USA, 2016; 93 mins

A spirited, humorous and entertaining portrait of obituary writers at the New York Times, Obit is never as sober or staid at its subject suggests. As one of its leading scribes notes, “Obits have nothing to do with death and everything to do with life.” Teeming with colorful anecdotes, about how to capture the lives of the famous and noteworthy in a few columns, the film is an exuberant mix of interviews with the crack journalists at the obit desk and eye-catching splashes of archival footage that give color and texture to their subjects. Called ”engaging and lively” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “the perfect documentary with morbid wit and fearless curiosity” (The Upcoming), Obit is a smart and savvy celebration of human achievements and the storytellers who sum them up with flair and precision. Courtesy of Kino Lorber.

director bio

Vanessa Gould is a filmmaker, editor and camera operator working in Brooklyn. Her film BETWEEN THE FOLDS premiered on PBS’s Independent Lens in December 2009 and was re-broadcast the following season. In 2010, it received a Peabody Award. BETWEEN THE FOLDS has been translated into more than ten languages and broadcast in dozens of countries on NHK, CBC, ABC, EBS, NRK, SF, SVT, Al Jazeera, Al Hurra, and other networks. It screened at more than forty-five international film festivals and was recognized with audience and jury awards.

Gould recently completed OBIT, a feature-length documentary about The New York Times obituaries and their writer-reporters, which will be released by Kino Lorber in 2017.  In 2012–2013, she produced and shot for Showtime's Emmy®-winning YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, a documentary series about climate change executive produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

She was a featured presenter at the EG 2010 conference in Monterey, California, and serves on the jury for the News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, as well as on several festival juries. She studied piano at the New England Conservatory, and art history, architecture and physics at Columbia University. She paints occasionally, and collects folk and traditional music from around the world.