Legendary New Day Filmmaker Robert Richter Presents Online Retrospective

Filmmaker Robert Richter looks at the camera with a slight smile. He is dressed in a black tux. A gold Emmy statue is to his left.

Free film festival to run from late May through end of October.

During Robert Richter’s prolific career he has engaged in all manner of media. He’s been a radio talk show host, a TV news producer, a print journalist and, of course, an award-winning documentarian. He has engaged with every vital societal issue of the day, having conducted interviews ranging from Martin Luther King, Jr. to a survivor of the My Lai massacre. True to his innovative spirit, Mr. Richter is presenting his work in a new way by launching a mostly self-curated, online retrospective.

“Someone who had a positive transformative experience from seeing a telecast of one of my documentaries suggested the festival idea to me.” Mr. Richter decided the time was right for a virtual film festival as “so many have potential time to look because of the shutdown of so many jobs” due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Richter cites a second motivator. “I have written a memoir that led me to recall a lot about my work.”

Mr. Richter counts 80 documentaries among his cinematic body of work, including ten he produced or helped produce that were Oscar nominees or on the Motion Picture Academy’s short list of the best films released in their respective years. He explains that his work is animated by his “passion for finding and revealing the truth and human impact of greed, injustice and lies.” Accordingly, the unifying theme of Mr. Richter’s work is “furthering peace and justice.” He does so by “putting a human face on abstract issues.”

Mr. Richter has been a member of New Day for more than 3 decades. He joined for the opportunity to reach more people with his work and “to participate in a cooperative of fellow filmmakers with similar interests in social justice.” Mr. Richter has enjoyed the collegiality afforded by New Day membership. Affiliation with the filmmakers’ collective also has provided different distribution opportunities.

As a veteran filmmaker Mr. Richter notes changes in the field. “Easy access to cameras and editing equipment, and digital streaming” are among the discipline’s major changes. Mr. Richter also is pleased with “the extraordinary growth in the number of terrific filmmakers... Good documentaries, like good writing, have a beginning, a middle and end,” he advises young filmmakers. “Knowing how to tell an important story in a compelling way is essential.”

As for the world around him, Mr. Richter observes, “Greed and injustice will not disappear and while there are more ways to try to expose them, the challenge of doing that has too often become increasingly dangerous.”

Given the difficult and exhausting nature of the topics he tackles, how does Mr. Richter sustain his energy and optimism? “Getting great reviews in major media and professional honors have helped. Combine that with my outrage with corrupt power and my internal motivation to try to help make a better, more peaceful and more just world.”

The film festival will feature 16 of Mr. Richter’s documentaries, 3 of which are part of New Day’s collection. Each film can be streamed for 2 weeks, at no charge, from The Robert Richter Free Film Festival. The retrospective will run through October.

To learn more about his works, please visit Robert Richter’s page at New Day Films.

Here is the film festival schedule:

Films to be shown affiliated with New Day Films:

a) Hungry for Profit, b) Father Roy: Inside the School of Assassins, c) The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age

May 28: Documentaries to Make a Difference (33 min)

--Retrospective of highlights from 60 plus years of making documentaries

June 11th: In Our Hands 1983 (1 hr 29 min)

--The uplifting, amazing, and largest peace demonstration in world history

June 25: The Gifts 1970 (28 min)

-- Oscar nominated, Environmental Protection Agency’s first film; the "most beautiful film on ugliness ever made, "a wake up call about water pollution

What Price Clean Air? 1982 (57 min)

--National Emmy finalist, investigation of EPA in league with coal, oil and steel industries try to weaken air pollution controls

July 9: School of Assassins (SOA) - 1994 (19 min)

--Oscar nominated short about SOA and its notorious graduates

Father Roy: Inside SOA 1997 (57 min)

--One of best films released in 1997 according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; a search to find secret torture training at US military bases

Crossing The Line - 1999 (16 min)

--Thousands risk arrest crossing the line to enter Ft. Benning where SOA is based, highlighting a campaign to close SOA.

July 23: Hungry for Profit 1985 (1 hr 28 min)

-- A look at global agribusiness and its impact on humanity and the environment.

Aug. 6: Gods of Metal 1982 (19 min)

--Oscar nominee depicting peoples’ actions because of their concerns about impending nuclear war.

The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age 2012 (39 min)

-- Profiles Nagasaki and Fukushima survivors, linking nuclear weapons with nuclear power.

August 20: HHH: What Manner of Man 1968 (27 min)

--The most widely seen political campaign TV bio about Hubert Humphrey when he ran against Richard Nixon for President

Who Shot President Kennedy? 1988 (57 min)

--Modern forensic science re-examines the evidence, narrated by Walter Cronkite

Sept. 3: Vietnam: An American Journey 1979 (1 hr 27 min)

--The first American post-war documentary of Vietnam, including interviews with a My Lai survivor who was unknown until the film was released.

Sept. 17: Ben Spock, Baby Doctor 1995 (57 min)

--Pioneering pediatrician, author, and activist whose Baby and Child Care best-seller outsold the Bible

Oct. 1: For Export Only: Pharmaceuticals 1981 (59 min)

--Offered $1 million bribe to not telecast , this film led to one of world's largest corporations describing Robert Richter as America's most dangerous media producers.

Oct. 15: Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist 1977 (57 min)

-- Profiling the only person in history to win two unshared Nobel Prizes: one for Chemistry and the other for Peace. Pauling was one of America's most controversial scientists.

Opens in new window