Sundance Film Festival follow up: HOWL

Before Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman wrote and directed HOWL, they worked on several other films together, starting in the 80s with COMMON THREADS: STORIES FROM THE QUILT, a documentary about the stories behind the AIDS Memorial Quilt that won the Oscar for Best Documentary. They went onto make THE CELLULOID CLOSET, a doc about homosexuality in Hollywood, which won the Teddy for Best Documentary at the Berlin International Film Festival as well as the Freedom of Expression Award at Sundance, where it was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. They were nominated for the Prize again in 2000 for PARAGRAPH 175, a doc about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. It didn’t win them the Grand Jury but they did win the Sundance Directing Award as well as another Teddy for Best Documentary.

Now, at the end of their third decade working together, Epstein and Friedman wrote and directed their most narrative documentary about Allen Ginsberg and the poem he went to trial for, HOWL, which opened up the festival in January. HOWL tackles a lot in one film, a court case drama, a long Ginsberg interview and an animated depiction of his epic poem. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to win the nominations for Grand Jury Prize and the Berlin International Film Festival’s Golden Bear, but that hasn’t slowed down Epstein and Friedman, who are currently working on LOVELACE, a narrative documentary on Linda Lovelace, the star of DEEPTHROAT and later anti-porn advocate.

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.