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RIP Danny Anker: Oscar-Nominated Documentary Filmmaker was 50

by Annette Insdorf
April 21, 2014 10:22 PM
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The Scottsboro Boys
The Scottsboro Boys
Imaginary Witness

Sad to share the news that documentary filmmaker Danny Anker died Monday morning of lymphoma, at the age of 50.  He was an Oscar-nominated director (Best Documentary Feature) for "Scottsboro: An American Tragedy" (2000), which was a selection of the Sundance Film Festival and won a Primetime Emmy in 2001.  

Many of his other productions were Emmy nominated and/or screened at prestigious film festivals, such as "Icebound" (2012).  He is perhaps best known for "Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust," which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2004 Hamptons Film Festival. Narrated by Gene Hackman, it featured interviews with directors including Steven Spielberg.  

Anker was in post-production on "Sidney Lumet: The Moral Lens," and had directed nine other documentaries, including "Voices Unbound: The Story of the Freedom Writers" (winner at the 2010 Valladolid Film Festival), "Through My Eyes: The Charlie Kelman Story" (2010), as well as "Music from the Inside Out," nominated for the IDA Feature Documentary Award. 

The funeral will be held on Thursday, April 24, at noon at Manhattan's Parkside Chapel, Amsterdam Avenue at 91 Street. He is survived by his wife Donna Santman, daughters Adi Leah (10) and Eliza Bess (8).

For more info about Danny Anker, please click onto his website,

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More: Obit


  • Jim Hilton | April 23, 2014 7:30 AMReply

    A huge shock to his college friends, especially those of us who have fallen out of touch.

  • Phil Kates | April 23, 2014 12:47 AMReply

    This just isn't right.
    Such a kind, genuine soul.
    I was so happy and honored to dance, play music and just to be at his wedding- and now ...
    A terrible loss.

  • Susan Kim | April 22, 2014 12:26 PMReply

    It was an honor to work with him for the past thirteen years and to call him a friend. All my thoughts are with Donna and his two girls.

  • Laurence Klavan | April 22, 2014 11:25 AMReply

    A great talent and a fine person. It's such a shame.

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