H. James Gilmore

H. James Gilmore is Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and co-founder of the Journalism and Screen Studies Discipline. As a documentary filmmaker, Prof. Gilmore has an established track record of focusing on issues of social change, including the transition from white-ruled Rhodesia to black-ruled Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe: A Racial Revolution, 1988), life in rural Pennsylvania (Rural American Documentary Project, 1989), the changing American family (Alone Together, 1991), the transformation of suburban America (Chronicle Of An American Suburb, 2002), and racial history and change (Dare Not Walk Alone, 2006), which was nominated for the NAACP Image Award.

Gilmore has worked for a number of media organizations, including The Christian Science Monitor in Boston and New Hampshire Public Television. Throughout his career, he also remained active in the independent film community. His experimental film Used Illusions (1989) was screened as part of the New England Film and Video Festival. A documentary about Black Velvet Art (1991) premiered at The Festival of Films on Art in Montreal. The Shipyard Dance (1999), profiling groundbreaking choreographer Liz Lerman, screened at the Louisville Film and Video Festival and received a Communicator Award. Chronicle of an American Suburb, a more personal documentary essay about suburbia and the elusive search for the American Dream, premiered at Cinequest. It was broadcast on WTTW Chicago Public Television, and is currently distributed by Berkeley Media.

Gilmore holds a MA in Broadcasting and Film from the University of Iowa and a BA in theatre arts and political science from Kalamazoo College. He serves as executive producer of Acadia Pictures, an independent non-fiction production company he founded in 1995, and as associate director of The Acadia Institute of Oceanography, a summer camp in marine science based in Seal Harbor, Maine.

Men at Work developed out of Gilmore’s academic work in oral history at the University of Michigan-Dearborn through the “Voices from Detroit” project, which he co-produces with Professor Carolyn Kraus.

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    Chronicle of an American Suburb

    This fascinating, multifaceted documentary is an extraordinary portrait of one of America’s quintessential postwar suburbs, Park Forest, Illinois, from its founding to the present.

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    Men at Work: Voices from Detroit’s Underground Economy

    Detroit, which recently came in first on Forbes magazine’s “Miserable Cities Index,” is viewed as the national reference point for all that has gone wrong in urban America. But abandonment and decay are not the only stories in the poorest, most dramatically shrinking major American city. Detroit is also a tale of ingenuity and reinvention born of necessity. This is the story of how, in an economic climate apparently designed to ensure their failure, some resilient men find work on their own terms, get food and shelter, and raise their children -often making up the means to do so as they go along.

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