Marshall Curry is a two-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker. He is the director of STREET FIGHT, RACING DREAMS, IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, POINT AND SHOOT, and executive producer of MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS.
Street Fight: Curry got his start shooting, editing, directing and producing the documentary STREET FIGHT, which explored urban politics during Cory Booker's first run for mayor of Newark, NJ.
STREET FIGHT won the Audience Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, AFI/Discovery SilverDocs Festival, and Hot Docs Festival. It also received the Jury Prize at Hot Docs and was nominated for a Writer's Guild of America (WGA) Award. The film went on to be nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy.
The critically praised film was called "extraordinary" by David Denby (The New Yorker), "vastly entertaining" by John Anderson (Variety), and "filmmaking of the first order" by Scott Foundas (L.A. Weekly).
Racing Dreams: After STREET FIGHT, Curry was the Director and Producer, as well as one of the Cinematographers and Editors of the feature documentary, RACING DREAMS.
RACING DREAMS follows two boys and a girl who dream of one day becoming professional racecar drivers. The film won numerous awards including the Tribeca Film Festival Award for Best Documentary. RACING DREAMS was called "The best movie of the year," by The Los Angeles Times ("The Envelope") and "Absorbing… one of the rare documentaries you leave wishing it was a little longer, " by The New York Times.Dreamworks is currently adapting it for a fictional remake, which Curry will executive produce.
Both STREET FIGHT and RACING DREAMS are included in the top 50 of Rotten Tomatoes' list of Best Reviewed Documentaries.
If a Tree Falls: Curry's next documentary, IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, tells the story of a radical environmentalist who faced life in prison for burning two Oregon timber facilities. Curry's editing and writing on the film (with Matthew Hamachek) won him the Sundance Film Festival award for Best Documentary Editing and his second nomination for a Writer's Guild Award. The film won prizes at numerous other festivals, and was released theatrically by Oscilloscope Laboratories to critical acclaim. It was nominated for an Academy Award and aired on PBS's documentary series, POV, as well as the BBC and other networks around the world.
Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times called it "one of the best documentaries of the year" and the New York Times said it was "an extraordinary documentary... [a] fearless exploration of complexity in a world drawn to oversimplified depictions of events and problems, heroes and villains."
Mistaken for Strangers: In 2013 Curry executive produced and helped edit MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS. Ostensibly a rock-doc about the indie band, The National, the film is actually a heartbreaking comedy about sibling rivalry (directed by Tom Berninger, the lead singer’s younger brother). It was the opening night film at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it received rave reviews. The Hollywood Reporter called it "Brutal, hilarious... unexpectedly honest" and the New York Observer said it was "the best documentary we've seen all year." It was released theatrically in early 2014.
Point and Shoot: Curry's latest film POINT AND SHOOT, tells the story of a young Baltimore native who set off for Libya to join the rebels fighting dictator Muammar Gaddafi. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary and a few days later, it won a Special Jury Prize at the Boston Independent Film Festival. POINT AND SHOOT was nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award, an IDA Award and a Cinema Eye Honors Award. It was released theatrically in over 75 cities nationwide. It will air on PBS's documentary series, POV, as well as on BBC and other networks around the world.
POINT AND SHOOT was given an "A" grade by John Anderson (Indiewire), who said it was "a virtual swashbuckler". It was called "brilliantly constructed and provocative" by Peter Keough (The Boston Globe), "riveting... an extraordinary and quietly disturbing film" by David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter), and Jay Weissberg (Variety) said the "editing is a standout."
Other: Curry was one of twenty documentary and narrative directors (including Morgan Spurlock, Steve James, Catherine Hardwicke, Adam McKay) who were commissioned by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions to make a short film for the WE THE ECONOMY series. Curry’s light-hearted, “Amazing Animated Film on the Deficit”, was called out for special attention by Wall Street Journal writer, Dana Cimilluca, and was widely-viewed on the numerous theatrical and online platforms that carried the series (iTunes, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon, etc.)
Curry has been selected by Filmmaker Magazine as one of "25 New Faces of Independent Film". He was awarded the International Documentary Association (IDA) Jacqueline Donnet Filmmaker Award and has received the International Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC in Cannes.
Curry has appeared as a guest on television and radio numerous times, including Charlie Rose, NPR's Morning Edition, ABC's Nightline, PBS's The Tavis Smiley Show, and others. He has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Duke, Columbia, NYU, and other colleges, and he has served on juries for the International Documentary Association, the Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Festival, AFI/Silverdocs, and the Gotham Awards.
Three of Curry's films have been a part of the American Documentary Showcase, a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department to share the art and practice of documentary filmmaking with the international community. As part of the Showcase, he has traveled to Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, and Ukraine to lead classes and discussions about documentary filmmaking.
Of Curry's films, S.T. VanAirsdale (Movieline) said, "From vérité campaign-trail flashes in Street Fight to intimate dinner-table powwows in Racing Dreams to the candid, point-blank interviews in If a Tree Falls, his films take keen and unique advantage of both access and timing... getting down to the business of communicating without distraction, discrimination or guile. At heart, the films seek to detail the spectrum of grace."
Before making films, Curry worked for a number of years at a New York multimedia design firm, where he produced and directed interactive documentaries and websites for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others. Prior to that, he taught English in Guanajuato, Mexico, worked in public radio, and taught government in Washington DC.
He is a graduate of Swarthmore College where he studied Comparative Religion and was a Eugene Lang Scholar. He was also a Jane Addams Fellow at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, where he wrote about the history, philosophy, and economics of non-profits.