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Anthem

Directors

Peter Nicks

Executive Producers

Elise Pearlstein, R.J. Cutler, Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian

Producers

Peter Nicks, Kris Bowers, Sean Havey, Chris L. Jenkins, and Ryan Coogler

Editors

Rebecca Adorno Dávila, J. Christian Jensen

Cinematographers

Sean Havey, Peter Nicks

The Star-Spangled Banner, written in 1814 using the melody of an old British tune, is a song that evokes a range of emotions from patriotic pride to cynicism and terror. But what would the national anthem sound like if it was based on American music? Anthem follows composer and pianist Kris Bowers and producer Dahi as they journey across the country to find out.

The duo’s road trip takes them to Detroit, home of the Motown sound and civil unrest; Clarksdale, the birthplace of the blues; Nashville, the country music capital of the world; New Orleans, where jazz bands preserve a unique musical legacy; Tulsa, where Native American musicians share their story through dance; and San Francisco, where Latin American culture and activism thrive. Conversations with the musicians in each of these cities naturally lead Bowers and Dahi to deeper discussions about race, history, and national identity, culminating with recording a new anthem that reflects the America we know and love today.

Courtesy of Onyx Collective and Hulu

Peter Nicks

Director

Peter Nicks is an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer, producer, and director known for his trilogy of cinema vérité films set in Oakland, CA. His critically acclaimed feature documentary The Waiting Room won an Independent Spirit Award and was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2012. The Force – the second in the trilogy of timely, immersive documentaries exploring the interconnected narratives of health care, criminal justice, and education – won the 2017 Sundance Directing Prize. Homeroom, the final film in the trilogy, won the inaugural Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

 

Nicks co-founded Proximity Media with fellow Oakland-based filmmaker Ryan Coogler and oversees the nonfiction division. He is the recipient of the SFFS/KRF screenwriting grant as well as a United States Artists Fellow. He received his B.A. in English from Howard University and his master’s in journalism from UC Berkeley. He lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.