Ondi Timoner

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Ondi Timoner
Born Andrea Doane Timoner
(1972-12-06) December 6, 1972 (age 45)
Miami, Florida
Alma mater Yale University
Occupation Film Director, Editor, Producer
Years active 1994–present
Children 1

Andrea Doane "Ondi" Timoner (born December 6, 1972) is an American film director, producer, editor and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Interloper Films, a full-service production company located in Pasadena, California.

Beginning her film in the 1990s, Timoner has built a reputation in the documentary world, becoming the only two-time recipient of Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize for documentaries (DIG! and We Live In Public) these two works are in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art.

In addition to releasing films in a conventional manner, Timoner releases content through her online video portal, A Total Disruption. Her episode with artist Shepard Fairey world-premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2014 as part of the Chief Executive Artist series.[not verified in body] An episode on the musician Amanda Palmer is scheduled for its world premieres on April 19, 2014 at the TriBeCa Film Festival.[not verified in body]

In 2015, Timoner's film BRAND: A Second Coming was chosen to be the opening night film at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.[1]

In August, she completed production on Mapplethorpe, a scripted feature film she wrote, produced & directed. It stars Matt Smith, who plays controversial visionary photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.


Born in Miami, Florida,[2] Timoner is a graduate of Yale University who majored in Theater Studies and American Studies, concentrating in the latter on Film and Literature.[3]

Timoner is the sole two-time recipient of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, first in 2004 for her documentary DIG!, about the "collision of art and commerce" via the personnae and relational dynamics of leaders of two contemporary indie bands (The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols), and then in the same category in 2009 for We Live In Public about the work of Josh Harris, an internet visionary who, by very personal example, demonstrated the willing sacrifice of privacy and personal peace that occur in the digital age.[4][5] Both films were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City for their permanent collection.[6]

Timoner also directed the socio-political feature documentaries, Join Us (2007), about the religious cult epidemic in America, using the example of the Mountain Rock Church in South Carolina,[7] and The Nature of the Beast (1994), a look at the U.S. prison system, and co-directed the short film Recycle, which premiered at Sundance in 2005, and screened at Cannes and in schools worldwide. In 2010, Timoner premiered her fifth feature-length documentary on climate change, Cool It at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010, and released it theatrically on November 12 that year through Roadside Attractions.[8][9][10] In addition to documentaries, Timoner has made music videos for The Dandy Warhols, The Vines, Paul Westerberg, Lucinda Williams, Vanessa Carlton, The Jonas Brothers, and Run DMC, among others. She hosts a weekly talk show, BYOD, on Thelip.tv, featuring interviews with top film makers from the documentary world.

Timoner's narrative film debut—a biopic on photographer Robert Mapplethorpe entitled Mapplethorpe—received a grant through the Tribeca Film Institute’s 9th annual All Access Program.[11] In 2013, Timoner initiated what has been termed a "constantly releasing documentary" via the web-channel called A Total Disruption, a platform presenting cyber-series about cutting-edge innovators who use technology to "disrupt outdated industries, empower people, and change the world".[4][12]



Culled from over 2,500 hours of footage, Timoner directed Dig! and co-produced and edited along with her brother David Timoner, which chronicles seven years in the lives of two neo-psychedelic bands, The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The film explores the love-hate relationship of the band's frontmen, Courtney Taylor and Anton Newcombe.

Jamie Russell of the BBC gave the film a five-star (highest) rating, calling it "[e]rratic, tragic, and absolutely hilarious…" saying "Dig! is fantastic filmmaking" and that as "a riotous portrait of the music business," it "works as both a savagely funny rockumentary and a sardonic comment on the politics of selling out."[13] An Empire review described its subject as the "microcosm of ‘indie’ music on the cusp of corporate take-over" and the film as "the perfect parable of the 1990s music industry" portraying a "riveting... mêlée of spiraling egos," also giving it a five-star rating.[14]

The film won the Grand Jury Prize 2004 at the Sundance Film Festival,[15] is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City,[16] and was screened as finale of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA's 38th annual New Directors/New Films Festival, at MoMA in 2009.[17]

We Live in Public[edit]

Timoner debuted We Live in Public at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. The film considers some of the darker effects of modern media and technology on personal identity through an examination of "the greatest internet pioneer you've never heard of", Josh Harris.[18] The dot-com millionaire was referred to by reviewer Laurie Heuston as "a '90s dot-com millionaire who created fascist-themed, social experiments," endeavors that led eventually led to Harris' mental breakdown and financial downfall.[18][19]

Film critic Roger Ebert gave We Live in Public a four-star (highest) rating, writing that it "is a remarkable film about a strange and prophetic man."[20] It won the Grand Jury Prize award in the Documentary category at the Sundance Film Festival,[21] making Timoner the first director in the history of the Festival to win this award twice.[citation needed]

A Total Disruption[edit]

Timoner founded and is currently directing and producing what has been described as "a portal of cyber-series that take the users on the ride alongside the visionary risk-takers of today– those crazy enough to defy all limits to turn their big ideas into reality,"[4] the web channel called A Total Disruption. An interactive video network for innovators and entrepreneurs, she describes it as a "constantly releasing documentary". The channel documents the thought leaders and innovators from companies like Twitter, Reddit, and BitTorrent who are using technology to empower and educate; as of April 2013, Timoner edited 50 episodes for seven different web series, based on interviews with approximately 100 subjects (having shot 300 hours of film footage).[12] The seed funds for the project were recently raised on Kickstarter,[12] and yielded about 150% of their $96,000 goal.[citation needed]

Other work[edit]

  • In 2000, Timoner created, produced and directed the original VH-1 series Sound Affects,[22] about music's effect at critical moments in people's lives.
  • Timoner completed the opening film for Bill Clinton's birthday celebration at the Hollywood Bowl in October 2011, which raised money for the William J. Clinton Foundation. Her film starred Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, the President, and many other notables.
  • She has directed commercials and web series for McDonald's, State Farm, Ford, the United States Army and others, as well as two short films for Honda's "Dream the Impossible" series, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011.
  • Timoner has completed several other documentaries: Recycle (short), winner at the ICG Awards, and presented at Sundance, Cannes, and Silverdocs; Join Us, a documentary about mind control in the United States, and Library of Dust (short), a documentary about thousands of canisters of cremated remains found at the Oregon State Hospital.
  • She produces and hosts BYOD (Bring Your Own Doc) for thelip.tv. BYOD is the only talk show in the world focused solely on documentaries with an archive of over 100 episodes in which Timoner interviews top documentary filmmakers about their work.
  • In 2016, Timoner visited Panama to direct Jungletown, [5]. Jungletown is a 10 part docu-series on Millennials creating a sustainable village (Kalu Yala) Kalu Yala in the Panamanian jungle.

Personal life[edit]

In 2003, Timoner had a son, Joaquim, with cinematographer Vasco Lucas Nunes.[23] Vasco Lucas Nunes died in a motorcycle accident in March 2016.[24][25]

Further reading[edit]

  • Interview: Alexandra Alter, 2009, "'The Truman Show' for Everyone: A documentary film maker and her now-reluctant subject on living in public ['We Live in Public']," at The Wall Street Journal (online): Arts & Entertainment, "Just Asking," April 4, 2009[17]
  • Interview: Dina Gachman, 2013, "Are Entrepreneurs the Rock Stars of Today?", at ForbesWoman, January 10, 2013.[4]
  • Interview: Kevin Ritchie, 2013, "Hot Docs ’13: Ondi Timoner talks art and entrepreneurship [and the "A Total Disruption" endeavor]," at RealScreen.[26]



  1. ^ "SXSW Film Reveals BRAND: A Second Coming as Opening Night Film, Plus Six More Titles". sxsw.com. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Balfour, Brad. "Q & A: Award-Winning Documentarian Ondi Timoner Rocks with We Live in Public". huffingtonpost.com. Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Mitchell, Wendy. "Discovery: Ondi Timoner and "Dig!"". indiewire.com. Indiewire. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Dina Gachman (10 January 2013). "Are Entrepreneurs the Rock Stars of Today?". Forbes. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "All these wonderful things: Sundance Film Festival". Edendale.typepad.com. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  6. ^ "We Live in Public". MoMA. 2009-04-05. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Join Us". Joinusthemovie.com. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived February 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Cool It (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  10. ^ Global Warming and Common Sense. New York Times, November 11, 2010
  11. ^ Gregg Kilday. "James Franco to Play Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in Tribeca-Backed Project". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c "Hot Docs '13: Ondi Timoner talks art and entrepreneurship". Realscreen.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "BBC - Movies - review - DIG!". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Empire's DiG! Movie Review". empireonline.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  15. ^ 2004 Sundance Festival, sundance.org. Accessed 2015-01-30.
  16. ^ DIG! on MoMA's site, in the Collection listings. Accessed 2-15-01-30.
  17. ^ a b [2] Archived April 27, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ a b "The greatest Web pioneer you've never heard of". Cnn.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Center stage at Ashland's film festival". Mailtribune.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  20. ^ [3] Archived August 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "Sundance Film Festival". Festival.sundance.org. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  22. ^ [4] Archived February 16, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ Mitchell, Wendy. "Discovery: Ondi Timoner and "Dig!"". Indie Wire. 
  24. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (2017-06-19). "From Dig! to Jungletown – how Ondi Timoner is 'kicking the door down' for female filmmakers". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  25. ^ "Vasco Lucas Nunes". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  26. ^ "Hot Docs '13: Ondi Timoner talks art and entrepreneurship". Realscreen.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 

External links[edit]