Cinematographer Hans Charles hopeful “13th” will score best Documentary at the Oscars & The Film Independent Spirit Awards

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Santa Monica, CA

It’s been a season of accolades for the Oscar-nominated documentary “13th,” a non fiction film that touches on the subject of incarceration and equates the U.S. prison system to modern day slavery. Director Ava DuVernay and her team will find out February 25th if the nomination accolades translates into a winner in the documentary category at the 32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards, the premier awards event for the independent film community.

The awards show is held inside a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, California, the day before the Academy Awards.

The ceremony, hosted by Nick Kroll & John Mulaney, will be broadcast live on IFC on Saturday, February 25 at 2p/5e with an on-demand version available on Sundance Now.

The man behind the lens of “13th,” is Hans Charles, a Professor of Film and Video Studies at George Mason University. Charles shared the director of photography role with Kira Kelly.

“I’m so honored to be part of a film that is sparking such an important and relevent conversation, said Charles.”

13th Official Trailer/Netflix

“13th,” named for the 13th Amendment which ended slavery in the U.S., tackles the issue of mass incarceration, the three strikes law and the rise of private prisons.

Charles , who once worked with former prisoners as a mental health specialist, said it was his knowledge of these social issues that ultimately landed him the job with DuVernay.

“She called me and said, “you have a passion for it; you seem to know a lot about the subject matter,” Charles said.

In “13th,” Charles and DuVernay offer a powerful mixture of archival footage and testimonies from activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men. Among some of those featured in the documentary include Angela Davis, Newt Gingrich, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Senator Cory Booker, Khalil Muhammad, among others. The film is currently available on Netflix.

Hans is launching a crowdfunding campaign for his own film; “1 Angry Black Man,” which he is executive producing with his creative partner and Director of the film, Menelek Lumumba.

“Menelek and I are very excited about “1 Angry Black Man,” and are hopeful our friends and the film community will support us in our effort to bring this project to audiences,” said Charles. Like “13th” we believe it is both timely and speaks truth to power creatively on film.

About Hans Charles

Hans is a former professor of Cinematography at Howard University, and is a tenure track professor of Cinematography at George Mason University in Virginia. Hans’ latest feature work is Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th.”

He and his creative partner writer/director Menelek Lumumba are currently launching an Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign for their next film project, “1 Angry Black Man,” and are in pre-production for their first comedy, “The Reception.” Hans and Menelek host a weekly film podcast called the Back of the Theater Podcast. Mr. Charles resides in the District of Columbia with his family.

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