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Who Needs Sleep?
Directed by
Haskell Wexler, Lisa Leeman
USA / 2005 / 78 minutes

New York Premiere
Screening Times and Venues:
Bearsville Theater
10/15/2006, 12:45PM
After the death of second assistant cameraman Brent Hershman who fell asleep at the wheel while driving home from the set of Pleasantville in 1997, Haskell Wexler, veteran cinematographer, social activist and filmmaker, rallied to change the long held industry standard of excessive overtime. Attempts to regulate hours fall on deaf ears.

Petitions signed by thousands of industry workers mysteriously disappear after being turned over the the IATSE, the powerful film union. Wexler, a five-time Academy Award nominee, is told to He fares no better in Washington where he discovers

OSHA executives keep banker's hours while refusing responsibility for regulating the hours of other workers.

Shot over an eight-year period, this expose encompasses not only the tragic death of Hershman, but Wexler's own near-tragic auto accident caused by work related fatigue.

In spite of support from industry luminaries such as Annette Bening, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal and others, film workers continue to fight for more humane working conditions.

Haskell Wexler is considered to be one of the most important cinematographers working in the film industry today. Wexler has photographed a wide range of films that have earned him five Academy Award nominations and two Oscars for Best Cinematography. His nominations came for his work on his first feature documentary, "The Living City"; a short film "T For Tumbleweed," Milos Forman's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," John Sayles' "Matewan" and Touchstone Pictures "Blaze." He took home statuettes for his work on Mike Nichols' "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf" and Hal Ashby's "Bound For Glory." Other films shot for Ashby include "Coming Home," "Second-Hand Heart," and "Lookin' To Get Out." Wexler is also highly regarded for his seminal work as director of "Medium Cool."
Cast/Featuring: Annette Benning, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Frank Pierson, Vittorio Storaro, Gil Cates, John Sayles, Sam Mendes, Paul Newman, Roger Deakins
Producer(s): The Institute for Cinema Studies, Tamara Maloney
Director(s): Haskell Wexler, Lisa Leeman
Screenwriter(s): Haskell Wexler
Editor(s): Lisa Leeman, Tamara M. Maloney
Composer(s)/Music: Greg Landau

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