Oscar-nominated filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky died this morning from complications of diabetes, his longtime collaborator Joe Berlinger told Deadline. He was 58.
Sinofsky worked as a documentary filmmaker for some 30 years, often in collaboration with Berlinger. He was perhaps best known for the West Memphis Three documentary Paradise Lost and its two sequels. The West Memphis Three are three men who were tried and convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, AK. Paradise Lost 3 earned the duo an Academy Award nomination in 2012, just months after the West Memphis Three were released from prison after 18 years of wrongful conviction that the films highlighted. The films were credited with the movement that set the West Memphis Three free.
Sinofsky’s other credits include Brother’s Keeper, which looked at an elderly man accused of murdering his brother. and Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster (also in collaboration with Berlinger). Sinofsky also directed Good Rockin’ Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records for PBS/American Masters, episodes of the Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts, an installment of The History Channel’s 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America, and numerous other film and television projects. Sinofsky has won multiple Emmys, a Peabody, an Independent Spirit Award, and accolades from the DGA, the Sundance Film Festival and others.
Berlinger released the following statement about his longtime friend and professional partner:
“Bruce encouraged both of us to throw caution into the wind to start capturing what would become Brother’s Keeper in 1991 with no money in our pockets, in the pre-video 16mm age of documentary-making, when making a no-budget film took a little more ingenuity to get in the can. His unique combination of courage and empathy made that possible, as well as everything that came after for us. The extraordinary adventures we had on the road and the deeply stimulating experiences we had in the editing room were life-changing for all of us who knew him thanks to his wisdom and fervor to change the world. Bruce’s humanity is on every frame of the films that he leaves behind, and words can’t express how graced I feel my life has been by having the extraordinary opportunity of being able to say we were partners and, more importantly, best friends.”
A memorial service will be held at a soon-to-be-announced date in March.