As you probably heard, the documentary world lost two award-winning makers last month--Gail Dolgin and George Hickenlooper.
Gail Dolgin died October 7 after a decade-long struggle with breast cancer. She was 65.
She earned an Academy Award nomination and Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for her and Vicente Franco's 2002 documentary Daughter from Danang. Other films made with Franco included Cuba Va and Summer of Love.
A fixture in the San Francisco Bay Area documentary community, Dolgin always wanted people working around her to be a little better," said Franco in an obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle. "She was tenacious. I learned so much from her."
Dolgin is survived by her daughter, Amelia Nardinelli, of Berkeley; her mother, Diana Dolgin of New York; and brothers Kalmon Dolgin and Neil Dolgin, both also of New York.
Here's an article about Daughter from Danang that appeared in the March 2003 Documentary.
George Hickenlooper died October 30 of an apparent heart attack at age 47. He was in Denver both to support his cousin, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, in his race for Governor of Colorado, and to promote his film Casino Jack, which premiered at the Denver International Film Festival.
Hickenlooper crossed over between documentaries and fiction films throughout his career. According to IMDB, his first two films were documentaries--a short doc about Dennis Hopper, and Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, about the making of Apocalypse Now, on which Hickenlooper shared a director credit with Fax Bahr and Eleanor Coppola. The film won an IDA Documentary Award in 1992, as well as an Emmy Award. Subsequent documentaries included The Mayor of Sunset Strip, about Zelig-like radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. At the time of his death, Hickenlooper was making an eight-part documentary series entitled Hick Town, about the career of John Hickenlooper. According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, producer Donald Zuckerman and Toronto-based Tricon Films & Television will finish the project, with two more episodes remaining to be filmed.
In an interview in the March 2004 Documentary, Hickenlooper talks about his love for documentary filmmaking: "Documentaries are what make cinema a very unique art form because you're grabbing random images, random ideas out of the air and creating meaning and story by juxtaposing images you've grabbed out of pure chaos. And that's what makes documentary filmmaking cinema in its purest form--because it's not really based on any other tradition. It's simply cinema for cinema's sake." For the complete article, click here.
Hickenlooper is survived by his wife, Suzanne, and and son, Charles.