HumanDocs kicks off Wednesday with Big Men

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HumanDocs Film Series kicks off with "Big Men," documentary on oil development in Africa produced by Brad Pitt

Lipscomb University’s annual HumanDocs Film Series kicks off the 2014-15 season with the social documentary “Big Men,” screening at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, in Shamblin Theatre. The film is free and open to the public.

There will be a panel discussion after the film featuring Dodd Galbreath, founding director of Lipscomb’s Institute for Sustainable Practice; George Parks, president of FuelScience LLC and formerly with ConocoPhillips, and Fortune Mhlanga, director of Lipscomb’s College of Computing and Technology and a native of Zambia.

Over the course of five years, director Rachel Boynton and her cinematographer filmed the quest for oil in Ghana by Dallas-based Kosmos. The company developed the country’s first commercial oil field, yet its success was quickly compromised by political intrigue and accusations of corruption. As Ghanaians waited to reap the benefits of oil, the filmmakers discovered violent resistance down the coast in the Niger Delta, where impoverished Nigerians have yet to prosper from decades-old oil fields.

"Big Men," executive produced by Brad Pitt, provides an unprecedented inside look at the global deal making and dark underside of energy development — a contest for money and power that is reshaping the world. “Big Men” was an official selection of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.

Prior to “Big Men,” Boynton produced and directed the feature-length documentary “Our Brand Is Crisis,” winner of the International Documentary Association’s Best Feature Documentary Award and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. 

Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times wrote of “Big Men:” “dropping us into a perfect storm of avarice, this cool and incisive snapshot of global capitalism at work is as remarkable for its access as for its refusal to judge.”

The HumanDocs Film Series is presented in partnership with the Nashville Film Festival, Nashville Public Television and Public Broadcasting Service’s POV.

For more information on this event, contact Ted Parks at or at 615.966.6616.