David L. Brown
is a three-time Emmy Award-winning San Francisco documentary filmmaker
who has, since 1971, produced, written and directed over 80 productions
and 14 broadcast documentaries on social, nuclear, health, technology,
peace and environmental issues. His documentaries have received over
80 international awards and have been broadcast on PBS and in 15 countries.
His recent work includes KEEPER OF THE BEAT: A Woman's Journey into the Heart of Drumming, an hour-long documentary on the life and music of acclaimed and pioneering drummer, Barbara Borden, that was awarded the Runner-Up for the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2013 Mill Valley Film Festival. RUNNING FOR JIM, a feature-length documentary on a legendary cross country coach who contracts ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Best Documentary, Soho International Film Festival, Audience Award, Tiburon Film Festival. Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery, a hour-long documentary on survivors of traumatic brain injury; A SPAN IN TIME, a half-hour documentary that tells the dramatic and entertaining story of the 2007 Labor Day weekend construction project on the San Francisco Bay Bridge, with the now-legendary C.C. Myers at the contractor. Hilarious Emmy-winning cartoon animation (Emmy for Outstanding Graphics and Animation in a Program) introduces the soon-to-be-legendary TV anchor, Max Tabloid, who reports on the story as it unfolds on the screen. AMAZING: THE REBUILDING OF THE MACARTHUR MAZE, another recent project, is a half -hour documentary on the collapse and speedy rebuilding of Oakland’s MacArthur Maze.
Other films include THE
BRIDGE SO FAR - A SUSPENSE STORY, a 55-minute comedic documentary
on the wild and troubled 16-year history of the new San Francisco-Oakland
Bay Bridge, which won two Emmy Awards in 2007; OF
WIND AND WAVES: THE LIFE OF WOODY BROWN, a feature-length documentary
on 94-year old surfing, sailing and soaring legend Woody Brown, which received an Emmy nomination for Best Documentary; DIGITAL
DEMOCRACY COMES OF AGE, a 30-minute documentary on progressive
blogging produced and aired by LinkTV. SENIORS FOR PEACE, a 26-minute
portrait of an articulate and impassioned group of senior peace activists
that aired on PBS in 2004; and SURFING
FOR LIFE (1999), an inspirational documentary (68- and 57-min.
versions) on older surfers as models of healthy and successful aging.
SURFING FOR LIFE screened theatrically in 40 cities, was broadcast on
over 130 PBS stations, won 15 international awards and was profiled
in The New York Times Magazine, Parade Magazine, on National
Public Radio and ABCs World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. The San Francisco Chronicle called it a treasure, perhaps
the most intelligent treatment of surfing ever captured on film.
older surfers, Brown produced BOUND BY THE WIND (1993), a moving documentary (88-, 58- and 40-min. versions) on the
global human and environmental legacy of nuclear weapons testing and
the plight of the worlds downwinders. It has won 20
international awards including a CINE Golden Eagle, a Blue Ribbon at
the American Film and Video Festival and a Golden Gate Award for Best
Environmental Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
It has been broadcast on PBS, in Canada (CBC), Japan (NHK), France (Canal+),
Spain and several other countries. The Boston Globe called it far
and away the best film on the nuclear legacy. BOUND
BY THE WIND was the culmination of Browns 13 years of
filmmaking with a primary focus on nuclear and environmental issues.
recent productions include:
CLASSES (narrated by singer/actor Queen Latifah) and CROSSING
THE DIVIDE (1998), two 56-minute PBS documentaries on teens
and digital technology, episodes in the DIGITAL
DIVIDE series which aired on over 150 PBS stations and in
Canada, Japan and the Netherlands;
QUESTION OF POWER (1986), a 58-minute documentary narrated
by Peter Coyote addressing the nuclear power controversy which received
16 awards including a Blue Ribbon at the American Film and Video Festival
and was broadcast twice on public television; and
ZONE (1989), a 58-minute documentary on the international
nuclear free zone movement which received 13 awards and was broadcast
on public television and in several countries.
THE WATERS: JAVAS BLUE REVOLUTION,
a 27-minute documentary on aquaculture in the reservoirs of Java as
a resettllement solution for population displacement from large dams
(produced for the World Bank in 1994);
OF HOPE, TOOLS FOR CHANGE, a 22-minute
documentary on homelessness and the shelters, services and skills
training of Episcopal Community Services (1993);
YOURSELF A PROMISE:
EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR COMMUNITY,
a 25-minute preparedness video produced in eight languages for Tenants
and Owners Development Corporation (1990);
PREPAREDNESS: WHAT EVERY CHILDCARE PROVIDER SHOULD KNOW,
a 25-minute earthquake preparedness video produced for the California
State Office of Emergency Services (1992); and
OUNCE OF PREVENTION: STRENGTHENING YOUR WOOD FRAME HOME FOR EARTHQUAKE
SAFETY, a 25-minute video also produced for the California
State Office of Emergency Services (1992).
- Brown also produced
and directed three social issue documentary film festivals: THE
NUCLEAR FILM FORUM (1981); THE DISARMAMENT FILM FESTIVAL (1983); and THE PEACE
IMAGE FESTIVAL (1984, 60 peace and environmental films were screened
during the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco)
Brown works in the film and television industry as a freelance producer,
director, editor, cameraman, assistant director and production manager.
He has over 100 credits on features, commercials, music videos and
documentaries. He has shot television news for CBS, NBC, the BBC and
others, and has produced and directed several multicam projects for
Greenpeace U.S.A. He teaches Documentary Filmmaking at City College of San Francisco, U.C. Berkeley Extension, and San Francisco Film Society.
See Teaching Resume.
Current projects in production include Third Rock, a feature-length documentary on a youth rock and roll band that traces their evolution from ages 9-10 to 14-15.