As soon as director Kevin Smith lights up the screen with his moving story of being discovered for his film Clerks, Film Hawk is off and running with a poignant, celebratory, and often humorous look at one of contemporary cinemas most influential, yet modestly unrecognized, dynamos Robert Hawk. A man who has positively impacted the lives of film artists and audiences for decades, the word "cinephile" is an understatement for a way to describe Hawk. And, through captivating story-telling, directors JJ Garvine & Tai Parquet capture the life and times of Hawk and the many worlds he's nurtured and made manifest. Film Hawk will engage your love of movies and get you thinking and debating about what's important in the film arts. Hawk has become an indelible figure for all of the people whose lives he has touched—and through this movie he will surely touch yours. - Michael Rabehl
ROBERT HAWK - Kevin Smith (Clerks), Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen), Rob Epstein (The Times of Harvey Milk), Barbara Hammer (Nitrate Kisses) have had a major impact on the world of cinema. Each and many others started their careers with a champion who never sought praise or a spotlight. His only wish was to see these artists reach the world with their work. That champion is Robert Hawk.
For over thirty years, Hawk has discovered new cinematic voices, nurtured those voices, and has been the unsung champion of some of the most influential independent cinema. The son of a Methodist minister, he wasn’t thrilled with the idea that he was expected to be an “example for other young people.” A lover of theatre, Hawk spent much of his youth on and by the stage, taking on any role he could get—from actor to “techie.” It would be his involvement as a researcher/archivist for Rob Epstein’s Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk that would launch his career as one of the industry’s most significant film consultants.
Along with his consulting work, Hawk’s producing credits include Kimberly Reed’s Prodigal Sons, Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine’s Ballets Russes, Jim Fall’s Trick, Alex and Andrew Smith’s The Slaughter Rule, David Munro’s Full Grown Men, and Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy. In 2014, at age 76, he made his directorial debut with the six-minute short, Home From the Gym, for which he received the Emerging Talent Award from Outfest Los Angeles.
Hawk served on the Advisory Selection Committee of the Sundance Film Festival for the committee's entire existence (1987-1998). He has served on the advisory boards of The Legacy Project, Cinequest, and Independent Film Week (IFP/NY).
He founded San Francisco’s Film Arts Festival in 1985 and was its director for eight years. As Exhibition Coordinator for the Film Arts Foundation, he programmed exhibition events, critiqued films at all stages of production, consulted with makers, and was an outreach resource for exhibitors, programmers, curators, festival directors, and distributors throughout the world.
If there has ever been someone you could call a superhero for filmmakers, Robert Hawk is that person—his superpower being his ability to see that spark of magic in an artist’s work where no one else was looking. That’s how he’s made successful careers for the artists, and why when those artists hear his name, they can’t help but smile. Cinequest is extremely honored to present the screening of Film Hawk, a spectacularly moving tribute to Hawk’s life and work. Following an energetic and story-filled conversation with Hawk, Cinequest proudly present Cinequest’s Life of a Maverick Award to Robert Hawk.