Thursday, November 15, 2007

‘Running Dry’ Documentarian to Speak (Nov. 28)

Veteran writer, producer and director James Thebaut will present his documentary, “Running Dry,” followed by a discussion, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the University Union Grand Ballroom on the WIU-Macomb campus as part of the University Theme “Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility–Environmental Sustainability” 2007-2008 Speaker Series.

Thebaut’s presentation is open free to the public.

Thebaut recently wrote, produced and directed “Running Dry,” a documentary feature inspired by the late Sen. Paul Simon’s book, “Tapped Out.” The film is a global call to action regarding the evolving world water humanitarian crisis. Thebaut directed crews in China, Israel, Palestine and Jordan, South Africa, India and the American Southwest in order to visualize the depth of the crisis. He also conducted on-camera interviews with Mikhail Gorbachev, Shimon Peres and many other prominent individuals worldwide. The documentary is narrated by Jane Seymour.

He is also the writer, producer, director and co-executive producer of the documentary feature “The Cold War and Beyond,” the story of the arms race during the 50 years of The Cold War and its legacy on today’s world.

Currently, Thebaut is developing “The Dirty Little Secret,” a documentary on the sexual abuse of female children.

Throughout his career, Thebaut has written, produced and directed an array of prominent socially significant productions including his highly rated and acclaimed Cable Ace Award-nominated 1992 America Undercover documentary for HBO, “The Iceman Tapes - Conversations with a Killer.” He conducted an on-camera interview with Richard Kuklinski (The Iceman) for 17 hours in Trenton State Prison.

He has also produced for A&E “Bad Cops” and “Execution at Midnight” and was the executive producer for the CBS television dramatic special “A Deadly Business,” starring Alan Arkin and Armand Assante, which exposed organized crime’s involvement in the toxic waste business.

Thebaut also produced a one-hour documentary for ABC News Turning Point on New York City police corruption. Because of his work on police corruption documentaries, Thebaut has been called on to lecture at the FBI academy in Quantico, VA.

Thebaut earned degrees from the University of Washington, UCLA and San Francisco State University. A member of the International Documentary Association, he has been affiliated with Lorimar Productions, Carson Productions, Taft Entertainment, Lightyear Entertainment, Home Box Office, ABC News, The Arts and Entertainment Network and CBS.

(From WIU's Campus Connection newsletter, Nov. 16, 2007)