Saturday, April 20, 2024

RIP Nancy Buirski, Famed Documentary Filmmaker, Director of “The Loving Story,” Founder of Full Frame Doc Fest


It’s with great sadness that I report the sudden passing of Nancy Biurski, beloved and famed documentary filmmaker.

Nancy was a great friend and enthusiastic cheerleader of everyone’s projects but her own were quite extraordinary. She made “The Loving Story” in 2011 which became the feature film, “Loving,” in 2016. She was the founder of the Full Frame Documentary Festival in North Carolina. Her most recent film, “Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy,” was highly acclaimed and nominated for several prizes at the 2022 Venice Film Festival.

Biurski graduated from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York magna cum laude. Until the mid-1990s, she worked as a photographer and picture editor in the international department of The New York Times. She was the reason the Times won its first ever Pulitzer for feature photography. In 1994, her image selection of a photo taken by Kevin Carter, which showed a half-starved Sudanese child, resulted in the newspaper winning its first Pulitzer Prize for feature photo reporting.

Condolences to her family and her huge circle of friends and fans. Nancy was one of those people I always looked forward to seeing at screenings and events for serious filmmaking. That smile in the picture I chose is worth a thousand glowing words. We’ve really lost someone of substance, value, and great kindness. She will be sorely missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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