City of Mesa News Article
Muhammad Ali filmmakers to speak at free Community Cinema event
By: Kevin Christopher
03/13/14 10:25 AM

March 13, 2014
Public Information & Communications
Contact: Kevin Christopher
Tel. 480-644-4699   
Mesa, AZ – The director and producer of a 2013 movie about Muhammad Ali will speak at this month’s edition of “Community Cinema,” a free series of preview screenings of documentaries set to broadcast on the award-winning PBS series Independent Lens.  Director Bill Siegel and Producer Leon Gast will participate in a question and answer session following the screening of “The Trials of Muhammad Ali” Thursday, March 20 at 6 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center.
The documentary explores the extraordinary and complex life of the legendary athlete outside the boxing ring.  From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, from his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and influential figure.  Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion and wartime dissent.
Bill Siegel has more than 20 years of experience in documentary filmmaking and education.  He is Vice President of School Programs for the Great Books Foundation, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to literacy and lifelong learning.  Leon Gast is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His 1996 film “When We Were Kings”, about the heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali, won an Oscar for Best Documentary
Community Cinema is presented by the City of Mesa Office of Diversity, City of Mesa Human Relations Advisory Board, Mesa Arts Center, ITVS Community Cinema and Eight Arizona PBS.  For more information, visit  

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