Sing Sing Thanksgiving

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Sing Sing Thanksgiving

Q&A with director David Hoffman, moderated by documentary filmmaker Ryan Miller

SOLD OUT: This screening is currently sold out. There will be a standby line starting one hour before showtime.

In 1972, B.B. King, Joan Baez, and other great artists came to New York’s maximum security prison, Sing Sing, and gave one of the best shows of their lives. B.B. called it one of his greatest performances. New York’s Daily News called it one of the greatest moments in live entertainment.

The director David Hoffman lived in Ossining, New York in the early 1970s and taught the inmates about filmmaking and storytelling. The state of New York and the Sing Sing prison wardens were open to the idea of the class and of the concert, which Hoffman proposed to take place on Thanksgiving Day.  Seven top-of-the-line documentary crews led by Hoffman filmed over a two-day period, in what turned out to be an extraordinary event both musically and in terms of what the inmates and the officers revealed about their experiences. 

The resulting 90-minute film ran on prime time PBS and has not been seen publicly since that time.

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of this exceptional event with a screening of Sing Sing Thanksgiving followed by a Q&A with the director David Hoffman, moderated by Ryan Miller – and a reception in the Jane Peck Gallery with beer courtesy of Sing Sing Kill Brewery and wine courtesy of Wine Enthusiast.

In partnership with Sing Sing Prison Museum.

Check out a recent interview with the film’s director David Hoffman here.


7:00: Q&A with director David Hoffman, moderated by documentary filmmaker Ryan Miller
Thursday, Nov. 3 2022, 7:00
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  • Filmmaker David Hoffman has been doing it for more than 60 years. With more than 200 television specials and series, six documentary feature films, hundreds of films for corporations, and educational films for schools, he now focuses his attention on YouTube where he has become a YouTube star. He has almost a million active subscribers and posts clips from his documentaries as well as personal statements about his life and times.
  • Ryan Miller is an executive producer, writer, and director of non-fiction documentaries. His work has premiered at Sundance Film Festival and appeared on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, VICE, CNN, PBS, NatGeo, Discovery, History, Animal Planet, and A&E. Ryan has recently executive produced the Netflix series, Crime Scene, a co-production between RadicalMedia and Imagine Documentaries, CNN's Death Row Stories, along with executive producers Robert Redford and Alex Gibney, and the EMMY NOMINATED Chasing Life with Sanjay Gupta. Ryan was also senior producer on one of the longest-running, most distinguished documentary series, Nation Geographic's Explorer. Recent directing work includes HULU’s Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, more than twenty segments for Amazon's The New Yorker Presents, three episodes of CNN's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, and the Netflix series, Cooked, based on the work of acclaimed journalist, Michael Pollan. Ryan lives in New York with his wife and two kids and plays in a garage rock band.

This film is part of the Community Matters: Now More Than Ever series.

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