May 28, 2014 at 1:00 am

U-M to honor director John Sayles at symposium

Director John Sayles donated items involving his films to the university. (Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images)

The University of Michigan will host a one-day symposium June 4 celebrating movie director John Sayles.

Titled “Declarations of Independence: John Sayles as Author, Auteur, Founding Father,” the symposium is from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at U-M’s Hatcher Graduate Library. Speakers will include actor David Strathairn, producer/actor Maggie Renzi, U-M lecturer/screenwriter Jim Burnstein and many others.

Sayles, whose first movie, “Return of the Secaucus 7,” came out in 1979, donated documents, images and props relating to his films to the university last fall, which now comprise the John Sayles Archive at U-M’s Special Collections Library. Sayles and his partner, Renzi, will attend the archive’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

All symposium sessions are free and open to all. For information, visit