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Event Grant: AsiaLENS Engagement Programs - "The Reporter and Revolution" with co-producer Irv Drasnin

Event Type
Asian Educational Media Service, Spurlock Museum and Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.
Spurlock Museum (600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana)
Apr 9, 2014   4:00 pm  
Irv Drasnin
Originating Calendar
Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH)

Related Film Screening: April 8th, 7:00 p.m., Spurlock Museum.

Documentary filmmaker and broadcast journalist Irv Drasnin will present "The Reporter and Revolution", a special AsiaLENS speaking engagement on Wednesday, April 9th at 4:00 p.m. at the Spurlock Museum, located at 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana.  Mr. Drasnin’s talk will focus on the different roles and expectations of the documentary filmmaker in China and in the U.S., reflective of his own experience and the changes since he first filmed in the People’s Republic of China in 1973.  His most recent documentary as producer, writer, interviewer, and narrator is the 2012 Stourwater Pictures release The Revolutionary, about the Maoist Era and Sidney Rittenberg, an American who assumed an unprecedented role for a foreigner in Chinese politics.  A screening of The Revolutionary will take place on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Spurlock Museum.  Mr. Drasnin will introduce the film and provide a Q&A after the screening.  These events presented by Asian Educational Media Service, Spurlock Museum and Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities are open to the public and free to attend.

Irv Drasnin is a producer, writer, interviewer, and narrator of the Stourwater Pictures 2012 release The Revolutionary, which features the story of Sidney Rittenburg, the only American citizen to be admitted to the Chinese Communist Party under Mao’s rule. Irv's career in documentary filmmaking and broadcast journalism includes thirty-five years at CBS News and Public Television with extensive experience in China.  His thirty documentaries include Misunderstanding China (1972), Shanghai (1974), Looking for Mao (1983), and China After Tiananmen (1992). Among his many awards for outstanding documentary film are the DuPont-Columbia Award (twice), the Director’s Guild, the Writer’s Guild (twice), the American Film and Video Festival (twice) and Christopher awards (twice). Mr. Drasnin holds a Master’s degree from Harvard in East Asian Studies with a specialization in China and taught the documentary film program at Stanford (1980-82). He also was a founding member of The China Council of the Asia Society and its co-chairman (1981-83).

This special AsiaLENS program is co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Asian American Cultural Center, East Asian Languages and Cultures, School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, Media and Cinema Studies, and Department of English.  For more information on the AsiaLENS series, contact AEMS by phone: (217)333-9597, email: or visit our website at You can also visit the facebook event page for this particular event. 

Elizabeth Oyler (Director, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies; Director, Illinois Japan Performing Arts Network; Associate Professor, Japanese) and Jason Finkelman (Director, Global Arts Performance Initiatives, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts)


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