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Ross McElwee

Ross McElwee (born July 21, 1947) is an American documentary filmmaker and cinematographer, and Harvard professor, known for his autobiographical films about his family and personal life, usually interwoven with an episodic journey of some sort. Many cultural aspects of his southern upbringing are present in his humorous and often self-deprecating films. Other themes include personal relationships, parody, failure, introspection, and historic parallelism. He is largely credited with having mainstreamed the cinéma vérité movement. He received the Career Award at the 2007 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. McElwee is a 1971 graduate of Brown University, and received his MS from MIT in 1977. Ross McElwee grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a traditional Southern bourgeois family. His father was a well- respected surgeon, and appears often as a character in McElwee's early films. From an early age he nurtured an interest in writing. He later attended Brown University and graduated in 1971 with a degree in creative writing. A turning point in McElwee's life occurred when he undertook a self-discovery voyage to Brittany, France and began practicing photography.

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