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Director/Producer Harry Thomason to Keynote Delta Symposium XXV


JONESBORO – Distinguished director/producer Harry Thomason will present a keynote address to kick-off Arkansas State University’s Delta Symposium XXV, “Dislocation and the Delta.” Thomason will speak to the topic with his presentation “Relocating Southern Stereotypes: How Hollywood Damaged the Southern Image.” The talk, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, will explore his career as a transplanted Arkansan in Hollywood.

Thomason’s presentation is one of the highlights of the symposium, to be held April 10-13.  Most activities will be held in the Mockingbird Room at the Reng Student Union (GPS 101 N. Caraway Road) on the A-State campus.

Together with his wife, famed writer Linda Bloodworth Thomason, he created Mozark Productions, the name being an homage to their home states of Arkansas and Missouri, with Linda hailing from Poplar Bluff. Their work changed the perception of the South, and the marginalized, to global audiences. Their hit shows included the iconic "Designing Women," "Filthy Rich," "Hearts Afire," "Evening Shade," and "Women of the House."

Together they wrote, produced and directed "A Man from Hope," the story that introduced future President Bill Clinton to the world. They were also instrumental in Democratic convention operations in 1992 and 1996, along with co-chairing the 1993 presidential inauguration, the first Inauguration in the history of the United States to make a profit, and was used to help fund the 1997 Inaugural which he also directed.

Thomason, a native of Hampton, Ark., attended Southern Arkansas University and continued graduate studies in education at the University of Arkansas. A college athlete, Thomason was a football coach, art instructor and history teacher in secondary schools for six years before pursuing filmmaking as a career.  He periodically lectures at Southern Cal on politics.

He produced the acclaimed "Bridegroom" documentary that won numerous awards including the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival.  He also directed the critically acclaimed feature documentary, The Hunting of the President selected for The Sundance Film Festival and the South by Southwest Festival and nominated for the Writer’s Guild Best Documentary.

Thomason directed the acclaimed feature film, "The Last Ride," that focused on the waning days of Hank Williams, and he has also produced many award-winning television movies including "A Shining Season," "To Find My Son" and the revered mini-series "The Blue and The Gray."

Thomason produced and directed "Saturday Night at the Summit," a live broadcast from the Summit of the Eight gathering of the top world leaders in Denver.  He has been nominated for or won numerous awards including the Emmy (Designing Women, Evening Shade), the Directors Guild Award (Designing Women), the Christopher Award (A Shining Season) and The People’s Choice Award (The Blue and The Gray).  He was also named the Entertainment Publicists’ Guild Man of the Year in 1996.

Delta Symposium XXV is sponsored by the Department of English, Philosophy and World Languages.  For more information, contact symposium co-chair Dr. Gregory Hansen, ghansen@AState.edu, or the department at (870) 972-3043, visit the website AState.edu/delta-symposium, or the Delta Symposium Facebook page.

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Harry Thomason
Harry Thomason