After returning from the West Bank in 2004, where he served as a visiting professor during the height of the Second Palestinian Intifada, James Adolphus has been making globally relevant documentary films about social, cultural, and political issues. An Emmy® Award-winning director, two-time Emmy® Award-winning producer, and three-time Peabody Award-winning cinematographer, he is a graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory and recipient of the institute's prestigious Fisher Fellow Scholarship.
Adolphus recently wrapped the HBO Original Documentary, Being Mary Tyler Moore, co-produced by Lena Waithe's production company, The Hillman Grad, and Good Trouble Studios, which he co-founded with long-time collaborator and producer/director Ben Selkow. The film explores the vanguard career of Mary Tyler Moore, who revolutionized the portrayal of women in media, redefined their roles in the entertainment industry, and inspired generations despite battling her immense insecurities.
James is currently directing Gifted & Black, a documentary for Amazon Studios that is anchored to the year we saw a global pandemic and a racial reckoning. The project explores the traditions of Black music to understand how Black creativity journeyed from the plantation to the Pulitzer Prize.
Nominated for nine Emmy Awards, James directed Soul of a Nation for ABC News, the first Black news magazine television series highlighting Black Americans' authentic realities and the racial reckoning that erupted after George Floyd's death.
Adolphus's directing credits include Netflix's Dating Around, Quibi's You Aint Got These, and the Independent Lens documentary Little White Lie, which he co-directed. James' cinematography credits include the Disney Plus series Encore!, HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, Netflix's Rapture, and CNN's Believer with Reza Aslan, among numerous others.
James currently splits his time between New York and Los Angeles.