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Center for Politics Wins Emmy Award for CHARLOTTESVILLE Documentary

The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ latest documentary, CHARLOTTESVILLE, has received the Emmy Award for best Cultural/Topical Documentary from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The award was announced Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the 61st Capital Emmy Awards in Bethesda, MD.

This is the fourth Emmy Award won by the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history.

Directed by Paul Tait Roberts and produced by Center for Politics Director and UVA Professor Larry J. Sabato with Center for Politics Director of Programs Glenn Crossman, CHARLOTTESVILLE is the Center’s first two-hour documentary. It traces the tragedies of Aug. 11-12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, all while asking “How could this happen in modern America?” Firsthand accounts by victims and witnesses who woke to find riots in their backyards and murder in their streets present a compelling account of the city and people of Charlottesville in the wake of shocking racial strife, religious bigotry, government blunders, and political equivocation.

“This isn’t just a film about a terrible event in one small college town,” said Larry Sabato. “What happened in Charlottesville in August 2017 is a national disgrace, and our hope in making this film is to help the nation confront a cancer growing on our Republic. The film shows us what can happen anywhere in America if we don’t confront this era’s menacing malignancy of racial and religious hatred.”

Through the use of first-hand accounts, CHARLOTTESVILLE offers local insight and perspective on the events that garnered national and international attention, prompting us to ask questions about who we are as a people, what we can learn from this experience, and how we can come together as a country.

A trailer and additional information are available at

Program support for CHARLOTTESVILLE was provided by the Virginia Foundation for Public Media and the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.

In 2017, the Center won Best Historical Documentary for Feeling Good About America, which explored the 1976 presidential election, which featured then-former California Gov. Ronald Reagan, little-known former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, and incumbent President Gerald Ford all battling for the nation’s highest office.

In 2013, the Center won Best Topical Documentary for Out of Order: Civility in Politics, which explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress. In 2014, the Center won Best Historical Documentary for The Kennedy Half Century. In 2015, Sabato’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), also entitled “The Kennedy Half Century,” was the first MOOC to be nominated by the National Academy for an Emmy for Best Instructional Programming.