"At a time when the film industry has drawn fire for its lack of diversity, programs such as this one are more important than ever."


It was conceived by the late Al Maysles, who is best know for movies such as "Grey Gardens" and "Gimme Shelter." His films are among the most famous documentaries ever made, but they are only part of his legacy. He was determined to help the community he called home.

Albert Maysles' legacy thrives at rejuvenated Harlem cinema

Film Journal International

Not your usual booking for an Academy Award hopeful, but the strategy paid off with a nomination in the Documentary Feature category. In point of fact, the Maysles Cinema on Malcolm X Blvd. and 127th Street was an ideal location for the screenings, bringing this stirring documentary about the renowned writer and activist James Baldwin to the very neighborhood where he was born and to audiences who would find particular insight and inspiration from his words.

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The discussion took place at Maysles Documentary Center, a non profit organization that brings experienced teaching artists to work with students to develop storytelling, film production, and community engagement skills.

“The idea with a space like this is to create a third space where newcomers and old-timers can come together and be neighbors and through documentaries, can experience the themes, issues and discussions that are very often directly related to people’s everyday lives."

Long Island Weekly

It serves a crucial role as part of Harlem’s community fabric. The MDC has also teamed up with other institutions including City College, the Museum of the City of New York and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to curate and provoke conversations about myriad past and present social subjects.

Started by legendary documentarian Albert Maysles, the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem is a haven for kids with little access to safe and creative spaces to come and tell their untold stories.