Today’s look at this year’s Sundance docs wraps up: RICHARD LINKLATER: DREAM IS DESTINY, Louis Black and Karen Bernstein’s exploration of the career of the acclaimed Austin-based filmmaker.
Sundance Program Description:
Highlighting one of the most innovative American directors, this film reveals the path traveled by the auteur from his small-town Texas roots to his warm reception on the awards circuit. Long before he directed BOYHOOD, Richard Linklater’s intense desire to create fueled his work outside the Hollywood system. Rather than leave Texas, he chose to collaborate with like-minded artists crafting modest, low-budget films in a DIY style. His ability to showcase realistic characters and tell honest stories was evident from his films, and others soon took notice of his raw talent.
Directors Louis Black and Karen Bernstein weave illuminating discussions with Linklater amongst testimonies from faithful actors, longtime crew members, and industry professionals who weigh in on his upward trajectory from SLACKER to the SUNRISE trilogy. Throughout his career, Linklater has worked with a core group of artists, raising the profile of both actors and the burgeoning independent film scene in Austin. This thoughtful examination of a groundbreaking filmmaker serves as a celebration of a rare talent.
Directors: Louis Black and Karen Bernstein
Black is a founder of SXSW and the Austin Chronicle, and an original board member of the Austin Film Society, which was founded by Linklater. He is a Sundance alum as an associate producer of THE ORDER OF MYTHS (2008).
The Emmy Award-winning Bernstein is also a Park City alumna as producer of LOU REED: ROCK AND ROLL HEART (1998), for which she won a Grammy Award. She also co-produced BODY OF WAR, which was shortlisted for the Academy Award.
Producers: Karen Bernstein and Dawn Johnson; Associate Producer: Sandy Boone
Johnson is also a Sundance alum as the producer of FILM ACTIONS V (2005). Previous credits also include Margaret Brown’s BE HERE TO LOVE ME (Toronto), and SIR DOUG AND THE GENUINE TEXAS COSMIC GROOVE (SXSW).
Executive Producers: Alan Berg, Louis Black, Abe Zimmerman, John McCall, and Amy McCall
Arts+Labor’s Berg left a career as an acclaimed television news reporter to focus on documentary films. His most recent film, THE JONES FAMILY WILL MAKE A WAY, debuted at SXSW last year.
Austin Film Society board member Zimmermann previously executive produced SIR DOUG.
The McCalls are Austin-based philanthropists behind the beauty industry companies Armstrong McCall and Farouk Systems.
Editor: Nevie Owens
This is Owens’ first project at Sundance. Previous credits include Linklater’s BEFORE SUNSET.
Why You Should Watch:
Black and Bernstein successfully capture Linklater’s idiosyncratic, collaborative creative process and his love of Austin in this warmly observed, personable profile that demonstrates that sustainable film careers can be developed outside of NYC or LA.
For Sundance screening dates and times, click the link in the first paragraph.
To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance filmmaker class of 2016 Twitter list.