Nancy Buirski, ‘The Loving Story’ Director and Full Frame Doc Festival Founder, Has Died

Nancy Buirski, the award-winning documentary filmmaker known for “The Loving Story” and “Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy,” has died.

Augusta Films shared the news of her death on Wednesday in a statement, writing, “Nancy’s extensive and rich body of work delved into a wide range of social, cultural and historical issues with keen insight, humanity and above all, artistry.”

Buirski directed 2011’s “The Loving Story,” a documentary about the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia, which led to the landmark civil rights decision that struck down state laws banning interracial marriage. She received an Emmy for outstanding historical programming, long form, as well as a Peabody Award.

In 1998, Buirski founded the Full Frame Film Documentary Festival, which spotlights independent documentary filmmakers from around the world. She served as director of the festival until 2008.

Buirski’s most recent documentary, “Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of the Midnight Cowboy,” premiered at the Venice and Telluride Film Film Festivals in 2022; the film was nominated for the Venezia Classici Award and Queer Lion at Venice.

Her other films include “A Crime on the Bayou,” “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” “By Sidney Lumet” and “Afternoon of a Faun.” Buirski also served as a producer on “Time Piece,” “Althea,” “American Masters” and “Loving,” the Oscar-nominated drama directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. She and Nichols co-wrote the screenplay for the 2015 feature.

Buirski is survived by her sister Judith Cohen and her niece and nephew Erica and Ted Rosen.

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