Alan Berliner Film Clips

Visiting Artists & Designers

Alan Berliner

Alan Berliner's uncanny ability to combine experimental cinema, artistic purpose, and popular appeal in compelling film essays has made him one of America's most acclaimed independent filmmakers. The New York Times has described Berliner's work as "powerful, compelling and bittersweet... full of juicy conflict and contradiction, innovative in their cinematic technique, unpredictable in their structures... Alan Berliner illustrates the power of fine art to transform life."

Berliner’s experimental documentary films, Wide Awake (2006), The Sweetest Sound (2001), Nobody's Business (1996), Intimate Stranger (1991), and The Family Album (1988) have been broadcast worldwide and received awards at major international film festivals.  Over the years they have become part of the core curriculum for documentary filmmaking classes at universities around the world, and are in the permanent collections of film societies, libraries, colleges and museums.

Berliner is a recipient of Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Jerome Foundation Fellowships, and has received multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.  He’s won three Emmy Awards and received six Emmy nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Berliner has also served on several non-profit foundation funding panels, has been on many international film festival juries, including the 2007 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Jury, and is on the Board of Advisors of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

In 2006, the International Documentary Association honored Berliner with an International Trailblazer Award for “creativity, innovation, originality and breakthrough in documentary filmmaking.”  That same year he received a full career retrospective and gave a Master Class Lecture at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).  Retrospectives of his films have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the International Center of Photography (NYC), and numerous international film festivals and museums all over the world.

In addition to his work in film, Berliner has also produced a substantial body of photographic, audio and video installation works. In 2002, he was an artist in residence at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where he presented an interactive multi-media installation, THE Language Of Names, inspired by his film, The Sweetest Sound.  His most recent interactive video installation, Playing God (2008) was commissioned by the Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, for its inaugural exhibition, In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis.”