BA, McGill University; MFA, Bard College.
After a series of colorful jobs (club musician, carnival worker, private detective, and banana picker), Jonathan Berman found his calling in film and video, first as an apprentice film editor, and then as a producer, director, writer, editor, and consultant. His documentaries reconsider subculture and identity, challenging how alternative people, groups and ideas are represented.
Calling All Earthlings (2019) explores the rise of desert UFO culture, while Commune (2006) delves into group living, finding the path to utopia strewn with challenges. My Friend Paul (2000) looks at the intersection of mental illness, friendship, and crime. The Shvitz (1994) is a loving portrait of the last traditional steambaths.
Screenings include Cinema Village and Laemmle Theaters; MOMA; festivals (SXSW, Slamdance, Munich, Jerusalem) and on Netflix, Amazon, Showtime, PBS, and the BBC.
In 2020 he was a Fulbright Specialist, becoming the first American to advise Burmese (Myanmar) Public Television on their proposed move from state-run to public television.
Office: ARTS 341