David Simpson | Filmmakers on Folkstreams

David Simpson

David E. Simpson is a producer, director and editor who has crafted award-winning films and television for twenty-five years. He plies his trade in the belief that a well-told story can move viewers' hearts and minds regarding crucial, human issues. For the past nine years, he has worked in close association with Kartemquin Films.

David recently co-produced and edited Forgiving Dr. Mengele -- about an Auschwitz survivor's controversial campaign of forgiveness -- which won the 2006 Slamdance Grand Jury Prize for Documentaries. He directed Refrigerator Mothers, about a generation of mothers who raised autistic children under the shadow of professionally-promoted mother-blame. The film won top honors at the Florida, Indiana, and Sedona film festivals and aired nationally on the PBS series P.O.V. David produced and directed Halsted Street, USA, a multi-award-winning snapshot of America through the prism of one multi-cultural street. He co-produced and directed When Billy Broke His Head... a documentary about disability culture, which garnered international praise including a duPont-Columbia Baton for Journalistic Excellence, a jury award at Sundance, and major prizes at a dozen other festivals. His experimental narrative, Dante’s Dream, a re-working of Dante’s cosmology, earned five 1st-Place festival awards.

David's list of editing credits on long-form broadcast documentaries is extensive. A few examples are the recent Kartemquin / PBS series The New Americans, the Emmy-nominated NOVA: Mysterious Crash of Flight 201, Frontline's Shtetl (grand prix, Cinema du Real), Living in Tall Trees for WGBH/TV Asahi-Japan, Kartemquin Films' 5 Girls and Vietnam Long Time Coming, and an episode of The People’s Century for BBC/PBS.

David is currently directing two new documentaries. Milking The Rhino portrays African communities at the vanguard of community-based conservation -- a radical rethinking of conservation practice that integrates the goals of wildlife protection, rural development and poverty alleviation. The Mind's Eye takes viewers deep inside blindness culture through intimate encounters with an ensemble of articulate and expressive characters.