BOBBIE BIRLEFFI & BEVERLY KOPF,
Co-Directors & Co-Producers
Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf have completed numerous non-fiction projects since forming their production company in 2000 including Be Real: Stories from Queer America. The documentary, which celebrates the lives of six everyday heroes in the LGBT community, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, screened at other major film festivals around the country, including New York, San Francisco, and Miami, and aired on Logo. As a team, they have produced, directed and written critically acclaimed and highly rated documentary programming, biographies and specials for PBS, NBC, A&E, Bravo, Court TV, Lifetime, TLC, VH1, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. They have also collaborated on several projects with Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor.
Bobbie Birleffi is a consummate storyteller and award-winning documentary filmmaker. Prior to joining forces with Kopf, Birleffi produced her own independent films, raising funds, writing, directing a variety of projects for PBS. Her first effort Is Anyone Home on the Range, a one-hour special about her home state of Wyoming, was nominated for an Emmy Award and is still widely used as an educational tool by schools and community groups across the west. Her follow-up, Men Who Molest, a documentary for the PBS series Frontline, won an Emmy Award. Her documentary, The Mormons: Missionaries to the World, was nominated for an Independent Documentary Association Award of Distinction and was hailed, “brilliantly done” by The New York Times. Also for PBS, Bobbie directed the first two episodes of the historical series, Texas Ranch House, which was nominated for a Director’s Guild Award.
With roots in public television and public affairs, Bobbie’s work exhibits the compassion she learned from her first mentor, Bill Moyers. Her early work for the National Public Affairs Center for Television (NPACT) includes the Emmy-nominated documentary The Uniquiet Death of Julian and Ethel Rosenberg, for which she tracked and interviewed nine of the original twelve jurors, and was the only journalist to locate Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, David Greenglass. She worked closely with veteran journalists Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil on a precursor to the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour and later produced feature stories for Newshour. She also worked with Hugh Downs on Over Easy, a daily PBS magazine show about aging produced by KQED/San Francisco, which won a Peabody Award and several Emmy Awards. Other credits include The Age of the Female Icon, for Lifetime in conjunction with The New York Times and the CBS daily magazine show, Day & Date, for which she was responsible for several exclusive stories, including an interview with LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman during the OJ Simpson trial.
Birleffi’s work in feature film includes Tell Me A Riddle, directed by Lee Grant, and the independent feature, Wildrose, directed by John Hanson. She has also taught undergraduate film production at the USC’s School of Cinema and Television. Birleffi’s abiding love of the performing arts includes a two-year stint as a clown in San Francisco many years ago, where she studied with Bill Irwin and the Pickle Family Circus.
Beverly Kopf’s background includes collaborations with a variety of artists, celebrities and journalists. She has created several successful shows, and as a writer and producer, she brings a unique sensitivity and intelligence to her work. Before partnering with Birleffi, Kopf received an Emmy Award for writing the hit ABC talk show The View. As creator of the ‘Hot Topics’ segment, she helped develop the show’s famed smart, off-the-cuff conversation and produced an important forum for women to influence national conversation on social issues. Beverly also received a GLAAD Media Award for a Barbara Walters’ special feature story about hate crime victim, Matthew Shepard. Since departing The View, Kopf has continued her association with Meredith Vieira, writing for several projects hosted by Vieira.
Previously, Kopf served as a producer and talent executive during which she conceived, booked, wrote, and produced hundreds of cultural and issue-oriented segments. She also helped develop talk shows for Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Miller, Tammy Faye Baker and Mo Gaffney. For four years, Kopf worked with Maria Shriver producing innovative, topical and award-winning specials for the NBC News critically acclaimed series, First Person with Maria Shriver. Other credits include Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, Entertainment Tonight, A.M. Los Angeles and MADtv. In association with Gay Rosenthal Productions, she also worked on a number of projects for Lifetime.
Kopf’s first autobiographical essay Oy Vay the Kids are Gay was published in an anthology entitled Mentsh. Her essay “Lose Your Mother, Find Yourself” appeared on the acclaimed literary website, Fresh Yarn.