One of America's foremost documentary filmmakers and cinematographers, Albert Maysles has been making films for more than half a century. With his brother, David (1932-1987), Albert pioneered the direct cinema movement, the distinctly American version of French "cinema verité," in which the drama of human life unfolds as is, without scripts, sets, or narration.
The Maysles brothers used these innovative techniques in making the first non-fiction feature films, including the groundbreaking 1968 film, SALESMAN. Other Maysles classics such as GIMME SHELTER (1970) and Grey Gardens (1975), soon followed, and are acclaimed for their exquisite cinematography and sensitive portraits of people, both famous and unsung.
Albert has received numerous awards and acclaim for his films and cinematography from such organizations as The Guggenheim Foundation, the Peabody Foundation, the Emmys, the American Society of Cinematographers and the International Documentary Association, which chose three films by Albert and David among the best 25 documentary films ever made.
In 2005 Albert founded the Maysles Institute, a non-profit cinema and training center in Harlem, New York, NY. The Institute offers no and low-cost training to aspiring documentary filmmakers in the Harlem community, both youth and adult; the Maysles Cinema is the only independent film house in upper Manhattan and is dedicated to the exhibition of documentary films and programming of innovative discussion, community fora and international series.