Ben Shapiro (director)

Benjamin Shapiro (born 1959[1]) is an American documentary director, cinematographer, and independent public radio producer.

Ben Shapiro
Ben Shapiro in 2013
public radio producer
Notable workMax Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes
Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters
Radio Diaries

Film and television


Shapiro is co-director/producer (with Sam Pollard) and cinematographer of the documentary Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes, which explores the life and career of the master drummer, bandleader, activist across seven decades. The film premiered at the 2023 South by Southwest Film Festival, and had its broadcast premiere on the PBS series American Masters.[2][3]

Shapiro directed and was cinematographer of the documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, which follows the photographer over a decade as he creates his images.[4] Brief Encounters premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and is screening theatrically at festivals and on television internationally. The New York Times rated the film as a "Critics' Pick," and Variety described it as "must see."[5][6][7]

Shapiro's work as a cinematographer and producer includes projects for PBS (American Masters, PBS Arts, EGG), National Geographic, The Sundance Channel, and independent filmmakers including Katy Chevigny, Barbara Kopple, the feature "Paul Goodman Changed my Life," among others.



Shapiro's radio stories have been featured on such programs as NPR's All Things Considered and Morning Edition. He has been a member of Radio Diaries since the series began in 1996, as an editor, mix engineer, and producer.[8] Shapiro has collaborated on projects with many producers including American Radioworks, The Kitchen Sisters, WNYC and the BBC.



For his work, Shapiro has received an Emmy award,[9] two Peabody Awards,[10][11] and two Dupont Awards.[12]

Teaching and publications


Shapiro has been published in the Journal of Popular Film and Television and[13][14] He has taught at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, the New School University Graduate Media Studies program, and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.


  1. ^ "Gregory Crewdson brief encounters / producer, director, and cinematographer, Ben Shapiro; a Ben Shapiro film with support from IFP; in co-production with AVRO Television ... and in association with SVT". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  2. ^ "Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes". SXSW 2023 Schedule. Retrieved 2023-10-15.
  3. ^ Skinner, Joe (2023-03-13). "Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes – Watch the documentary now! | American Masters | PBS". American Masters. Retrieved 2023-10-15.
  4. ^ Schoenbrun, Jane (October 30, 2012). "Five Questions with Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters Director Ben Shapiro". Filmmaker. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  5. ^ "Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters". Rotten Tomatoes.
  6. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (30 October 2012). "'Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters,' From Ben Shapiro". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Scheib, Ronnie (30 October 2012). "Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters".
  8. ^ "About Radio Diaries – Radio Diaries".
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-11-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "NPR Wins Peabody Award for Syria Coverage".
  11. ^ List of Peabody Award winners (2000–09)
  12. ^ "Columbia News ::: Winners of 2006 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Broadcast News Award Announced".
  13. ^ Shapiro, Benjamin (1990). "Universal Truths". Journal of Popular Film and Television. 18 (3): 103–111. doi:10.1080/01956051.1990.10662023.
  14. ^ "Ben Shapiro - Transom". 26 July 2007.