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RIP Danny Anker: Oscar-Nominated Documentary Filmmaker was 50

Thompson on Hollywood By Annette Insdorf | Thompson on Hollywood April 21, 2014 at 10:22PM

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.
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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,

This article is related to: Obit


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.