In this interview, Film and Festival Advisor Bob Hawk talks about his work in the field of queer films, queer cinema and queer film festivals.
Hawk has been a part of the independent film scene for over 30 years, and has had his own consultation business, filmHAWK, for more than 20 years. Starting with his involvement in documentary as a researcher/archivist on Rob Epstein’s Oscar-winning “The Times of Harvey Milk”, he has been credited with discovering and/or nurturing the talents of such filmmakers as Epstein, and Barbara Hammer. Hawk served on the Advisory Selection Committee of the Sundance Film Festival for its entire existence (1987-1998). Also, he has also served on many festival juries – including the Berlinale’s TEDDY AWARD.
In 2014, at age 76, he made his directorial debut with the six-minute short, Home From the Gym, for which he received the Emerging Talent Award from Outfest Los Angeles. It is available on DVD in Peccadillo Pictures’ Boys on Film 12 – Confession. He is currently the subject of a feature documentary, Film Hawk, that had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016.
Starting with his involvement in documentary as a researcher/archivist on Rob Epstein’s Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk, he has been credited with discovering and/or nurturing the talents of such filmmakers as Epstein, Kevin Smith (beginning with Clerks), Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen), David Siegel and Scott McGehee (Suture, The Deep End), Barbara Hammer (Nitrate Kisses, many others), Geller & Goldfine (The Galapogos Affair: Satan Came to Eden, Kids of Survival), Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect), and Rodrigo Bellott (Sexual Dependency).
He has consulted on films as varied as Terry George’s Some Mother’s Son, Tim Blake Nelson’s Eye of God, Lisa Krueger’s Manny and Lo, Tom Bezucha’s Big Eden, Jon Shear’s Urbania, and Smith’s Red State and Dogma, among others. He has also consulted on hundreds of documentaries, including Oscar winners/nomineessuch as Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt, Freeheld, In the Shadow of the Stars and Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter.
Hawk served on the Advisory Selection Committee of the Sundance Film Festival for its entire existence (1987-1998). He currently serves on the advisory boards of The Legacy Project (a collaboration of Outfest and the UCLA Film and Television Archives) and Independent Film Week (IFP/NY). He has also been an advisor for AIFA (American Independents and Features Abroad) at the Berlin Film Festival, First Look (Tribeca Film Center/Eastman Kodak), the original Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and numerous other festivals. He has served on many festival juries, both domestic and international – including the Berlinale’s Teddy Awards — and has curated special film series for, among others, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco, the International Documentary Congress in Los Angeles, and the Melbourne and Sundance film festivals.
Interview with Bob Hawk
He founded San Francisco’s Film Arts Festival in 1985, a showcase for independent film and video makers of Northern California, and was its director for eight years. Before his involvement in film, Hawk worked in theater as a production stage manager. He lives in New York City.