Karen Bernstein – Producer/ Director
A veteran documentary film, television and radio producer, Karen Bernstein has recently added Director to her nameplate on life’s dinner table. In keeping with her arts and culture career making biographical documentaries, Bernstein completed and premiered the festival favorite, I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, at DocNYC2019. This madcap documentary biography on one person, two lives between two same-sex weddings, is included in the unprecedented SXSW2020 10-day virtual festival on Amazon Prime. In 2016 when festivals were still held live and with crowds, Bernstein co-directed and produced, Richard Linklater – dream is destiny, which premiered at Sundance, screened in the festival favorites section at SXSW, and toured internationally before making its way onto the PBS’ American Masters series that same year. 2015 saw the release of a Galán Inc. documentary that Karen Bernstein co-produced with Latino Public Broadcasting, Children of Giant.
In her role as a series producer for American Masters and producer of Ella Fitzgerald – Something To Live For (1999), Bernstein received a national Emmy award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series. For producing Lou Reed – Rock and Roll Heart (1998), she received a Grammy award. In 2000 she co-produced American Masters/ Juilliard (2002) and American Masters/ Clint Eastwood. Her work has been screened at over 100 international film festivals including Sundance and Berlin. Body of War was produced with Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, toured film festivals around the world, and was shortlisted for an Academy award in 2008. The ITVS funded film, Troop 1500, also did an extensive tour around film festivals both in this country and abroad and was broadcast on Independent Lens in 2006.
Both Are The Kids Alright? and Producing Light have won Emmy awards in Texas. Her web video for Etsy.com on the craft movement in Marfa conjured over 250,000 hits on the Etsy website and was re-tweeted on BoingBoing and Huffington Post in 2010.
transFIGURATION, a documentary program for PBS on a collaboration between the photographer, Rino Pizzi, and 12 Texas-based artists, was broadcast in May, 2014. With the high definition satellite TV series, Gallery HD, she produced two documentaries about two Texas artists and groups, Julie Speed and the innovative gallery, Ballroom Marfa. Her short film on Elizabeth Streb (PopACTION) , dancer and choreographer, was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant.
Current projects include: Patina (a short film on memory), biographical shorts on Nelson Sullivan and Michael Musto, and a sequel to Ellen Spiro’s film, Troop 1500.