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Briscoe Center acquires the Paul Stekler Film Archive

Paul Stekler

The Briscoe Center has acquired the archive of award-winning filmmaker Paul Stekler, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Stekler's documentaries have been broadcast across PBS stations frequently over the last three decades.

"Paul Stekler's archive represents a unique visual documentation of American political anthropology over the last thirty years," said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. "The Briscoe Center actively seeks out the archives of documentarians and filmmakers. I have no doubt that, because of Paul's stature in the film industry, his archive will encourage other filmmakers to do likewise."

Getting Back to Abnormal
Last Man Standing
George Wallace:
Setting the Woods on Fire

Stekler's work includes George Wallace: Settin' the Woods on Fire; Last Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style; Vote for Me: Politics in America; two segments of the Eyes on the Prize II series on the history of civil rights; and Getting Back to Abnormal, which deals with New Orleans's post–Hurricane Katrina recovery. A graduate of Harvard University, he worked as a political pollster in Louisiana before he became a documentarian. His films have won two George Foster Peabody Awards, three Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Journalism Awards, three national Emmy Awards, and a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Stekler is a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the chair of the Radio-Television-Film department at UT Austin. He is also a member of the Austin Film Society's advisory board.

"It's really great that the archive will be accessible at the Briscoe Center, a research resource that I've often used myself," said Stekler. "I hope it'll be a rich teaching tool for those who want to see both what we did right and what we did wrong!"

Stekler's archive includes raw footage and rough cuts from his documentary projects in a variety of formats. Additionally, researchers can access transcripts of interviews, cue sheets, scripts and footage logs, as well as letters and project research materials like books and news clippings. Collection highlights include correspondence with Bill Moyers and Molly Ivins and rare interviews with Karl Rove.

"It's an interesting experience, organizing and boxing thirty years of one's filmmaking life," added Stekler. "You discover a lot of things in the tapes and notes and do a lot of reflecting on the adventures that were part of making all of those films."

The Stekler archive joins the Briscoe Center's other moving image collections that date from the 1930s. The center's political collections include the papers of more than fifty former and present members of Congress, ten governors, and eleven Texas House Speakers.


Join the Briscoe Center, the Austin Film Society, and KLRU for an evening with award-winning documentary filmmaker Paul Stekler. The event includes an exclusive screening of Stekler’s favorite on-camera moments from his key projects.

Date: October 15, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Room 204

Self-serve parking is available at the Conference Center.
RSVP required: ashley.carr@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 495-4609

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