Exploring the impact and legacy of Roger Ebert's life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.
Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) present Life Itself, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, Life Itself, explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.
Steve James is best known as the producer-director of Hoop Dreams, winner of every major critics prize of 1994, as well as the Directors Guild of America Award, and the Peabody and Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. Hoop Dreams was also named to the Library of Congress National Film Registry. Other award- winning films include Stevie, which won numerous festivals and landed on a dozen ten best lists for 2003; the miniseries The New Americans, winner of the 2004 IDA Award for The Best Limited Series; At the Death House Door, which won numerous awards at festivals and was nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award; and No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson for ESPN’s Peabody and IDA award-winning “30 for 30” series. James’ 2011 film, The Interrupters, was his fifth to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, won more than a dozen awards on the festival circuit including the top prize at the Sheffield Film Festival. It took the two top Cinema Eye Awards and won the Independent Spirit Award. The Interrupters was named “Best Documentary of the year” in both the IndieWire and Village Voice national critics polls. Recently, it was awarded the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award and an Emmy.
Zak is an independent Producer who previously served as Director of Production at Kartemquin Films for more than a decade. Most recently he co-produced the critically acclaimed film The Interrupters, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The New Yorker, Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, and LA Times all hailed The Interrupters as one of the year’s best films. The film was the recipient of a 2013 duPont-Columbia Journalism Award and an Emmy Award at the 34th News & Documentary Emmy Awards, among a dozen other distinctions. Previously, Zak co-produced At the Death House Door, which premiered at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival and went on to win awards at numerous international festivals. He was also associate producer of Prisoner of Her Past, a co-production with the Chicago Tribune. Currently, he is producing 63 Boycott with director, Gordon Quinn.
Martin Scorsese is an Academy Award-winning Director and one of the most prominent and influential filmmakers working today. He directed the critically acclaimed, award-winning films Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and the 2010 box office hit Shutter Island. Scorsese has also directed numerous documentaries including No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia (both films garnering Peabody Awards), A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies, Il Mio Viaggio in Italia, Public Speaking starring writer Fran Lebowitz and the documentary for HBO: George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Most recently he directed Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated film Hugo, a 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick’s children’s book, for which he won the Golden Globe for Best Director. Scorsese currently serves as Executive Producer on HBO’s hit series Boardwalk Empire for which he directed the pilot episode. His latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street, will be released on December 25, 2013. He is the founder and chair of The Film Foundation and the World Cinema Project, both non-profit organizations dedicated to the preservation, restoration and protection of film.
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