About Frederick Wiseman and Robert Greene


The 2017 Filmmaker to Filmmaker: Conversations from the Director’s Chair events will feature two highly respected and honored filmmakers, Frederick Wiseman and Robert Greene, both with new projects being released in 2017. The conversation will be a rare opportunity to hear Frederick Wiseman speak about his career and filmmaking process with another filmmaker.

This annual program pairs two complementary film directors on stage together, discussing their artistic vision, process, and bodies of work, surrounded by screenings of their films.

The program is endowed through a generous gift from Roberta and Jim Sherman, with an Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign Match.

Frederick Wiseman has made more than 40 documentary films since his debut feature Titicut Follies opened 50 years ago. The stark and graphic film exposed the conditions at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Mass. Though the film was banned from public presentation in one form or another for over 20 years, Wiseman’s body of film work has offered public audiences an insider’s look into worlds overlooked by or unknown to most. His films seek to portray ordinary human experience in a wide variety of contemporary social institutions.

His “forty-odd films are highly personal and idiosyncratic works. They create a world, equal to the worlds of Renoir and Hitchcock and Fellini. For me, Wiseman is the undisputed king of misanthropic cinema,” wrote Oscar-celebrated filmmaker Errol Morris in 2011.

Wiseman also works in the theater in both Paris and New York, having directed several plays. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Wiseman has won numerous awards, including four Emmys®. He is also the recipient of the Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Society (2013), the American Society of Cinematographers Distinguished Achievement Award (2006), and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the Venice Film Festival (2014). In 2017, Wiseman received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar® from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His newest film, Ex Libris: New York Public Library will open in 2017.

Robert Greene is a filmmaker and writer. His most recent film, Kate Plays Christine (2016) has won multiple awards, including a Jury Award for Writing at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Robert’s previous critically acclaimed documentaries include the Gotham Awards-nominated Actress (2014), Fake It So Real (2011) and the Gotham Awards-nominated Kati With An I (2010). Robert was a Sundance Institute lab advisor in the summer of 2016 and was among four filmmakers chosen as an inaugural Sundance Art of Nonfiction fellow in 2015. He’s twice been nominated for a Cinema Eye Honors award for Outstanding Achievement in Direction. The Independent named Robert one of their 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014 and he received the 2014 Vanguard Artist Award from the San Francisco DocFest.

His first documentary, Owning the Weather, was screened at the COP 15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009. Robert has edited over a dozen features, including Golden Exits (2017), Queen of Earth (2015) and Listen Up Philip (2014) by Alex Ross Perry, Amanda Rose Wilder’s award winning Approaching the Elephant (2014), Charles Poekel’s Spirit Awards nominated Christmas, Again (2015), Nick Berardini’s Killing Them Safely (2015) and Douglas Tirola’s Hey Bartender (2013). Robert writes about documentary film for outlets such Sight & Sound and Filmmaker Magazine. He was post-production supervisor for 4th Row Films from 2002-2012. Robert is currently the Filmmaker-in-Chief at the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri.

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