James Blue

James Blue (1930-1980) was a groundbreaking filmmaker, as well as educator, actor, avid film historian, and advocate of nonfiction experimentation and the democratization of media. James worked as a maker of the public television series The Invisible City: Houston’s Housing Crisis, Part 2: Messages (Southwest Alternative Media Project, 1979). He collaborated with nonprofessional actors to produce The Olive Trees of Justice (1962). He created the pretense it was about the wine business, when it was an anti-colonialist narrative about liberation struggles. Smuggled to France, it won the Critics Prize at Cannes. He later won the first Ford Foundation grant awarded to a filmmaker. His other films include The March (1963-64) and A Few Notes on Our Food Problem (1968). He worked with anthropologist David MacDougall at Rice University and founded the Southwest Alternative Media Project (SWAMP) in Houston. He later joined the faculty of the Center for Media Study at SUNY Buffalo.

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