Alan Berliner & Richard Peña
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, Manhattan
Alan Berliner’s experimental documentary films, First Cousin Once Removed (2012), Wide Awake (2006), The Sweetest Sound (2001), Nobody’s Business (1996), Intimate Stranger (1991), and The Family Album (1986), have been broadcast all over the world, and received awards, prizes, and retrospectives at many major international film festivals. The San Francisco International Film Festival called Berliner, “America’s foremost cinematic essayist.” The Florida Film Festival called him “the modern master of personal documentary filmmaking.” Over the years, Berliner’s films have become part of the core curriculum for documentary filmmaking and film history classes at universities worldwide, and are in the permanent collections of many film societies, festivals, libraries, colleges and museums.
Richard Peña was formerly Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center from 1988-2012 and currently co-hosts Channel 13’s weekly Reel 13.
First Cousin Once Removed (2012), an intimate yet unsettling portrait of distinguished poet and translator, Edwin Honig—Berliner’s friend, cousin and former mentor—had its world premiere at the 2012 New York Film Festival. The film, which chronicles Honig’s journey through memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, then went on to screen in Europe at IDFA (International Film Festival Amsterdam), where it won the Grand Prize For Feature Length Documentary Film. In announcing the award, the IDFA documentary jury wrote, “Alan Berliner employs intelligence, inventiveness, and a poetic sensibility to create a film that uses the onset of Alzheimer’s to make a beautiful, moving, and artistic statement about the intersection of personal history and memory.” The film will air on HBO in the fall of 2013.