Filmmakers Albert Maysles (pictured), DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus are set to receive lifetime achievement awards at the DOC NYC film festival’s inaugural Visionaries Tribute event on November 14.
The trio worked together with documentarian Robert Drew – who passed away in July – in 1960 on the film Primary, before going on to have illustrious careers of their own.
Maysles teamed with his brother David and others for films such as Salesman, Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter, while Pennebaker is known for the music documentaries Don’t Look Back and Monterey Pop as well as the films he co-directed with his wife Hegedus, which include Town Bloody Hall, The War Room and Kings of Pastry.
Also being distributed at the event is the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence, which will go to a mid-career filmmaker specializing in observational cinema – the style of documentary filmmaking pioneered by Drew. A recipient will be announced later this month.
“This award is meant to celebrate candid filmmaking, in which stories unfold on the screen in all their complexity,” said Jill Drew, GM of Drew Associates and the daughter-in-law of Robert Drew. “Bob believed the unobtrusive camera could capture a kind of truth, and telling that kind of story was the highest calling of documentary.”
The final award is the Leading Light Award for an individual “making a crucial contribution to documentary in a role other than as a filmmaker.” This year’s recipient – who will also receive a US$5,000 cash prize – is Dan Cogan, executive director and co-founder of Impact Partners, which funds social justice-focused docs.
Cogan’s credits include Hell and Back Again, The Queen of Versailles, Detropia and Do I Sound Gay?, which will open DOC NYC on November 13.
Award recipients were selected by the festival’s programming team, which is headed by DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers. The tribute event’s host committee includes filmmakers such as Michael Moore, Barbara Kopple, Alex Gibney and Deborah Shaffer.
In conjunction with the awards, the festival will launch a series of classic documentary screenings at the IFC Center, with showings of Robert Drew’s The Chair, Albert and David Maysles’ Salesman, Hegedus and Pennebaker’s Kings of Pastry and Pennebaker and William Ray’s David.
DOC NYC runs from November 13 to 20. The Visionaries Tribute will be held on November 14 at a luncheon in The Park restaurant.