D A Pennebaker
D A (Donn Alan) Pennebaker is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of cinema verite filmmaking. In the early sixties, Pennebaker and his colleague Richard Leacock developed one of the first fully portable 16mm synchronized camera and sound recording systems which revolutionized filmmaking and helped to created the immediate style of shooting so popular today. Pennebaker is the recipient of numerous filmmaking awards including the IFP’s Gotham Award.
Pennebaker made his first film, the short Daybreak Express In 1967, Pennebaker released the seminal film Dont Look Back
In 1976, the filmmaker began his long collaboration with his partner and future wife, Chris Hegedus. Together, they have co-directed a host of acclaimed films, including 1998’s Moon Over Broadway
Pennebaker and Hegedus’ early films include the five-hour, three-part special The Energy War
The team has also made numerous music films including rock music videos for such artists as: Randy Newman, John Hiatt, Suzanne Vega, Victoria Williams and Soul Asylum. Their feature-length film, Depeche Mode 101
Other music films include Down From The Mountain
Pennebaker was executive producer for Startup.com
Currently, the Pennebaker Hegedus team is working on The Collar, a film about the prestigious French pastry competition the Meilleurs Ouvier de France.
Chris Hegedus was awarded the prestigious 2002 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries for STARTUP.COM (produced by Pennebaker and co-directed with Jehane Noujaim). An inside look at the recent dot com mania, STARTUP.COM follows the adventures of two high school buddies as they create an Internet company. The film was released theatrically by Artisan and was also awarded the International Documentary Association Award for Distinguished Feature Film.
Hegedus began co-directing with D A Pennebaker in the mid-seventies. She has since partnered with him on a host of acclaimed films, including 1998’s MOON OVER BROADWAY and 1994’s THE WAR ROOM. The latter film, a behind-the scenes look at Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary and won the National Board of Review’s D.W. Griffith Award. 2003’s ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was distributed theatrically by Miramax, is about some of the legends that made Rhythm and Blues music famous, including Isaac Hayes, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Wilson Pickett and Sam Moore, among others. Their film ELAINE STRITCH AT LIBERTY, which premiered on HBO in May 2004 and was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Direction for a Music, Variety, or Comedy Program.
Most recently Hegedus and co-director Nick Doob released theatrically AL FRANKEN: GOD SPOKE. The film follows the transformation of political satarist Al Franken.
Chilean director Patricio Guzmán studied fiction filmmaking in Spain in the 1960s, but he eventually dropped plans to make fiction features when he returned to Chile during the presidency of the Marxist-socialist Salvador Allende (1970–73). Guzmán is above all a political filmmaker, and the intense everyday political activities in Allende's Chile stimulated Guzmán to take to the streets and factories in order to make documentary records of those fast-paced events. In all three of his documentaries on Allende's Chile— El primer año, La respuesta de Octubre , and La batalla de Chile —the director rejected archival footage and the compilation approach in favor of immersing himself in significant political events in order to obtain actuality footage.
Guzmán's success in obtaining meaningful and abundant actuality footage is due in large part to his (and his colleagues') marked ability to understand and foresee the flow of political events. Political savvy coupled with rigorous and disciplined production techniques allowed Guzmán and his production groups to overcome formidable obstacles, including financial and technical difficulties. To film the three feature-length parts of the masterwork La batalla de Chile , the director and his collective had access to one 16mm Eclair camera and one Nagra tape recorder; film stock, unavailable in Chile, had been sent from abroad by a European colleague. During his stay in Allende's Chile, Guzmán successfully combined his personal political militancy with his concept of the role of the filmmaker. Guzmán, a committed Marxist, wished to make films that would help Allende's leftist Popular Unity coalition take power. Marx and Engels ( Manifesto of the Communist Party ) viewed classes as the protagonists of history, and conflict as an inherent dimension of class societies; Guzmán follows this Marxist conception in that classes are the protagonists of his films and events are framed in terms of class conflict. In accordance with the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary view that there can be no peaceful transition to socialism before the repressive machinery of the bourgeois state is broken up and replaced, the first two parts of La batalla de Chile follow the military's drift to the right as well as the anti-Allende activities of the opposition-dominated legislature. Both La respuesta de Octubre and part three of La batalla de Chile center on workers organizing as a class in order to achieve self-emancipation and transform the world created by the bourgeoisie.
The style of the journalistic El primer año is unexceptional, and it was only with La batalla de Chile that Guzmán found a distinctive documentary style. This style is characterized by the frequent use of the sequence shot, which the director prefers because it is a synthetic device allowing spectators to see events unfolding in front of their eyes without breaks in the flow of the images. El primer año and La respuesta de Octubre have not circulated widely outside of Allende's Chile. Inside Allende's Chile, these documentaries were well received by working-class audiences. La respuesta de octubre was particularly popular with workers who, heartened to see their efforts to create worker-controlled industrial zones documented on film, facilitated the documentary's distribution in the country's factories. Guzmán's international reputation as a documentary filmmaker has been secured by La batalla de Chile , hailed by both Marxist and non-Marxist critics in many countries as a landmark in the history of the political documentary
Tue Steen Muller
Tue Steen Muller. Born 1947. Worked with short and documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board - as press secretary, head of distribution and information and as a film consultant (= commissioning editor). Articles for national and international newspapers and magazines. Co-founder of Balticum Film- and TV-Festival, Filmkontakt Nord and Documentary of the EU. Travelled to European short and documentary festivals often to be seated as a jury member. Has given documentary courses and seminars in about 40 countries. In 2004 awarded the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. In 2005 awarded a prize at the DOCLisboa for his contribution to the international development and promotion of Portuguese documentaries. From 1996-2005 initiator and director of EDN (European Documentary Network). Given the EDN Life Achievement Award 2005. Head of Studies at the European training program Ex Orient 2003-2009. From 2006 free lance consultant and teacher in Danish and European documentary matters. Selector and consultant for the festivals DOCSBarcelona, Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DoxBox in Damascus and DOKLeipzig. Teacher at the documentary film school Zelig in Bolzano, Italy. Head of Pitching Forum of DOCSBarcelona from 2010. Tutor at other training programmes like Archidoc, ZagrebDOXPro, DocuRegio and Documentary Campus. Writes at www.filmkommentaren.dk daily, almost.
Opstrup has been a dedicated documentarist since he made his first documentary – now hidden from the public in his cellar – in 1977. During the 1980s Opstrup worked in distribution and theatrical release of documentaries and in 1988 Opstrup studied script writing at the Danish Film School. He was a freelance production manager during the 90s and organized the film festival ‘’Films from the South’’ from 1995-1998.
Since 2000 Opstrup has worked as tutor at a large number of workshops and forums around Europe. From 2002-2008 he was co-owner and producer at Final Cut Productions in Copenhagen where he produced a number of international documentaries.
Opstrup has been chairman of board for EDN since late 2008.
Peter Badel is a documentarian, director of photography of cine-documentaries as well as motion pictures, and a photographer.
Born in 1953 in Berlin, he studied cinematography at Film & Television Academy in Potsdam Babelsberg. He was a director of photography in the DEFA Studios for Motion Pictures, and since 1992 he is a freelancer. Additionally, he gives symposia of cinematography and teaches at various academies.
Currently he is teaching cinematography at the Film & Television Academy HFF in Potsdam.
Pictorial language: I care much less about camera angles, menu items or tricks of lightning than it is generally expected from directors of photography. The starting point of all considerations is how people influence each other during the process of filming; it is about how people encounter and how they engage with each other. Personality, experiences of generations and the kind of education may vary significantly among colleagues; but all experiences I came across during my research show the same stalwart ambition for the most vital requirement in the genesis of motion pictures: trust.