Austin de Besche has been a cinematographer for over forty years, a director for half that time. He has photographed feature films (Return of the Secaucus Seven and Lianna for John Sayles), documentaries (including Emmy winners Voices of the Children and On Thin Ice), national children’s programming (Postcards from Buster, Design Squad and NOVA scienceNOW for PBS), second unit television work (Cheers and St. Elsewhere), concert films, magazine shows, corporate films and television commercials numbered in the thousands. His most recent work as a DP includes “The Year We Thought About Love,” a feature-length documentary about True Colors, a theater troupe for LGBTQ youth, which is screening at festivals all over the world.
Many of his projects have been award-winners: Return of the Secaucus Seven was chosen for the “10 Best Films of 1980” lists of the Los Angeles Times and Time Magazine. His skills and experience range from digital video to 35mm film, from tiniest location to big sound stage, from unscripted documentary to drama to special effects. His work has taken him to Africa, Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and all over the United States.
He is also an actor and performer: he has acted in commercials and corporate films, performed in plays, studied and performed improv comedy for several years, and sings in a gospel choir. He is a founding Board member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project.
Mr. de Besche produced, directed, and photographed Pilgrimage into the Past, a documentary about a Holocaust survivor who walks again with his family the route of a “death march” he lived through at the end of World War II. It has screened at several festivals, and was praised by renowned documentary-maker Ken Burns as “a fascinating, terribly honest and challenging film ... a great film.”