The DCTV Firehouse Cinema – the impressive new venue for the documentary film exhibit in Manhattan – will dedicate its lobby tonight in honor of the late documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud.
Renaud’s brother, Craig Renaud, will host the private event alongside DCTV co-founder and co-executive director Jon Alpert. Other relatives and friends of Renaud are expected at the tribute, which will include a presentation of excerpts from the director’s films and a discussion of his work with guest speakers.
Renaud was on assignment in Ukraine in March for TIME studios when a vehicle he was in came under fire from Russian forces at a checkpoint near Irpin, just outside Kyiv. He was killed and another occupant of the car, photojournalist Juan Arredondo, was injured.
“Migration in desperate circumstances, central to Mr. Renaud’s latest project, was a recurring theme for him,” The New York Times reported in an article about his death. “With his brother, he made documentaries about Haitians deported from the United States and children fleeing poverty and danger in Central America… The Renauds’ other subjects included war, drug addiction, gang violence, homelessness and environmental calamities.”
Brent became known for documenting the human side of conflict in some of the world’s most dangerous places, including Iraq at the height of American occupation, cartel-controlled areas of Mexico, Cairo amid upheaval , Afghanistan and Ukraine after the Russian war. invasion.
“He was simply the best war journalist I know,” fellow filmmaker Christof Putzel told The Associated Press after Renaud’s death. “He’s a guy who’s literally been to every conflict zone.”
Brent and Craig Renaud began their careers as interns at DCTV, the institution described as “New York’s preeminent community and for documentary storytellers since 1972.” They went on to win a Peabody Award, a duPont Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, an IDA Award, and many other accolades. Even as their reputation as filmmakers grew, the brothers maintained a close relationship with DCTV.
“I remember Brent Renaud as a quiet, unassuming, quick-witted young man with a penchant for what he called ‘fountain drinks’ – big cups of ice cold soda he got from the Subway sandwich shop. which was a stone’s throw from DCTV,” DCTV’s chief financial officer, Catherine Martinez, herself a former intern with the organization, recalled in an article posted on DCTV’s website. “Cold drink in hand, Brent had an innate ability to find stories where others didn’t look or couldn’t see. He could blend noiselessly into the background, letting the subject shine.
The DCTV Firehouse Cinema opened last Friday, its opening movie The American Dream and Other Fairy Talesdirected by Abigail Disney and Kathleen Hughes. I didn’t see you thereReid Davenport’s award-winning Sundance documentary, opens tonight at the fire station.
The fire station building occupies a location in Manhattan’s Chinatown.
“Years of preparation…DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema: A Center for Documentary Film will feature first-run and curated programming,” according to a statement on the new venue. “The theater will provide a dedicated space for documentary films, making it one of the few of its kind in the world.”
Emmy winner and two-time Oscar nominee Alpert and Emmy winner Keiko Tsuno co-founded DCTV and serve as the organization’s co-executive directors.
“Founded in 1972, DCTV has not only produced countless award-winning documentary productions,” a statement noted. “The organization’s first public screenings…and early documentaries—often made by residents coming together to collectively film local issues—helped bring about crucial changes, including the ousting of corrupt school boards, securing control community about their local hospital and the fight for the rights of taxi drivers and sweatshop workers.
In a statement, Alpert and Tsuno talked about the evolution of DCTV.
“We used to show our documentaries on the corner of Canal Street from an old mail truck we bought for $5,” they said. “We had two black and white televisions and a sound system that looked like two tin cans and a piece of string. It took 50 years to build the DCTV Firehouse Cinema, this magnificent palace of documentary cinema. We want to thank everyone who helped us get here and we can’t wait to show you around.”