André Singer’s master class in “Cinema Verite”
Art and Experience: André Singer is slated to hold an online master class at Iran International Documentary Film Festival known as “Cinema Verite” in Tehran.
Singer is a British documentary film-maker, as well as an anthropologist. He is currently CEO of Spring Films Ltd of London, a Professorial Research Associate at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, and was President of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland from 2014-2018.
Born in London, he studied at University Hall, Buckland and then at first Keble College and subsequently Exeter College, Oxford University under Professor Sir E.E.
Evans-Pritchard, specialising in Iran and Afghanistan for his doctorate. He started working in television in the early 1970s as a researcher, then as a producer and director for the Disappearing World series at Granada Television, eventually taking over from Brian Moser as the Series Editor.
As a director, Singer has made many award-winning films, including the Strangers Abroad series, Khyber, Night Will Fall, Where the Wind Blew, Meeting Gorbachev with Werner Herzog, and Witchcraft Among the Azande.
In television he has worked for several broadcasters, serving as Commissioning editor for Discovery Channel, Europe; Senior Vice-President for Alliance Atlantis; and heading the Independent Documentary Unit at the BBC.
At the BBC, he founded and commissioned works for the Fine Cut series, working with such international filmmakers as Jean Rouch, Werner Herzog, DA Pennebaker, Bob Drew, Fred Wiseman and Vikram Jayanti.
In the independent sector, Singer has been instrumental in several production companies including InCa, Café Productions, West Park Pictures, and currently Spring Films.
He has been responsible in an executive or producer role for hundreds of documentary productions for cinema and television, including the Oscar-nominated Prisoner of Paradise (directed by Malcolm Clarke); Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine (Vikram Jayanti); and the International Critics Award-winning film, The Wild Blue Yonder (Werner Herzog).
Since 1992, Singer has worked with Herzog as a producer or executive producer on fourteen productions, including Into the Abyss (2011). He and Lucki Stipetic were producers for Herzog’s documentary, Into the Inferno (2016), about mankind’s relationship with volcanoes; and in 2019 on Fireball co-directed by Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer about the world of asteroids.
In 2018, he has co-directed with Werner Herzog a feature documentary about Mikhail Gorbachev called Meeting Gorbachev based around several encounters between Herzog and the last President of the USSR.
Singer was also an Executive Producer on the multi-award-winning documentaries including The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014), by Joshua Oppenheimer.
His film as director, “Where the Wind Blew” (2017) about the legacy of nuclear bomb testing during the Cold War in Kazakhstan and Nevada won the Raven Award for Best Feature documentary at DocUtah, the Utah International Documentary Film Festival.
“Night Will Fall” was awarded two Focal Awards, a Peabody Award, and Best Documentary at the Moscow Jewish Film Festival in 2015; it won the Royal Television Society Award for Historical Documentary and the Emmy for Outstanding Historical Film (Long-form) in 2016. It was shown to over 70 million people worldwide.
Singer was given the Oscar Pomilio Award for Ethics in Pescara, Italy in 2015.
He is the author of five books of non-fiction including, with his wife Lynette, Divine Magic: The World of the Supernatural.
Singer was elected President of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 2014 and was awarded their Patrons Medal in 2007.
He is Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Anthropology at the University of Southern California and Visiting Professor of Film at the University of Westminster from 2014.
He was on the Film and Television Committee of BAFTA, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, between 2010 and 2013.
Singer was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to anthropology and the documentary film industry.
Directed by Mohammad Hamidi-Moqadam, the “Cinema Verite” is scheduled to be held in Tehran on Dec 8-14, 2020 in an online format via utilizing the national platform.
The national competition section comprises the short, mid-length and feature-length documentaries and the international section of this edition will be held in non-competition format due to the spread of coronavirus.
The international section of the festival also enjoys numerous non-competition sections such Special Displays, Mirror of a Festival, Portrait, Perspective of One Country Documentary Cinema, Chile Documentary Cinema, Masters of 2020 as well as 13 Editions & 13 Films.