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Pull Focus: Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion

Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion

Eric Strauss has been creating documentary films for more than a decade, shooting, writing and producing for broadcasters such as National Geographic, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and A&E. For National Geographic Explorer, Eric directed, shot and produced Heroin Crisis, about the global trail of Afghan heroin, as well as Iraq's Guns for Hire, a profile of the private security industry in Iraq. Eric also directed and produced for Hard Time, an Emmy-nominated prison series that premiered on the National Geographic Channel in March 2009. The Redemption of General Butt Naked is his first feature film.

Daniele Anastasion has worked regularly on documentaries for National Geographic, including the Emmy-nominated Inside the Body Trade. She directed and produced KKK: Inside American Terror for The National Geographic Channel and has also produced and shot for Frontline/WORLD. She also produced for Hard Time, an Emmy-nominated prison series for National Geographic that provides a gripping yearlong view into the world of incarceration. The Redemption of General Butt Naked is her first feature film.

(biography via The Redemption of General Butt Naked website)

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Pull Focus: Marshall Curry

Marshall_Curry_HeadshotMarshall Curry got his start shooting, directing, and editing the documentary "Street Fight", which followed Cory Booker's first run for mayor of Newark, NJ. The film went on to be nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy. "Street Fight" won the Audience Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, AFI/Discovery SilverDocs Festival, and Hot Docs Festival. It also received the Jury Prize for Best International Documentary at Hot Docs and was nominated for a Writer's Guild of America (WGA) Award.

After "Street Fight", Curry was the Director and Producer, as well as one of the Cinematographers and Editors of the feature documentary, "Racing Dreams"."Racing Dreams" follows two boys and a girl who dream of one day racing in NASCAR, and the film won numerous awards. Dreamworks is currently adapting it for a fictional remake.

Curry's newest documentary, "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front", tells the story of a radical environmentalist who faced life in prison for burning two Oregon timber facilities. It won the Sundance Film Festival award for Best Documentary Editing and was acquired by Oscilloscope Laboratories. In the summer of 2011 it was released to critical aclaim, called "an intriguing and important film" by Filmmaker Magazine, "a sterling example of journalistic documentary" by Salon.com, and "a wildly successful and engaging documentary" by New York Press. In the fall it will air on PBS's documentary series POV.

(Headshot and biography via Marshall Curry Productions.)

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Pull Focus: Peter Richardson

Peter Richardson with camera

A rising star in documentary filmmaking, Peter Richardson has made a name for himself with two feature documentaries that both premiered at Sundance and have won him multiple awards, including Sundance's esteemed Grand Jury Prize.  An Oregon-native himself, Richardson is know for his penetrating and introspective treatment of Oregon-based social issues. His latest film, "How to Die in Oregon," explores the emotionally charged issue of physician-assisted-suicide which was legalized in Oregon in 1994 and remains one of the most controversial laws in that state today. Through the incredibly intimate stories of the terminally ill in Oregon, Richardson captures the spectrum of emotions behind that decision to end one's own life, while simultaneously showcasing the elegance and dignity of his subjects.  A producer, director, cinematographer and editor, Richardson has done it all, and during an interview for the 2011 Human Rights Film Series, he shares with us some of his experiences and insights. 

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Pull Focus: Patrice O'Neill

O'NeillCo-founder of the nationally esteemed outreach organization, The Working Group, Patrice O'Neill is a pioneer in multi-platform citizen engagement. Also an award winning filmmaker, Ms. O'Neill uses the combined impact of visual storytelling and social networking to inspire action among her audiences. Among her success stories is Light in the Darkness, latest in the Not in Our Town series, which chronicles the response of Patchogue residents to the violent hate crime against one of their own, Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero. Keeping with the tradition of past Not in Our Town films, O'Neill introduces us to an empowered community that comes together in the face of adversity to prevent future hate crimes and foster an environment of safety and respect. The Center for Social Media interviewed Ms. O'Neill before her screening at the 2011 Human Rights Film Series.

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Kisses, Broken Cameras and Bananas: Human Rights, Corporate Ethics and more in IDFA Documentaries

Putin's Kiss At The International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), held at the end of November, documentaries from around the world probed social issues with compelling stories. Read more...