Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield will be presented with the Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling Award at #NFF17. The BAFTA-winning filmmaker is best known for his celebrated work spanning over forty years, including Kurt & Courtney, Biggie and Tupac, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, Tales of the Grim Sleeper, and The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife. His latest documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me, co-directed with Rudi Dolezal, tells the story of Whitney Houston's extraordinary life and tragic death.
Broomfield studied film at the National Film School, after discovering his love for photography on a foreign exchange visit in France at the age of 15.
He made his first film Who Cares about Slum Clearance in Liverpool, while at University, by borrowing a wind up Bolex camera, and shooting it on short ends. Professor Colin Young at the NFS had a great influence on his work encouraging participant observation, as well as introducing him to Joan Churchill. Together Joan and Nick made several films, Juvenille Liaison, Tattooed Tears, Soldier Girls, Lily Tomlin, and more recently Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer. They also have a son together.
Broomfield was originally influenced by the observational style of Fred Wiseman, and Robert Leacock and Pennebaker, before moving on largely by accident to the more idiosyncratic style for which he is better known. While making Driving me Crazy, Nick decided to place himself and the producer of the film in the story, as a way of making sense of the event.
This experiment led to a sense of greater freedom, from the confines of observational cinema, and led to a more investigative and experimental type of filmmaking. ie The Leader, the Driver and the Drivers Wife, Aileen Wuornos, Kurt and Courtney, and Biggie and Tupac.
He is the recipient of the following prestigious awards, among others: Sundance first prize, British Academy Award, Prix Italia, Dupont Peabody Award, Grierson Award, Hague Peace Prize, and the Amnesty International Doen Award.
Join us at the Screenwriters Tribute on June 23 to celebrate Nick Broomfield's extraordinary career!