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Filmmaker Bio


JOE BERLINGER, Director/Producer/Executive Producer/Cinematographer

Joe Berlinger is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist and photographer, whose films include the celebrated documentaries Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost, and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.

Joe Berlinger made his first independent film in 1989. Outrageous Taxi Stories, a documentary short, became a cult favorite on the festival circuit. Three years later, Berlinger and frequent collaborator Bruce Sinofsky received international acclaim for their Sundance-winning feature Brother’s Keeper. Named 1992’s “Best Documentary” by the DGA, the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review, the film appeared on the "10 Best Films of the Year" lists of over 50 major critics.

Released in 1996, Berlinger and Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills captured a year in the life of an Arkansas town as it came to grips with the most horrifying crime in its history. The film also revealed the innocence of three teenagers wrongfully convicted of capital murder, sparking an international movement to “Free the West Memphis Three.” Originally made for HBO, Paradise Lost had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It went on to win a Primetime Emmy, a Peabody and the National Board of Review’s “Best Documentary” Award. Berlinger and Sinofsky's Revelations: Paradise Lost 2 premiered on HBO, updating the story four years later. It was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster debuted at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, becoming an instant classic in the “rock doc” genre, drawing comparisons to Don’t Look Back, Gimme Shelter and Let It Be. The film won the Independent Spirit Award for “Best Documentary,” was nominated by the IDA for “Best Documentary Feature” and was placed on the “10 Best Films of the Year” lists of over 30 critics.

In addition to his feature documentary work, Berlinger has produced and directed a great deal of television, both fiction and nonfiction. His articles and photographs have appeared in the New York Times, ArtForum, Film Comment, Aperture, and numerous other publications, and his first book, Metallica: This Monster Lives, The Inside Story of Some Kind of Monster, was published in 2004 by St. Martin’s Press.

Berlinger is currently developing two narrative feature films which he plans to produce and direct: Education of a Felon about the life of cult prison novelist Edward Bunker; and Facing The Wind, based on Julie Salamon’s bestselling nonfiction book of the same name.