

MAYNARD chronicles the life and legacy of Atlanta’s first African American Mayor Maynard H. Jackson.  He made American history in 1973 as the first black man to govern a major southern city and was instrumental in laying the foundation for Atlanta becoming a major metropolis. Jackson is also credited for creating the blueprint for the city’s bustling arts and entertainment scene and was the visionary behind the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. He also increased minority business participation in the city and was the driving force behind Atlanta becoming the host city for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. He died at the age of 65 in 2003.

Maynard Jackson III + Wendy Eley Jackson

MAYNARD is directed by award-winning filmmaker Samuel Pollard and presents an intimate view of Jackson from those who knew him best. The film includes video archival footage and photographs, and rare interviews with family and co-workers who helped sustain the Maynard movement during his three terms as Mayor and beyond.  Commentary was given by Jackson’s first wife Bunnie Jackson-Ranson and his second and final wife, Valerie Jackson and is five children. The film also includes Reverend Al Sharpton, former President Bill Clinton, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, Vernon Jordan and former Atlanta Mayors—Shirley FranklinBill Campbell, Sam Massell and Kasim Reed.

MAYNARD producing team on stage

MAYNARD is executive produced by Maynard H. Jackson IIIWendy Eley JacksonBrook Jackson EdmondElizabeth Jackson Hodges and Howie C. Hodges. It is also produced by Jason OrrWinsome SinclairDonald JarmondKozmo MillerAutumn Bailey and Dolly Turner.  Award winning musician Phil Davis created the film’s score.

Check out more photos below from the screening including a post Q&A session featuring Rev. Jackson and Ambassador Young:

Atlanta Film Festival Executive Director Chris Escobar + BronzeLens Film Festival Executive Producer Kathleen Bertrand served as the screening’s hosts

Director of Atlanta’s Office of Film & Entertainment Chris Hicks

GPB’s President & CEO Teya Ryan

Ambassador Andrew Young + Rev. Jesse Jackson +

moderator & AJC writer Ernie Suggs 

Reverend Jesse Jackson 

MAYNARD producer Jason Orr + MAYNARD music composer Phil Davis 

MAYNARD producers Winsome Sinclaire + Donald Jarmond

The Maynard Jackson Family

Click here and listen to my UPFRONT interview with Maynard Jackson III and Wendy Eley Jackson as they discuss MAYNARD and more!

Photo Credits: Ray Cornelius.com