An Oscar winner and Queen’s graduate who was last at the festival with the KCFF 2017 opening night film RIVER OF MY DREAMS: A PORTRAIT OF GORDON PINSENT, Brigitte Berman is back with a look at a little-known endeavour by one of the last century’s most influential if controversial figures. In this companion piece to HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL (KCFF 2010) – her previous doc about the man in the robe – Berman delves into the rich history of Hefner’s two television shows of the ‘60s, both of which tackled topics of race, politics and culture in ways that were radical even by the standards of the era. (Mind you, Hef was less forward-thinking about women’s roles, being more likely to use young ladies as set decorations.) Fans like Bill Maher and Whoopi Goldberg and former guests like Joan Baez and Steppenwolf’s John Kay are some of the many luminaries featured in the new interviews that supplement Berman’s findings in this fascinating time capsule.
German born Brigitte Berman is an Academy Award-winning producer/director/writer who graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she studied English and Film. She was also a resident in writing and directing at the prestigious Canadian Film Centre. Berman has worked in the film and television industry for over 20 years, producing and directing more than 100 documentaries, both independently and for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. A number of her documentaries have won major international awards. Brigitte has also written, produced, and directed theatrical and television feature dramas. Her most recent film, HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL opened in theatres across Canada in 2010, and is being showcased at major international film festivals, as well as at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art. Her filmography includes the Academy Award-winning ARTIE SHAW: TIME IS ALL YOU GOT and THE CIRCLE GAME.