It’s with great sadness that we’ve learned that documentary filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky has passed away at the age of 58 from complications due to diabetes.
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker was best know for his work with Joe Berlinger, starting in 1992 with Brother’s Keeper. Shortly after, they began to follow the case of the West Memphis Three, about three teens from Arkansas who had been accused, convicted and imprisoned of murdering three younger boys despite a lack of evidence. Their coverage of the case led to the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and its follow-up Paradise Lost 2: Revelations a few years later.
They then moved onto other things including Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, a look at a difficult phase in the career of the veteran metal band, but a few years later, there was movement on the case of the West Memphis Three thanks to the attention brought to the case from Berlinger and Sinofsky’s films and they returned to cover the developments in a third movie, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. Before the film’s festival premiere, the three accused were released from prison after 18 years, which was added to the film, which went on to be nominated for an Oscar a few months later.
Sinofsky previously won an Emmy for his work on Paradise Lost and a Directors Guild Award for his work on Brother’s Keeper, as well as a Peabody, an Independent Spirit Award as well as an award from the Sundance Film Festival for his early work.
Sinofsky spent the last few years working on a number of television shows including the “Iconoclasts” for the Sundance Channel along with Michael Bonfiglio as well as as number of “Oprah Presents: Master Class” episodes for the OWN Network.
Sinofsky was always the quieter of the two filmmakers, although he also had a great sense of humor, which was quite surprising considering the relatively grim subject matter of some of his films.
(Photo Credit: PNP/WENN)