American Masters: Richard Linklater – dream is destiny
Premieres nationwide Friday, September 1 at 9/8c on PBS (check local listings)
Before Slacker, an experimental narrative revolving around 24 hours in the lives of 100 characters, garnered acclaim in 1991, Richard Linklater had made many shorts and completed a Super 8 feature, It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (1988).
Linklater’s additional credits include the 70s cult hit Dazed and Confused (1993); Before Sunrise (1995), for which Linklater won the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear Award for Best Director; Suburbia (1997); The Newton Boys (1998), a western/gangster film set in the 1920s; the animated feature Waking Life (2001); the real-time drama Tape (2001); the hit comedy School of Rock (2003); $5:15 An Hour (TV) ; Before Sunset (2004), which earned him an Academy Award nomination; Bad News Bears (2005); A Scanner Darkly (2006); Fast Food Nation (2006); Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach (2008); Me and Orson Welles (2009); Bernie (2012); Up to Speed (2012, Hulu); Before Midnight (2013); Boyhood (2014); Everybody Wants Some!! (2016); and Last Flag Flying (2017).
Linklater also serves as the artistic director for the Austin Film Society, which he founded in 1985 to showcase films from around the world that were not typically shown in Austin. Now one of the nation’s top film organizations, the Austin Film Society shows hundreds of films a year, offers educational programs and has given out over $1,500,000 in grants to Texas filmmakers since 1996.
Director and Producer
Louis Black is a legendary cultural force in Austin’s film world. As a co-founder of SXSW (which he named after Hitchcock’s North by Northwest), he helped originate the festival’s film component. His love of film dates to his teens, when he would skip school with friend Leonard Maltin and attend film screenings in New York City (once meeting Buster Keaton) to watch as many films as possible. While obtaining his master’s degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin in the early 1980s, he was a director and programmer at CinemaTexas. He was an original board member of the Austin Film Society, led by Richard Linklater. As co-founder and editor of The Austin Chronicle, he helped shape the city’s rich culture of both making and appreciating great cinema. In 2000, along with Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith, he launched AFS’ “Texas Film Hall of Fame.” Most recently he co-directed his first film, American Masters: Richard Linklater – dream is destiny, a documentary about Richard Linklater, which premiered at Sundance and received a standing ovation at Rome Film Fest. He executive produced Be Here to Love Me, A Film About Townes Van Zandt, was a producer on two other films by Margaret Brown, the Peabody Award-winning The Order of Myths and the acclaimed The Great Invisible, as well as on Keith Maitland’s Tower, short listed for the Academy Awards. Currently, he is an executive producer on Blaze, written and directed by Ethan Hawke, which is in post-production. Over the years he also has produced reissues of classic Texas films, including Eagle Pennell’s The Whole Shootin’ Match and Last Night at the Alamo, as well as Tobe Hooper’s Eggshells. In 2015, he produced a DVD release of Jonathan Demme Presents: Made in Texas, a program of shorts he co-curated that were shown at the Collective for Living Cinema in New York City in 1981. Currently, he is working on a number of documentary and narrative films, as well as more reissues of classic Texas independent films. Appropriately, he is also finishing a book on the films of director Jonathan Demme. With his partner Sandy K. Boone, he has co-created a number of companies designed to promote both new independent filmmaking and preserve Texas’ rich film legacy.
Director and Producer
A Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning producer for more than 35 years, Karen Bernstein has begun her mid-life as a director. Having worked with some of the documentary greats — Henry Hampton, Charlotte Zwerin, Ellen Spiro, Phil Donahue, Helen Whitney and Susan Lacy, to name a few — Bernstein has directed Producing Light, transFIGURATION and Are the Kids Alright for PBS. Other award-winning credits include Troop 1500, Body of War and Children of Giant. Body of War was produced with Donahue and Spiro, toured multiple film festivals around the world and was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2008. Troop 1500, also with Spiro, premiered at SXSW in 2005 and was broadcast on PBS on Independent Lens in 2006. With Galan Inc., Bernstein produced Children of Giant, which explored the remarkable intersection between art and life in Marfa, Texas, where George Stevens filmed his epic work Giant in 1954. I’m Going to Make You Love Me is her documentary feature in progress, in association with Picturebox, and edited by Nevie Owens.
Executive Producer for American Masters Pictures; American Masters Series Executive Producer
For more than two decades, award-winning filmmaker Michael Kantor has created outstanding arts programs for television. He joined American Masters as the series’ executive producer in April 2014 during its 28th season on PBS, and founded its theatrical imprint American Masters Pictures in January 2016. American Masters Pictures was represented by three films at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival: Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise and Richard Linklater – dream is destiny.
Prior to joining American Masters, his PBS documentary series Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle (2013), hosted by Liev Schreiber, was nominated for an Emmy Award. Random House published the companion book. Kantor’s Peabody Award-winning film Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy (2013) aired as part of the Great Performances series on PBS. Narrated by Joel Grey, it included performances by Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, David Hyde Pierce, Marc Shaiman and many other Broadway talents. In 2012, Kantor produced The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater with Michael Tilson Thomas, which aired on PBS and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Kantor served as executive producer of the special Give Me the Banjo, hosted by Steve Martin, and created Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America (2009), the critically acclaimed six-part documentary series hosted by Billy Crystal. His script for episode four, When I’m Bad, I’m Better: The Groundbreakers, co-authored with Laurence Maslon, was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. His landmark six-part series Broadway: The American Musical was hosted by Julie Andrews and honored with the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series in 2005. That same year, he created three hours of DVD extras for 20th Century Fox’s 40th anniversary release of The Sound of Music.
Kantor wrote, directed and produced the award-winning profile American Masters: Quincy Jones: In the Pocket. With Stephen Ives, he co-directed Cornerstone: An Interstate Adventure for HBO, and produced The West (executive producer Ken Burns). His 20 years of work in documentaries include projects as varied as EGG: the arts show, Coney Island, The Donner Party, Margaret Sanger and Ric Burns’ New York series. As a writer, Kantor created Lullaby of Broadway: Opening Night on 42nd Street, co-authored the companion books to Broadway (Bulfinch) and Make ’Em Laugh (Grand Central Publishing) and has published numerous essays and articles. He is president of Almo Inc., a company that distributes the American Film Theatre series, which includes Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (starring Katharine Hepburn), Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh (Lee Marvin) and Chekhov’s Three Sisters (Laurence Olivier) among its titles. Kantor has served as a Tony nominator and taught documentary filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and lives in Scarsdale, New York.