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ABOUT THE SUBJECT
Robert De Niro, Sr. was part of the celebrated New York School of artists who enjoyed success in his early career during the 1940's and 50's in New York City. His paintings blended abstract and expressionist styles with a representational subject matter, bridging the divide between European Modernism and Abstract Expressionism. His work was shown at Peggy Guggenheim's "Art of this Century" Gallery and was reviewed in many of the most respected art publications of the day. But his success was short lived as his work was eclipsed first by the Abstract Expressionist painters and later by the emergence of Pop Art. As the art world embraced these new movements in the late 1950s and early 1960's, more traditional painters like De Niro were marginalized. De Niro embarked to Paris to immerse himself in the art of the masters and enliven his own work and career. But the art market of post-war France offered little opportunity for DeNiro. He returned to the United States and continued to paint in relative obscurity. He found solace writing about his hopes and dreams in his journals and poems, hoping that one-day his work would be re-discovered and afforded the critical acclaim that had eluded him throughout his career, even if after his death. His dreams were realized, orchestrated by the man who knew him best — his son, the actor, Robert De Niro.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Perri Peltz (@perripeltz) is a documentary filmmaker and public health advocate who began her career as a television news journalist. Her film Remembering the Artist Robert DeNiro, Sr. will air on HBO in June of 2014 and premiered in January at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Perri directed the highly acclaimed HBO documentary, The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, which explores the disparities in the United States health care system as seen through the lens of an unlikely friendship between two women battling breast cancer. She is currently working on a documentary about recidivism in the United States prison system as well as a film about an all female peacekeeping unit currently deployed to Haiti by the United Nations.
Prior to directing and producing documentaries, Perri spent much of her career as a television news journalist. Her last position in television was as an anchor and reporter for WNBC-TV and NBC News where she focused on issues relating to poverty and health. She first joined WNBC in 1987, serving as a reporter, then as a co-anchor, of the weekend editions of Today in New York and the evening newscasts. She went on to serve as a contributor for NBC's Dateline and as one of the first anchors at MSNBC. A news correspondent for ABC's 20/20 from 1998-2000, Perri won numerous awards including several for her reporting on the misdiagnosis of melanoma. She also worked at CNN as a reporter and anchored the award-winning show CNN.com. While at CNN, she reported a story about a chess team from a public school in the South Bronx that became national chess champions. Inspired by their story, Perri produced the feature film The Knights of the South Bronx, starring Ted Danson, based on their improbable accomplishment.
Both in and outside journalism, Perri has pursued her passion for public health and medicine. Since 2010, Perri has been the host of Dr. Radio Reports, a one-hour weekly program about public health issues for the Sirius-XM Network. Her contributions to public health advocacy have been honored by the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, the American Cancer Society and the Dubin Breast Center. She continues to serve on the boards of the Medicare Rights Center and Single Stop USA.
Perri holds a Bachelor of Science from Brown University and a master's degree in Public Health from Columbia University where she is presently a Doctoral Candidate. A life-long New Yorker, Perri resides in New York City with her husband and three sons.
Geeta Gandbhir (@geetagandbhir) has over twenty years of experience in the fields of film, television and animation. She has been nominated for three Emmy Awards and has won two, and the films she edited have won one Academy Award and three Peabody Awards. Most recently, her film God is the Bigger Elvis with director Rebecca Cammisa was nominated for the 2012 Oscars.
Current projects with directing and producing partner, Perri Peltz, include an HBO documentary for actor Robert DeNiro on his father's artistic career, a documentary film on rehabilitation in national prisons, and a film on female UN Peacekeepers.
Other recent notable works include the POV film Take it From Me on welfare reform, directed by Emily Abt, PBS series African American Lives with Henry Lewis Gates and the four-hour HBO documentary series When the Levees Broke for filmmaker Spike Lee, for which she won an Emmy Award for Best Editing, What's Going On: The Life Of Marvin Gaye for PBS American Masters, Amy Rice and Alicia Sam's feature documentary By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, (executive produced by Edward Norton and released by HBO) for which she won her second Emmy Award, and Music By Prudence, a documentary produced by HBO and Director Roger Ross Williams, which won the 2010 Oscar for Best Short Documentary. Most recently, she completed a feature-length documentary entitled Budrus by Just Vision Films, the directors and producers of the award winning film Control Room, which won Silver at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival and The Special Jury Mention Prize for Best World Documentary at it's US premiere in the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. She has worked on a series of films for HBO, including Spike Lee's follow-up to When the Levees Broke entitled If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award, and a film on breast cancer entitled The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, with director Perri Peltz which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson's film American Promise which won the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2013, and God is the Bigger Elvis which was nominated for the 2012 Academy Awards. She just finished working with author and Academy Award nominated director Sebastian Junger on a film about image-maker Tim Hetherington who died in Libya in 2011, and a film with Whoopi Goldberg on the comedian Moms Mabley.
Geeta has also taught documentary filmmaking at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Program.