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FilmmakersFilmmakers 2024

The Filmmaker Four: David Novack

By April 26, 2024April 28th, 2024No Comments

David is a filmmaker with widely-released, critically supported and award-winning documentary films. These include Finding Babel (Special Jury Prize, Moscow Jewish Film Festival), about executed Soviet writer Isaac Babel, and Burning The Future: Coal in America (International Documentary Association’s Pare Lorentz Award for social documentary film) about rights activists in West Virginia and their struggle for climate justice. For that film, he travelled with the US State Department’s Documentary Showcase, lectured internationally, and received an award for Best In-Depth Television Reporting on the Environment from the Society of Environmental Journalists. David also produced Kimjongilia (Sundance, Best Human Rights Documentary Award/One World Brussels Film Fest) about N. Korean labor camps. David has also enjoyed a career in sound mixing for dozens of feature films as well as sound design for film, theater, and art installations. A former lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Novack now teaches sound and cinema at Lusófona University for Humanities and Technology in Lisbon, where he conducts research in sound studies for film.

What it the title of your film in BIFF 2024?
All Static & Noise

What was your first experience with film and how did it influence your first project?
I was (and still am) a film post-production sound designer and mixer. Sitting in a mixing studio for hours on end working on the same few minutes of a film made a lasting impression on me. It is here where the rhythms and contours of storytelling, editing, and sonic experience of film became embodied for me; a deep exposure for which I am forever grateful. With these impressions, I was able to confidently head into field to tell my first story.

Who is (are) your favorite filmmakers?
I can’t. It’s like asking who are your favorite children. Of course some stand out, but I couldn’t let the others know, could I?

What are you working on that no one knows about?
I am developing a film that will take place in Chile, at the intersection of astrophysics, religion, and humanism.

Who would play you in a movie? What’s your go to movie snack? What’s the film title that best describes your life?
Since so far I only make documentaries, I think I would have to play myself. Otherwise, Matthew Broderick. We met in a looping studio and were both stunned about our similarities.
Popcorn, popcorn, popcorn.
“The Sound of Music”