Award-winning documentary filmmaker Peter Sanders holds a graduate degree in broadcast journalism from New York University and an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Vermont. His feature-length film, THE DISAPPEARED (2008), was awarded a special prize for best documentary by the 2007 Documentary and Fiction Festival of Hollywood. Featured at several international festivals, including the Montréal World Film Festival (2008), the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana (2008), and SANFIC, the International Film Festival of Santiago de Chile (2008), the film was chosen by the government of Argentina to represent the country at a conference on Human Rights sponsored by the United Nations. After its première at movie theaters in Argentina, Chile, and Canada, it was broadcast on The History Channel networks, including History International , History Español, and The Documentary Channel. It has been available on Netflix since 2008. In addition, the film has been acquired by hundreds of academic institutions worldwide.
Sanders’ wide range of interests include penetrating portraits of writers and artists, the latest of which is ALTINA (2014), the story of a wealthy New Yorker who invented the Harlequin eyeglasses in the 1930s and created a unique brand of functional sculpture she called “chairacters.” In 2013 ALTINA won the David A. Stein prize for Best Documentary and Best Director at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. It was also featured at the Sarasota International Film festival (2012), Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival (2013), and Washington D.C. Jewish Film Festival (2014).
In 2014, through a partnership with Submarine Entertainment and First Run Features, ALTINA will be released theatrically in September at the IFC theater in New York and at the Lemmle Music Hall theater in Los Angeles. First Run Features will be distributing it in 2015. Peter Sanders is the Director and Co-Producer of Altina. Peter Sanders is the grandson of Altina
Peter Sanders is CEO of Eight Twelve Productions LLC, a branch of Sanders Productions he founded in 2006.
THE DISAPPEARED (2008)
The film summons the horrors of Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-83) through the experience of Horacio Pietragalla, a young man raised by the maid of the officer who kidnapped him after the military brutally murdered his parents. The film follows Horacio as he reconstructs the cause for which his real parents gave their lives, and, through this search, reclaims his true identity. This personal journey internalizes the tragedy that ravaged the country for seven years and exposes polarized views on state-driven terrorism in groundbreaking interviews with top military officials, concentration camp victims, human rights activists, journalists who covered the events, and members of Horacio’s surrogate and biological families. This documentary represents the first time a filmmaker has followed a child of desaparecidos in his journey of discovery for a period of five years, capturing the only case in which a person was able to recover the remains of both parents. It also records the first interviews ever granted by top military officers who had remained silent for nearly a quarter of a century.
ALTINA (2014) Altina Schinasi, (1907–1999), was a paradox. Simultaneously seductive and reserved, she was both an heiress and an artist. Altina’s guarded childhood could not predict the flagrant boldness of her sexually liberated artwork or the uninhibited imagination of her Harlequin eyeglasses, which launched a fashion craze in the 1930s. Altina is an affecting, provocative, and richly informative documentary about an American trendsetter—a woman before her time.
Free of academic constraints and confident in her keen intellect, she crafted fragments of her life into sculptures that defined her surreal and original world. Her whimsical art was also anchored in social issues: Her film on George Grosz took on the Holocaust, earning her an Oscar nomination. She befriended Martin Luther King Jr. and supported his struggle. And during the Red Scare, she did not hesitate to hide John Berry—who was blacklisted for having directed a documentary on the Hollywood Ten—in her Beverly Hills mansion. As a sculptor, relationships dominated her most original creations, the so-called “chairacters,” that cast either lovers or the absence of love, standing in silence and exuding Altina’s unencumbered, feminist sexuality.