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Award-Winning Documentarian Turns Lens on Jackson Heights

By Katie Honan | June 25, 2014 5:25pm
 Frederick Wiseman at the Community Board 3 meeting on June 19. 
Frederick Wiseman at the Community Board 3 meeting on June 19. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

JACKSON HEIGHTS  An award-winning documentary filmmaker who has filmed everything from a prison for the criminally insane to a look inside the education students get at Berkeley College, has turned his lens on some familiar streets.

Frederick Wiseman, 84, told DNAinfo New York that he's been filming in Jackson Heights for three weeks for his next documentary, which will focus on the neighborhood. 

He and his crew shot some footage at the Community Board 3's meeting on June 19 at Diversity Plaza.

Wiseman has made films focusing on institutions and issues such as public parks, domestic violence and high school, and has been given numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, a George Polk Career Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Chicago International Documentary Festival.

One of his most famed films is the 1967 "Titicut Follies," about the conditions at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane in Bridgewater, Mass.

His films notably lack narration and he spends the bulk of his time in post-production editing down his footage — as he tries to "to encompass all of human experience in his films," according to his website.

His most recent film, "At Berkeley," documented the educational system at the California university. It was his 38th documentary since he began making movies in 1967.

Wiseman told DNAinfo New York he has a few more weeks of filming in Jackson Heights, but it's not clear when the film will be released.