The Memory Loss Tapes
is Shari Cookson’s fifth documentary for HBO, and her first partnership with Nick Doob, with whom she had the very good fortune to direct, produce and record (Doob, camera and Cookson, sound) the film.
Previous credits for HBO include director/producer of the Emmy®-nominated documentaries All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise, and Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen.
All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise follows gay and lesbian families on a cruise organized by Rosie O’Donnell and her partner, Kelli. The documentary received three Primetime Emmy® nominations, including Outstanding Nonfiction Special and Directing. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was featured at several other film festivals, including Hot Docs, and won a GLAAD Award for best documentary.
Living Dolls - The Making of a Child Beauty Queen tells the story of five-year-old Swan Brooner as she competes on the child pageant circuit. It received five Primetime Emmy® nominations, including Outstanding Nonfiction Special, and won for Outstanding Picture Editing. The film was edited by Charlton McMillan, Cookson’s husband, with whom she has collaborated on numerous films. Together, they founded and run the production company, Sceneworks. McMillan was one of the editors on The Memory Loss Tapes, along with Doob.
Also for HBO: Skinheads USA: Soldiers of the Race War, which was shot inside a neo-Nazi skinhead compound and for which Cookson received a Directors Guild nomination. She also produced Asylum about a hospital for the criminally insane, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Cookson directed and produced the “Signature Series” of documentaries for Lifetime, which the Gannett News Service named as one of the year’s top five cable series. Other credits include director, producer, and writer for Christmas Miracles (ABC), featuring Halle Berry and Jennifer Love Hewitt. She was the series producer of On Campus and won a Los Angeles area Emmy®.
Cookson is currently serving her third term on the Board of Governors at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. During her tenure, she has worked to gain recognition for nonfiction directors and writers through the creation of Emmy awards in these categories as well as for Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking.
She graduated from USC where she co-teaches a class on documentary filmmaking. Other affiliations include the Directors Guild of America.
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