The forty minute HBO documentary "Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr.," which is about the life and work of Robert De Niro's father will air tonight on June 9, 2014 and Examiner.com had the opportunity to speak with the film's co-directors Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir. The film is executive produced by Jane Rosenthal and is a moving and intimate look at the life and career of the esteemed, yet overlooked painter Robert De Niro, Sr., as remember by his son, the iconic actor Robert De Niro, Jr.
So tell me, how did you come to direct this project?
Perri Peltz: Luck! No, Jane Rosenthal is a very old, close friend of mine, and I worked with Jane and Bob when I was in news, and originally this wasn't going to be for anything ... for broadcasting. It was going to be for Bob's own family and then it kind of grew. And Geeta and I were working together on another project and ... here we are.
So how did the story itself come to you?
GG: They said that this was something he was interested in putting together for his family, and then what happened was that we started to put it together. And we realized that there was a bigger story than just one man. It was a story about a particular moment in American art history, a father-son story, and ultimately a story about the meaning of fame,
Tell me about collaborating with Mr. De Niro.
PP: He was lovely. There's no other way to put it. He was incredibly generous, this was something he's been passionate about for a long time, he's been wanting to tell his father's story, and sort of carry on the legacy. So, he also amassed a huge amount of archival, that we were able to work with. He kept his father's studio intact, he has journals, he has so much of his artwork, so he was a tremendous resource and a big support.
What most surprised you about this story?
GG: I think what surprised me most about this story was I didn't really know about this particular moment in American art history, and how fads can change. You know, we live in a time now where all sorts of art is accepted and marked, and popular. But back then, it was very different. So, I found what was happening in the art world at that time to be particularly interesting.
The film's New York premiere was held last week the MoMA and an after-party followed at Art Exhibit at DC Moore Gallery, where Mr. De Niro's father's art is currently on display. Notables in attendance included Tony Bennett, Christopher Walken, Denis Leary, Regis Philbin, Josh Lucas, Tory Burch, David Chase, Steve Kroft and Rosanna Scotto, to name a few.