Docurama Films Announces Educational Release of “ROBERT DREW: TEN MASTERWORKS OF AMERICAN CINÉMA VÉRITÉ”






December 10, 2012 – New York, New York – In 1960, television producer and director Robert Drew set out to capture on film Senator John F. Kennedy’s run against Senator Hubert H. Humphrey in the Wisconsin Presidential Primary. At his side as cameramen and editors were future film icons Richard Leacock, Al Maysles, D.A. Pennebaker and Terrence McCartney Filgate. The film, PRIMARY, was the first in which a sync-sound camera moved freely with characters through a breaking story. It is considered the preeminent film of the cinéma vérité genre for its innovative camera work and new approaches to film editing, and was selected as an historic American film for inclusion in the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry in 1990.

On December 18, Docurama Films, a label of Cinedigm Entertainment Group (NASDAQ: CIDM) will release 10 iconic films by Robert Drew, spanning more than 50 years, in one packaged set to the educational market. The price of $995 for this essential film history collection includes rights for all non-admission screenings ($895 for institutions that already own PRIMARY):

·         PRIMARY (1960): An inside look at John F. Kennedy’s run for the White House in 1960. (1960 Blue Ribbon Award/American Film Festival, 1961 Flaherty Award for Best Documentary, 1961 Outstanding Film/London Film Festival)

·        A PRESIDENT TO REMEMBER: IN THE COMPANY OF JOHN F. KENNEDY – (2011): Narrated by Alec Baldwin, the film is composed of Drew’s four acclaimed Kennedy films: Primary, Adventures on the New Frontier, Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment and Faces of November. (films that won two First Prizes/Venice International Film Festival, 1964 Cine Golden Eagle, 1967 First Prize/International Documentary Exhibition Bilboa)

 ·         ON THE POLE: EDDIE SACHS – (1961):  Experience the Indianapolis 500 races of 1960 and 1961 through the eyes of the top qualifiying driver, Eddie Sachs,  who won the honor of the pole position in each race, the pinnacle of the sport he loves and risks all for.

 ·         MOONEY VS. FOWLE – (1961): Concentrating on the state high school championship held at the Orange Bowl in Miami, the film follows two coaches—Haywood Fowle of Edison High, and Otis Mooney of Miami High—as they drive their teams through brutal practices and a legendary showdown. (1962 Outstanding Film/London Film Festival)

·         THE CHAIR – (1962): A man sentenced to die in the electric chair, Paul Crump, has rehabilitated himself while on death row. Two lawyers, Louis Nizer and Donald Moore, have one week to fight for Crump’s life and make legal history. (First Prize/Cannes Film Festival, Winner/Eurovision Grand Prix)

·         SUSAN STARR(1962): The story of a young American concert pianist as she prepares and competes against 34 of the most talented pianists in the world in the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Piano Competition at the Metropolitan Opera House.

·         JANE – (1962): A 24-year-old Jane Fonda stars in a Broadway flop, directed by a near-hysterical director who is also her lover. The film features cameos by the Actors Studio’s Lee Strasberg and critic Walter Kerr.

·         BLACKIE – (1962): Former WWII Army Air Corps pilot Harold F. Blackburn captains a transatlantic flight on his 60th birthday, and what that means to a pilot who would like nothing more than to keep on flying.

·         STORM SIGNAL – (1966): Intimately filmed by living with a loving couple and their baby for four months, STORM SIGNAL studies the devastating impact of addiction on the life of an American family. (First Prize/Venice International Film Festival)

·         MAN WHO DANCES – (1968): The film features breathtaking footage from the then-star dancer in the New York City Ballet. Edward Villella’s performances on and off the stage showcase his artistry, even as he deals with the physical and mental aftermath of a collapse on stage. (1969 Emmy® Award)

Rarely seen off the festival circuit until now, these films have been restored and preserved by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Archive. A book by Drew, with diary-like entries on his early years creating American cinéma vérité, including his vision of candid filmmaking, will be available as a PDF for download at Also included is a short documentary film featuring interviews with Drew and other luminaries discussing the birth of cinéma vérité.

“Capturing real life as it happens and rendering it in editing without artifice is opening up a form of journalism and history-making that allows people around the world to see into each others’ lives,” Drew said. “These 10 films take the viewer from the first days of the creation of cinéma vérité to its fruition 50 years later.”

About Robert Drew
As an editor at LIFE, Robert Drew specialized in the candid still picture essay. As a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, he worked out theories for a filmmaking based on candid photography in motion pictures. He assembled a group of journalists and filmmakers — among them Richard Leacock, Gregory Shuker, D.A. Pennebaker, James Lipscomb, Hope Ryden, Mike Jackson, Abbott Mills, Tom Bywaters and Anne Drew. Robert Drew managed the engineering of lightweight cameras and recorders and developed editing techniques to allow stories to tell themselves through characters in action.

After Primary, Drew expanded on his ideas by forming Drew Associates, with his wife Anne, and produced films that have become known as the foundation of American cinéma vérité.

About Docurama Films:
In 1999, Docurama Films® launched with the first feature documentary available on DVD: D.A. Pennebaker’s iconic film on Bob Dylan, “Dont Look Back.” Twelve years and 300 award-winning, highly-acclaimed documentary titles later, Docurama continues to discover and release the greatest non-fiction films of our time while spreading the word about filmmakers who are taking the form to new heights. Docurama’s catalog features an array of topics including the performing and visual arts, history, politics, the environment, ethnic and gender interests, and all-time favorites including “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill,” “Andy Goldsworthy: Rivers and Tides” and “King Corn.” Recent titles include the Oscar®-nominated films “Gasland,” “Hell and Back Again” and “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.”

About Cinedigm Entertainment Group:
Cinedigm Entertainment Group (CEG), a division of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp., is an end-to-end digital distribution company delivering content in theaters, across digital and on-demand platforms, and on DVD/Blu-ray. CEG reaches a global digital audience through partnerships with iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, Google, Hulu, Vudu, Xbox, Playstation, and others. The company’s library of over 5,000 titles includes award-winning documentaries from Docurama Films®, next-gen indies from Flatiron Film Company® and acclaimed independent films and festival picks through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and Tribeca Film. CEG is proud to distribute many Oscar®-nominated films including “Hell and Back Again,” “GasLand,” “Waste Land,” “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” “A Cat in Paris” and “Chico & Rita.” Current and upcoming CEG multi-platform releases include “The Invisible War,” “Citadel,” “In Our Nature,” “22 Bullets” and “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey.” [CIDM-G]

To request screeners and for more information, please contact:

Luis Garza; 646-259-4144;


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