William Greaves, thechronicler of African-American history whose credits include Ralph Bunche:An American Odyssey and FromThese Roots, will receive theInternational Documentary Association's (IDA) 2004 Career Achievement Award ata ceremony in Los Angeles on Dec 10.
"William Greaves has madeunique and important contributions to advancing our understanding andappreciation of humanity and the African-American experience," IDA presidentRichard Propper said in a statement.
"Through his work as a filmmaker,actor and teacher, he exemplifies the values and spirit of non-fictionfilmmakers around the world."
Born in New York in 1926,Greaves studied at the Film Institute of the City College of New York andapprenticed with Louis de Rochment following stints in acting and songwriting.
He left the US to work forthe National Film Board of Canada, returning in 1963 to make documentaries forthe United Nations before starting his own production company in the late1960s.
In 1968 he served asexecutive producer and co-host of the Emmy Award-winning public affairs networktelevision series Black Journal, going on to make Ralph Bunche: An AmericanOdyssey, Ida B Wells: A PassionFor Justice and From These Roots, among others.
'I decided to stepbehind the camera to try to counter all the BS that the media was selling tothe American people and disseminating throughout the world,' Greaves said.
'My goal was to use themedium of film to tell the truth about our history and that of Africa.'
Greaves joins a distinguishedgroup of recipients that includes Sir David Attenborough, Ken Burns, Marcus Ophulsand Jacques Yves Cousteau.
He has also earned lifetimeachievement awards from the Black American Independent Film Festival, theAssociation of Independent Video and Filmmakers, and the National Black Theatreand Film Festival. He was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in1980.