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Robert Levi

Public bio

Rob Levi is an independent writer, director, producer and cinematographer. In 2008, "Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life" became the first film in history to receive three important awards in one year: the Best Documentary Emmy, a Peabody Award for Broadcast Excellence and the Writers Guild Award for Best Doc Screenplay. The film was also one of three docs to make New York Magazine's Top Ten Best Shows list. Levi also received three Best Script nominations from the Writers Guild for his other work.

His film "Duke Ellington: Reminiscing in Tempo" premiered on PBS's American Experience, received an Emmy, a WGA Best Screenplay nomination, won several film festivals, and was later adapted into a multi-part series for A&E's Biography, and BBC's "Omnibus." The film also screened at festivals including Berlin, London, Melbourne, Munich, AFI and others.

Levi wrote, produced and directed "Mott Street," a 35mm dramatic film for PolyGram. As a director of photography, Levi has worked with many directors, including Norman Jewison, Sydney Pollack and Nick Broomfield. He has also taught cinematography at Columbia University's Graduate Film School.

The first film he produced, the legendary prison film, "Scared Straight," won the Oscar for Best Feature Doc. Levi's recent feature docs include "Playwright: From Page to Stage," which featured Robin Williams and Tarell McCraney and premiered on PBS' "Independent Lens" series. He just locked picture on "Brothers in Sound: Hank, Thad, and Elvin Jones," a new feature documentary.