In Memory of Filmmaker Richard Glatzer, 1952-2015

Caroline Libresco

Sundance Institute mourns the loss of Richard Glatzer, whose feature film Quinceañera, written and directed with his long-time creative partner and husband, Wash Westmoreland, won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. His comedy, Grief, also premiered in competition at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival.

Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland
at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
© Fred Hayes | WireImage

Richard had a powerful intellect, a wry and sophisticated wit, a subversive spirit, a magnificent heart, and the vision to draw out complex meaning from the world around him through his art. He was that rare breed of storyteller who brought not only a canny sense of contemporary zeitgeist and political insight to his work, but a preternatural lexicon of literature and film as well. (He had a Ph.D. in English and taught screenwriting). His body of work reveals both a keen sensitivity to and compassion for human experience as well as a willingness to face the absurdity of life. Also striking is the egalitarian community of loving friendship Richard built organically around every project he undertook and every aspect of his life.

Despite his declining health, he and Westmoreland wrote and directed two celebrated feature films –The Last of Robin Hood starring Dakota Fanning, Susan Sarandon, and Kevin Kline, and Still Alice, for which Julianne Moore won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Actress. Until the very end of his struggle with ALS, Richard’s voracious and humanistic love of film, literature, ideas and other living beings was palpable.

We salute this deeply beloved and highly respected independent artist. It’s hard to accept that one so vital and so attuned to what truly matters in life, is no longer with us.   

 

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Alexis Chikaeze as Kai in 'Miss Juneteenth,' coming to digital platforms June 19

Channing Godfrey Peoples on a Bittersweet ‘Miss Juneteenth’ Release and the Urgency of Portraying Black Humanity on Screen

After premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Channing Godfrey Peoples’s debut feature is hitting digital platforms this Juneteenth—the day for which the film is named and which is very close to the director’s heart. “I feel like I’ve been living Miss Juneteenth my whole life,” she says.
The June 19 holiday—which commemorates the day slavery was finally abolished in Texas (more than two years after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation was issued)—is celebrated in her hometown of Fort Worth with a deep sense of reverence and community, with barbecues, a parade, and a scholarship pageant for young Black women.

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