Rob Epstein

Rob Epstein has been making groundbreaking, socially relevant films for over five decades. His work has premiered at top film festivals all over the world, including Sundance, Telluride, Berlinale, the New York Film Festival, Tribeca, Venice, and Toronto. Epstein’s body of work, exhibited in theaters, museums, television and streaming worldwide, includes such landmark films as Word Is Out (PBS 1977); The Times of Harvey Milk (Academy Award, Best Documentary Feature, 1984; Criterion Collection); The AIDS Show (1986); Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (Academy Award, Best Documentary Feature, 1990); Where Are We? Our Trip Through America (Sundance/PBS 1991); The Celluloid Closet (Emmy award, non-fiction Directing, HBO 1995); Paragraph 175 (Directing Award, Sundance Film Festival, HBO 2000); End Game (Oscar- nominee, Best Documentary Short Netflix 2019); Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Grammy Award, Best Music Documentary, CNN Films 2021); Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Tribeca Film Festival; HBO MAX); and the dramatic narrative features HOWL (National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award, 2010), starring James Franco and Jon Hamm, and Lovelace (2013), starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, & Sharon Stone. Epstein is the recipient of two Academy Awards®, five Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the IDA Pioneer Award, and the Cinema Eye Legacy Award. With The Times of Harvey Milk, now part of the National Film Registry in the Library of Congress, Epstein made Oscar history as the first openly LGBTQ director to accept the award for an LGBT themed film. Epstein is a professor emeritus at California College of the Arts, where he co-founded the MFA Film Program. He co-authored The Art of Nonfiction Movie Making (Praeger, 2012) with Jeffrey Friedman and Sharon Wood. He has served multiple terms on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences (the Oscars).