MEET THE MENTORS: Bruni Burres
Learn more about the wonderful Bruni! Bruni has been with Close Up from the very beginning, as a Founding Partner and Mentor.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself – all the basics!
A: I grew up in Massachusetts and went to university in NYC, which has been my home base since. For over 25 years, I have worked at the intersection of arts, culture and human rights/social justice, as a festival director, media educator, creative producer, social media advisor and fundraiser. As senior consultant with the Sundance Documentary Program I spearhead our international work with artists and independent arts initiatives. I was the director of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival from 1991-2008. I am the co-writer and associate producer of Beyond My Grandfather Allende, which won best documentary at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. I’m an avid dancer of salsa and tango, love to spend hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and many other museums and galleries around the world. I love to read fiction and non-fiction, watch wonderful and inspiring documentaries and Hollywood screwball comedies from the 1930s-50s.
Q: How did you become interested in film?
A: I became interested in film as a young teenager, whose civil rights lawyer father took me to see every politically astute but non-dogmatic foreign film and wonderful off-beat independent US film playing at the local arts cinema.
Q: As a mentor, how do you personally view the collaborative nature of filmmaking?
A: For me, it’s always a very collaborative process with ongoing conversations, vibrant debates and pushing oneself and the team out of the comfort zone to get to the heart of the story, and to what is driving the main characters actions, emotions and journey.
Q: The filmmaking industry is a laborious one, so what keeps you motivated?
A: Extraordinary films, documentary and fiction, and those creative, talented, generous and supportive filmmakers and colleagues.
Q: What has been something that you have learned about yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Stay grounded and asses who are the people and what are the values most important to me.