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Biography

Marc Levin is a a pioneer in the art of merging fiction and non-fiction filmmaking. He brings narrative and verite techniques together in his independent films, episodic television and documentaries. His dramatic feature film, SLAM, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera D'Or at Cannes in 1998, received international recognition for its seamless blending of the real world with a narrative flow. Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Brace yourself for a slam-dunk of a movie, in an in-your-face cinema verite-style that makes Godard's 'Breathless' seem like a cartoon."


Levin’s most recent documentary, PROTOCOLS OF ZION, looks at the rise of anti-Semitism since 9/11 and the renewed popularity of the fraudulent anti-Semitic text, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The film premiered to much acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was featured at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Variety wrote, “Filmmaker Marc Levin fearlessly faces down his adversaries as he strolls from one lion’s den into another.” It will be distributed internationally by ThinkFilm this fall, and on HBO next year.


Levin’s STREET TIME, a television series produced by Columbia/Tristar for Showtime, received critical acclaim for its authenticity and verite style. Levin produced the series and directed 10 episodes. The show stars Rob Morrow, Scott Cohen, Erica Alexander and Terrence Howard. The Los Angeles Times called it "some of the most seductive television ever: vivid, distinctive, explosive storytelling . . .”


Levin’s documentary feature, GODFATHERS AND SONS, was part of the highly regarded Martin Scorsese PBS series on the blues. Scorsese recruited an international team of directors with both feature and documentary experience - Charles Burnett, Clint Eastwood, Mike Figgis, Richard Pierce and Wim Wenders. Variety Magazine called Levin’s show "the crown jewel in the Scorsese series."


In the late nineties Levin created a hip-hop trilogy beginning with SLAM, a searing prison drama, which starred Saul Williams, Sonja Sohn and Bonz Malone. WHITEBOYS, a black comedy about white kids who want to be black rappers, starred Danny Hoch, Dash Mihok, Mark Webber and Piper Perabo. BROOKLYN BABYLON, a fable inspired by the “Song of Songs," starred Tariq Trotter, Bonz Malone, and featured music by the legendary Grammy winners The Roots.


In TWILIGHT LOS ANGELES, an adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith's one woman show, Levin fused a Broadway play with the documentary world of the LA riots. Twilight premiered at the Sundance 2000 Film Festival and was selected as the opening film of the International Human Rights Film Festival at Lincoln Center.

In 1992 Levin directed Oscar nominee Robert Downey, Jr. in THE LAST PARTY, a gonzo look at the Presidential campaign, weaving together the personal and the political fortunes of Downey and Bill Clinton.


Levin and his documentary film partner, Daphne Pinkerson, produced 10 films for HBO’s groundbreaking AMERICA UNDERCOVER, including MOB STORIES, PRISONERS OF THE WAR ON DRUGS, EXECUTION MACHINE: TEXAS DEATH ROW, SOLDIERS IN THE ARMY OF GOD, GLADIATOR DAYS. THUG LIFE IN D.C. won the 1999 National Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special. GANG WAR: BANGIN' IN LITTLE ROCK won the CableACE Award for Best Documentary Special of 1994. The sequel, BACK IN THE HOOD, premiered last summer on HBO. They also produced HEIR TO AN EXECUTION, a documentary feature following Ivy Meeropol’s journey on the 50th anniversary of the execution of her grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. HEIR was in competition at the Sundance film festival and aired on HBO last June.


In 1997, Levin was awarded the prestigious duPont Columbia award for CIA: AMERICA'S SECRET WARRIORS, a three-part series that aired on the Discovery Channel. In 1988 he won a national Emmy award as the producer/editor of THE SECRET GOVERNMENT - THE CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS. From the mid-seventies through the eighties Levin teamed up with one of America's most respected journalists, Bill Moyers. He directed THE HOME FRONT WITH BILL MOYERS, which was honored with the duPont Columbia Gold Baton Award. His PORTRAIT OF AN AMERICAN ZEALOT was made part of the Museum of Modern Art's permanent film collection.