Author Lecture Series: Jon Else

Press Advisory


Jon Else, one of America’s foremost documentary filmmakers and winner of numerous prestigious awards, will be the first speaker in the Friends of the Library 2017-18 Charles Martell Author Lecture Series at a California State University, Sacramento,  presentation set for Wednesday, September 13, at 3 p.m. in the University Library Gallery. The lecture is free and open to the public and free parking is available.

Focus of the presentation is his new book, True South: Henry Hampton and “Eyes on the Prize,” the Landmark Television Series that Reframed the Civil Rights Movement.  A book signing will follow the presentation.  Else was cinematographer and producer of the 14-part documentary on PBS. He first came to national attention in 1980 for his film, “The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb.” In addition to “Eyes on the Prize,” among many others, he went on to win serious attention for his films Yosemite: The Fate of Heaven (1989), and Cadillac Desert: Water and the Transformation of Nature (1997. 

Else is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (1988 to 1993), and has won four National Emmys (for writing, producing, directing, and cinematography), several Columbia-DuPonts and Peabody Awards, several Academy Award nominations, the Prix Italia, the Sundance Special Jury Prize, and Sundance Filmmaker’s Trophy.  He currently is a professor in UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where the documentary film program under his direction has established itself as one of the top such programs in the nation. The Robert Else Gallery at Sacramento State was named for his father, a longtime professor of art at the University.

The FOL Author Lecture Series was recently renamed in honor of the late Charles Martell, former dean of the Sacramento State University Library and founder of the Friends.  Co-sponsors include the University Library, the Hornet Bookstore, Sacramento State Creative Services and the University Library Gallery.

For free parking permits, call Sally Hitchcock, the Library’s coordinator for community outreach, at (916) 278-5954 or email her at

For questions, call lecture series co-coordinator Lisa Woodard-Mink at (916) 278-3852 or email her at