AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE -- Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s work as directors, writers, producers and editors has been honored with two Academy Awards, five Emmy Awards and three Peabody Awards. They have had retrospectives at London Institute of Contemporary Art, Taipei International Film Festival, Cinémathéque Québécoise and Zurich Pink Apple Film Festival.
“While I was in college, I had little notion of what I wanted to study or why. I took a leave of absence to explore alternative creative pathways,” Epstein says. “This led me to take a filmmaking class at San Francisco State University, while simultaneously snagging a gig as a production assistant on a documentary in its early stages of production. This project would eventually become the landmark documentary ‘Word is Out,” the first documentary about being LGBT in America, made by a collective of LGBT filmmakers (of which I was a part). Finding my way into nonfiction filmmaking opened up something within my own creative self, and it gave me the opportunity to speak to the world about matters of importance.”