PENNEBAKER / HEGEDUS
About the directors
Pera Film’s “Pioneers of Cinema Verite: Pennebaker and Hegedus” program presents a spectacular journey into the world of documentary filmmaking. D.A. Pennebaker and Chiıs Hegedus form one of the most respected and unique teams of documentary filmmakers working today. Known for their unintrusive, cinema verite style of filmmaking, they follow their subjects using handheld cameras and available light with minimal interruption. The result is a candid portrait of a real-life drama in which the characters determine the action.
D. A. (Donn Alan) Pennebaker is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of cinéma vérité 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 introduced the immediate style of shooting so popular today. Pennebaker’s first film was the 1953 short Daybreak Express. In 1967, Pennebaker released the seminal classic Don’t Look Back, which followed Bob Dylan’s last acoustic concert tour in England. He continued to capture the musical moment in subsequent films, including the influential Monterey Pop, Keep On Rockin’ and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. In 1976, Pennebaker began his collaboration with his partner and future wife, Chris Hegedus, codirecting such acclaimed films as 1998’s Moon Over Broadway and 1993’s The War Room, which received an Academy Award® nomination and won the National Board of Review’s D.W. Griffith Award for Best Documentary. Pennebaker and Hegedus since the 1970s have co-directed nearly 30 films together. Their latest collaboration is Kings of Pastry, a whirlwind peek into the M.O.F. competition, a French pastry chef contest.
Pera Film explores 11 feature-length and short Pennebaker and Hegedus films under five headings: New Documentary, America Goes to Election, Music Directly, Jean-Luc Godard and A Potrait.