HuffPost: 'Storyteller for Justice: Joe Berlinger On Documenting 25 Years of True Crime'

"With 14 true crime films and TV series under his belt over the past quarter century (and three in the pipeline for 2018), Berlinger has played a formative role in the evolution of the genre. “There has been an explosion of interest in nonfiction in general over the last decade,” he observes, attributing this surge in popularity to the advent of digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, as well as to Hollywood’s ongoing shift away from independent feature films in favor of comic book blockbusters. “Documentary has stepped into the void as kind of the true indie feature.”

"Fans of film and TV have come to recognize Berlinger’s stock-in-trade: a socially conscious approach to advocacy that is also cinematically groundbreaking. It’s won him dozens of awards and nominations, including a Best Documentary Academy Award nomination, multiple Emmy awards and nominations, prizes at the world’s top film festivals, and most recently, a 2017 International Documentary Association nomination for his latest feature documentary, “Intent to Destroy.”

Joe Berlinger To Receive Critics Choice Impact Award

Joe Berlinger has been selected to receive the 2017 Critics Choice Impact Award. The Impact Award honors acclaimed filmmakers who have made a palpable impact throughout their career, both in their industry and the world. Berlinger will receive the award at the Critics Choice Documentary Awards ceremony on November 2nd, 2017.

Intent To Destroy Wins Best Documentary at DOC LA

"Joe Berlinger’s documentary about the Armenian genocide Intent To Destroy won the top Best Documentary Film Award at 2017 DOC LA. The film-in-film produced by Berlinger, Chip Rosenbloom and Eric Esrailian depicts the century of sophisticated denial campaigns by the Turkish government that perpetrated the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey, and features Atom Egoyan, Christian Bale, Mike Medavoy, Eric Bogosian, Serj Tankian, Angela Sarafian, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and the US ambassador John Marshall Evans."

Intent To Destroy Receives IDA Pare Lorentz Award Special Mention

Joe Berlinger's film Intent To Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction, has been honored with Special Mention for the International Documentary Association's Pare Lorentz Award.

"The Pare Lorentz  award is given to a film which demonstrates one or more of Lorentz’s central concerns (the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all, and the illumination of pressing social problems) presented as a compelling story by skillful filmmaking. A Pare Lorentz Award film exhibits the highest production values and artistry in its directing, writing, music composition, camera work, editing and research, and exemplifies the spirit and tradition of Pare Lorentz’s work - his passion for people and the land and his quest for a more fruitful coexistence between the two."


"Joe Berlinger’s moving and maddening documentary, INTENT TO DESTROY: DEATH, DENIAL, & DEPICTION, is anything but a gimmick. By cutting those clips and making-of footage with the real-life witnesses, historical footage, and a fine selection of knowledgeable, engaged talking heads, the intensity of the massacre, and the deep psychic wound inflicted on the victims and their descendants, is presented with crystal clarity and devastating impact."

New York Times Features Joe Berlinger's Paradise Lost Trilogy: '10 Great Documentaries Worth Streaming On Amazon Prime Right Now'

"Hot on the heels of the satanic ritual abuse scare that gripped the United States in the 1980s, three 8-year-old boys were mutilated and murdered in Arkansas in 1993: Less than a year later, three black-wearing, Metallica-listening teenagers were convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the killings. The flaws of the investigation, prosecution and defense were brought to national attention by directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky in their 1996 documentary, “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.” That film, and the sequels that followed in 2000 and 2011, track and even become a part of the investigation, in which leads are pursued; theories are floated; and, eventually, justice is served."

Movie Pilot Interviews Joe Berlinger, "The Director Of Your Next Harrowing Documentary Obsession"

"You've probably never heard of Chillicothe, Ohio, the small suburban town that is the focus of Academy Award-nominated documentarian Joe Berlinger's latest project, Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio, but after feasting on this harrowing series via Spike TV, its name will be cemented in your mind."- Heather Snowden, Movie Pilot

Joe Berlinger: "Our main objective was to find the truth: If you try to inject your own opinion you might miss the story, so you have to be very open to how it unfolds. Initially, what brought us to Chillicothe, Ohio was a serial killer investigation, yet in the end we discovered something totally different.

What appealed to me was that these families believed they were being ignored by the police, and that nobody cared about the plight of their daughters because they were living risky lifestyles — they were taking drugs and in turn resorting to prostitution. They felt that the police were writing these girls off, and not giving them answers. That's what people wanted from us and from the situation; to unearth answers no matter what."


"I was very interested in pushing the documentary form by giving it all the great dramatic qualities of a scripted film. Not in the sense of being untruthful, of course, but the form of the narrative. Trials have this perfect dramatic structure – a beginning, middle, and end. And you have protagonists and antagonist, each side vying for the truth and it comes to a conclusion."

"There’s no-one wrongfully convicted in the Spike series The Forgotten Women Of Ohio. Advocacy for the voiceless includes people who aren’t getting justice. What attracted me to this particular story was the fact that the families of the victims all believed that the police were ignoring these cases because of the lifestyle of these women: they were prostitutes and addicted to drugs. I was sitting on my porch in July of 2015 and I read a Huffington Post article about these women that vanished. It spoke to me as a father of daughters myself. I would want justice pursued if God forbid something were to happen to anyone I knew. Interestingly, this series is the most real-time [project] I’ve ever done. The show is already airing and we’re still filming it; as we speak there’s breaking news that we’re covering."

What It's Really Like to Make a True Crime Show: Set Secrets and Real-Life Dangers

"Beginning this Sunday he'll [Berlinger] be bringing to Spike the mysterious deaths and disappearances of six women in a small rust belt town, with Gone: The Forgotten Women Of Ohio. To pick his brain about making a true crime story is to truly see inside the belly of the beast: Learning about the highs and lows of investigating real life murders isn't for the faint of heart, but neither is the consuming of these programs...These days he [Berlinger] knows the signs of a compelling mystery, and he's primed to pick out stories that reek of social injustice.

"I read an article about the mothers of the murder victims and how they were feeling like the system wasn't paying any attention to them," he told E! News. "Their daughters were prostitutes and had drug issues and they felt they weren't getting any justice just because their daughters pursued a certain lifestyle. They saw a reluctance of the police force to pay attention to the plight of their daughters going missing."

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival Honors Joe Berlinger

"Joe Berlinger, 55, has been one of the nation’s most influential documentary filmmakers for the past 25 years...Now, Berlinger — whose new film, “Intent to Destroy,” concerns the Armenian genocide of 1915 — is being honored with the Freedom of Expression Award at this year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival."

When asked by journalist David Lewis what drew him to the topic of the Armenian genocide, Berlinger responded: "To me, the most interesting and universal story in the film is the aftermath of denial, in all of its forms. We’re not just talking about the events of 1915, but also the events of today. There is still a well-orchestrated campaign to deny that this human tragedy occurred. In this country, meanwhile, alternative facts have been bandied about as a good trait. My film really takes a look at how denial works."