Nanette Burstein

Nanette Burstein

Director Nanette Burstein has toyed with non-fiction film's traditional boundaries throughout her work. Growing up in Buffalo, New York, she was inspired by filmmakers like Woody Allen and Francis Ford Coppola but was afraid to pursue a career in the movie industry without any connections. After studying at NYU, Burstein teamed with director Brett Morgen for their jointly-made debut, the 1999 boxing documentary "On The Ropes," which grew out of her friendship with her gym trainer Harry Keitt. The duo's aggressive use of a musical score raised eyebrows among documentary purists, but Burstein and Morgen went even further in their 2002 follow-up, "The Kid Stays In The Picture," using hallucinatory animation to illustrate the dramatic life of producer Robert Evans. For her solo directorial debut, Burstein spent 10 months filming every day in the lives of high schoolers in Warsaw, Illinois for the controversial 2008 documentary "American Teen," whose glossy resemblance to MTV's reality series "The Hills" annoyed some critics. In 2010, Burstein made the leap to narrative film with the romantic comedy "Going The Distance," starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. Along with her film work, Burstein directs commercials and co-owns Manhattan pub The Half King with two war journalists, Sebastian Junger and her husband, Scott Anderson.