"Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt" won Epstein his second Oscar in 1990. Mr. Epstein produced, directed, wrote, and edited the feature documentary with partner Jeffrey Friedman for Home Box Office. "Common Threads" has been screened in festivals all over the world, including Berlin (where it won the Interjury Award), and has been aired on television internationally. In addition to winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, "Common Threads" won the distinguished George Foster Peabody Award and other awards. "Common Threads" is narrated by Dustin Hoffman, with an original score by Bobby McFerrin, for which he won an Emmy.
Epstein began his filmmaking career at 19 years old as one of six codirectors of the landmark documentary feature "Word Is Out," produced by Peter Adair. In 1987, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman founded Telling Pictures, a film and television production company based in San Francisco. In addition to "Common Threads" and "The Celluloid Closet," their work includes "Where Are We?," a video road documentary which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; short dramatic films for Propaganda Films; segments for the HBO Real Sex series, and the ABC News magazine Day One with Forrest Sawyer. Epstein and Friedman are currently developing fiction as well as non-fiction feature projects.
Epstein has received numerous awards for filmmaking, including a Guggenheim fellowship and an American Film Institute fellowship for a directing internship on the feature "Rambling Rose" directed by Martha Coolidge.
Friedman and Epstein collaborated again on "Where Are We?," a nonfiction road movie commissioned by public TV. The film premiered at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival and screened at international Film Festivals in San Francisco, Chicago, and Sydney prior to airing on PBS. Both "Common Threads" and "Where Are We?" were produced through Telling Pictures, a production company Friedman and Epstein founded in 1987.
Friedman has worked in film since 1972, having been involved in the making of such Academy Award winning movies as "Marjoe" (Assistant Editor/Animation Design); "Raging Bull" (Assistant Editor); and "The Times Of Harvey Milk" (Animation Design). His credits as editor include the feature film "Never Cry Wolf" (1983) and numerous television documentaries. He has written and directed two short fiction films for "Inside/Out," a series produced for the Playboy Channel by Propaganda Films, and has acted professionally in New York and San Francisco.