DOK Leipzig 29. Oktober – 4. November 2018
61. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 29 October – 4 November 2018
61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
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Talk - Robert Drew


Robert Drew on the birth of cinema direct

Dok Talk Special

Saturday, 22 October, 16:15 -17:45,
Polnisches Institut

He is 87 years old and a legend of the documentary film. Robert Drew is the pioneer of Direct Cinema, his work has revolutionized the movie theater and influences all subsequent generations of filmmakers. Two of his early works will be screened in the retrospective „1961 Reviewed – When the world was split into two". This is also to commemorate Drew's colleague and fellow-filmmaker Richard Leacock who died this year. Robert Drew will show up in person at the Leipzig festival and is available for talks after his films have been screened.



(extracts taken from

Robert Lincoln Drew (born on February 15, 1924 in Toledo, Ohio), an American documentary filmmaker, is considered to be co-founder of Direct Cinema in the US. One of his most famous films Primary (1960) was a milestone in movie history: John F. Kennedy’s election campaign was recorded in synchronous sound for the first time ever. Drew has thus documented the entry of a shining figure into world history, the first „super star“ of politics.


Three years later Drew documented, at considerable production cost, the conflict between the Kennedy administration and George C. Wallace, an arch-conservative southern-state Democrat and Governor of Alabama. The conflict focussed on the admission of two black students to university. The film reflected the power mechanisms behind the scenes, the political style pursued by either party and the alternatives available to them. Document and monument of the political and medial climate of agitation in the early 1960ies.


At about the same time Drew establishes Drew Associates and cooperates closely with filmmakers, such as Richard Leacock, D. A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles and Terence Macartney-Filgate. Drew produced more than a dozen documentary films during the recent half century and received a number of important awards from all over the world.


Listen to the DOK TALK Special with Robert Drew:
2011_10_22-Talk-Robert_Drew.mp3 [61.7MB/mp3]