Columbia Arts Channel

Festival Retrospective - Archie An American Journey

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Featured in our 2020 Columbia Film Festival. During his 47-year career with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Archie Avedisian was a disrupter long before the term became cache. But rather than move fast and break things, Archie moved fast and built communities. He integrated clubs during the era of segregation, introduced clubs to the DC housing projects during the crack cocaine crisis, and brought girls into his boys’ clubs long before the national organization was ready to do that. This biography follows Archie’s career through his retirement in Gaithersburg, MD, and holds lessons today for bringing communities together even in our modern-day divided society. Documentary, Short, Biographical

Director Commentary: Archie: An American Journey was a labor of love. I have recently been drawn to ordinary people who do extraordinary things, and Archie Avedisian is the epitome of such a person. In a world where we worship and glorify shiny objects that in reality have no substance, Archie is a true gem, a visionary leader who was ahead of his time in advancing race relations and gender equity during his 47-year career with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Archie’s story is an inspiring one that shows the impact one person can have on so many lives. Just the sort of story we need to hear and see in these fractious times.

Director Bio: John Sullivan was a print journalist for more than 30 years working in the United States and Africa. Since 2016, he has been producing short documentary-style videos for nonprofit organizations, including Reve Kandale, a Bethesda, MD-based organization that supports development projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. John is a member of the Reve Kandale board of directors. Archie: An American Journey is his first short documentary film.

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    United States
  • Director
    John Sullivan