A Statement from David
I was born alongside a twin brother. This means that I entered the world so deeply in love with another human being that my whole life has become defined by a desire to view things around me through other's eyes. As we grew older, and our lives took separate paths, I began to take my art more seriously. As Michael's life strayed from mine, documentary filmmaking took his place. It is through filmmaking and through listening/creating work with my subjects that I am able to find the sense of meaning and connection that I felt as a child alongside my twin.
My first film was about my family's history. I discovered a diary of my grandfather's who was half-Jewish and living in Frankfurt, Germany during the Holocaust. His father was killed in Auschwitz; my grandfather meanwhile escaped a labor camp in the Harz mountains before fleeing Germany as a refugee and coming to America. As an undergraduate at Duke University (having just quit playing for Coach K on the men's basketball team to write poetry/make films) I traced my family's history, digging into countless hours of interviews with survivors of the war, half-Jews, and others who lived during the Holocaust, trying to understand what it meant to be a half-Jew under the Nazi regime. I was awarded numerous awards by Duke University for my work.
Since then, I have made more films. I directed, produced and edited a limited series on PBS about six chefs making ends meet in my hometown of Durham, North Carolina. I also produced a series, in collaboration with Peter Berg's Film 45, about the Hendrick Motor Sport's drivers that was acquired by Complex Networks. I directed/produced a feature-length film about a sculptor building a castle in the woods of North Carolina. And drawing on my research of my grandfather's experience fleeing Germany before making a home in America, I co-created a social enterprise that joins impact investing and a docuseries to empower and highlight immigrant entrepreneurs. The project is called DreamxAmerica and it is premiering on PBS at year end of 2020. For this project, I was awarded the honor of being named to Forbes 30 under 30 list.
I have committed my life to making poetic films that give an audience a sense of connection to the subjects of the movies that - I hope - fundamentally changes who they are. I want an audience to dream about the work I make – my deepest desire is that, after having watched some of my images, an audience member cannot shake it from their mind. Maybe even two weeks later, in a quiet, peaceful moment at home they will think of the images in my movie and smile a little – a reminder that no matter what, there are people out there listening.