Robert Rippberger

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Robert Rippberger
Robert Rippberger Headshot.jpg
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley
OccupationFilm director, film producer, and screenwriter
Years active2006–present

Robert Rippberger is an American film director and film producer. He is the director/producer of Strive with Danny Glover and the Hulu released documentary 7 Days in Syria.[1][2] Robert executive produced with Jason Blum the feature documentary Alive and Kicking.[3][4] The film was sold to Magnolia Pictures and Netflix after its debut at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, where it received a Grand Jury nomination.[5]

Narrative Work[edit]

In 2021, Rippberger wrote and directed the high concept horror feature Those Who Walk Away (film) about male victims of sexual assault, starring Booboo Stewart.[6]

Rippberger is the director of the 2019 drama Strive, about a girl from the projects in Harlem who works to attend Yale.[7] Inspired by true stories, Strive stars Grammy-nominated JoiStaRR, Shaylin Becton, Ricky Flowers Jr, Chelsea Lee Williams, and Emmy-nominated Danny Glover, with music composed by Grammy-winning producer Warryn Campbell.[8][9]

Rippberger is currently in pre-production as the producer of The Inventor (film), a stop-motion feature film written and directed by Jim Capobianco, the Oscar-nominated writer of Pixar's Ratatouille.[10]


In 2019, Rippberger directed and produced Public Enemy Number One (film) -- a documentary about America's war on drugs from Executive Producer Ice-T. The film won Best Documentary Feature at the Seattle Film Festival,[11] and Storyteller Award and Best Producer at Doc LA - Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival.[12]

In 2016, Rippberger's feature documentary 7 Days in Syria, which follows journalist Janine di Giovanni's 2012 trip to Aleppo, was screened at Britain's House of Lords.[13] The film has played in over 50 cities worldwide, on television in Denmark, Sweden, and China, and via streaming service Hulu.[14] The documentary is currently available via Amazon Prime and other VOD providers. The film was well received by critics and personally championed by United Nations Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.[15]

Rippberger went on to executive produce Alive and Kicking, a documentary about swing dancing, which premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival to a Grand Jury nomination, and was released in 2017 by Magnolia Pictures. Alive and Kicking was named the film to watch by The New York Times watching section, received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and was invited to be part of the 2018/19 American Film Showcase, the State Department's diplomacy through cinema program.[16][17] The film is currently available on Netflix.

In 2011, Rippberger co-created a seven part documentary series published by The New York Times interviewing politicians and world leaders regarding the world's biggest crises.[18] He was the 2012 recipient of the Dan Eldon Activist Award for producing and directing A Ride With Matt, later retitled Breaking the Cycle, a documentary feature about Huntington's Disease. The award is given to filmmakers for best use of media to effect positive change.[19]

Rippberger is the previous president of I Imagine, a socially conscious technology and media organization which runs the annual I Imagine Film Festival and conference. He is also the co-founder and editor of the magazine and podcast Cinema of Change, whose mission is to create a central, continuously relevant source of accessible information on social impact filmmaking.[20]

Music Videos[edit]

In 2014, Rippberger directed the music video Ab Laut Aa by EDM DJ Sanjoy featuring Sunidhi Chauhan.[21] The video has 1.5 million views on YouTube and won Best Music Video that year at the VIMA Music Awards.[22][23]

Thirty years after the song's initial release, in 2018 Rippberger directed the official music video for “Suicide” by Busy Bee Starski, the single off his gold album Running Thangs. Originating from New York City, Hip Hop Hall of Fame inductee Busy Bee Starski is considered one of the founders of modern hip-hop, and the star of the 1983 film Wild Style, billed as the first hip-hop motion picture.[24] The music video guest stars rapper Ice-T.


In 2014, Rippberger published a novel with Regent Press called Escape to Anywhere Else with a foreword by Mariel Hemingway.[25][26] Robert is the co-founder and co-editor of the magazine, Cinema of Change, along with Tobias Deml. He is a contributing writer to The Huffington Post.[27][28]

Early life[edit]

Rippberger began filmmaking at age 13. As a freshman in high school, he enrolled in filmmaking classes at the University of Colorado Boulder, studied under directing teacher Judith Weston, and at UCLA Film School in Los Angeles. In 2005, at age 16, he made his first feature film, "The Hoodwink."

Rippberger received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010, where he was awarded in 2009 the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize for his film "In the Middle." It is considered the highest achievement in creativity given on the UC, Berkeley campus.[29]

In 2006, Rippberger founded Aletheia Films, named after Aletheia (a philosophical concept in philosophy reflecting a disclosing of truth) with a view to make entertaining and impactful films for mass audiences. The company produces feature films, series, documentaries, commercials, music videos, and major events.[30]




  • "Grave" (2004)
  • "R.I.P." (2005)
  • "In the Middle" (2009)
  • "Noor (2011)" (co-director)
  • "Haven (2011)"
  • "ThinkingAloud" (2011)
  • "A Night at the Office" (2012) (co-producer)
  • "Duplicitous Minds" (2021)

Music videos[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Nominated Work Category Role Result
2011 The Eisner Prize In the Middle Highest Achievement in Creativity Director/Producer Won[36]
2012 Dan Eldon Activist Award Breaking the Cycle Activist Filmmaker Award Director/Producer Won[37]
2015 Fingal Film Festival 7 Days in Syria Outstanding Achievement in Media Director/Producer Won[38]
2016 Amsterdam Lift-Off Festival 7 Days in Syria Jury Selection Best Feature Director/Producer Won[39]
2016 SXSW Film Festival Alive and Kicking Grand Jury Award Executive Producer Nominated[40]
2017 Palm Springs Film Festival Alive and Kicking Best of Fest Executive Producer Won[41]
2019 Harlem International Film Festival Strive Audience Award Director/Producer Won[42]
2019 American Black Film Festival Strive Audience Award Director/Producer Nominated[43]
2019 American Black Film Festival Strive Best Screenplay Director/Producer Won[44]
2019 The Valley Film Festival Strive 10 Degrees Hotter Award: Best Narrative Feature Director/Producer Won[45]
2019 Awareness Film Festival Strive Audience Award Director/Producer Won[46]
2020 New Jersey International Film Festival Strive Best Feature Film Director/Producer Won[47]
2019 DOCLA Public Enemy Number One Storyteller Award Director/Producer Won[48]
2019 DOCLA Public Enemy Number One Best Producer Director/Producer Won[49]
2020 American Black Film Festival Public Enemy Number One Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary Director/Producer Nominated[50]
2020 Seattle Film Festival Public Enemy Number One Best Documentary Feature Director/Producer Won[51]


  1. ^ Collinson, Gary (June 2, 2018). "Danny Glover joins Harlem drama Strive". FlickeringMyth.
  2. ^ di Giovanni, Janine (August 21, 2016). "REPORTER DOCUMENTS LIFE IN ALEPPO IN '7 DAYS IN SYRIA'". Newsweek. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  3. ^ DeFore, John (March 13, 2016). "'Alive and Kicking': SXSW Review". Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ Lang, Brett (January 27, 2016). "Blumhouse Boards Swing Dance Documentary 'Alive and Kicking' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  5. ^ Lincoln, Ross (April 18, 2016). "Magnolia Picks Up Blumhouse SXSW Docu 'Alive And Kicking'". Deadline.
  6. ^ "THOSE WHO WALK AWAY: High-Concept Horror Flick About Male Sexual Assault Adds Nils Allen "Booboo" Stewart Jr". FlickeringMyth. August 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "Interview with Robert Rippberger and She Rises Smith About Their Upcoming Movie Strive". MarkMeets.
  8. ^ "Joi Campbell". Grammy. November 23, 2020.
  9. ^ "Judah Bellamy and Shaylin Becton Join The Lion King". Broadway.
  10. ^ Carr, Martin (May 2, 2018). "Exclusive Interview – Jim Capobianco on Disney, Pixar and his new film The Inventor".
  11. ^ "The Seattle Film Festival Winners".
  12. ^ "Doc LA Winners".
  13. ^ ""7 Days in Syria" screening in British Parliament; House of Lords". AH Tribune.
  14. ^ Standard-Examiner. "Documentary film '7 Days in Syria' showing for free Wednesday in Ogden". Standard-Examiner. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  15. ^ Gorman, Michele (November 21, 2015). "WATCH: TRAILER FOR '7 DAYS IN SYRIA,' A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT REPORTING ON WAR". Newsweek.
  16. ^ Castillo, Monica. "Alive and Kicking". The New York Times.
  17. ^ "Alive and Kicking". Rotten Tomatoes.
  18. ^ Krupp, Tyler. "An Interview with Gideon Rosen". The New York Times.
  19. ^ "Documentary On Huntington's Wins The Dan Eldon Activist Award At The 8th Annual MY HERO International Film Festival".
  20. ^ "Mission Statement".
  21. ^ "Check out Sunidhi Chauhan's Single 'AB LAUT AA'". May 7, 2013.
  22. ^ "Sanjoy ft. Sunidhi Chauhan - Ab Laut Aa - Official Music Video".
  23. ^ ""VIMA India 2014 Winners List"". Bite My Music. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  24. ^ Gonzales, David (November 12, 2008). "'Wild Style' at 25: A Film That Envisioned the Future of Hip-Hop Culture". The New York Times.
  25. ^ "Escape to Anywhere Else". Barnes and Noble.
  26. ^ Gandleman, Joe. "BOOK REVIEW: Escape to Anywhere Else by Robert Rippberger".
  27. ^ "Team".
  28. ^ "Robert Rippberger". HuffPost.
  29. ^ "Prizes and Honors / Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prizes in Film and Video".
  30. ^ Rodriguez, Liz. "Robert Rippberger chats Aletheia Films". Newsblaze.
  31. ^ "Robert Rippberger". The Internet Movie Database.
  32. ^ "Kickstart Sunday: STRIVER'S ROW | Film Pulse". Film Pulse. April 23, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  33. ^ Port 22. "Sanjoy ft. Sunidhi Chauhan - Ab Laut Aa - Official Music Video". YouTube.
  34. ^ "Sanjoy - Set Me Free". YouTube.
  35. ^ Port 22. "Busy Bee - Suicide - Official Music Video". YouTube.
  36. ^ "Prizes and Honors / Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prizes in Film and Video".
  37. ^ "Documentary On Huntington's Wins The Dan Eldon Activist Award At The 8th Annual MY HERO International Film Festival".
  38. ^ fffintern. "Fingal Film Festival Winners Announced". Fingal Film Festival.
  39. ^ "The Lift-Off Season Awards". Lift-Off Network. February 5, 2019.
  40. ^ "The 9th Annual Frankfort Film Festival". Visit Benzie. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  41. ^ "THAT'S A WRAP: PSIFF Awards and "Best of Fest" Winners". Coachella Valley Weekly.
  42. ^ "Harlem International Film Festival: 2019 Awards".
  43. ^ "American Black Film Festival (ABFF) 2019 Awards Winners".
  44. ^ "American Black Film Festival (ABFF) 2019 Awards Winners".
  45. ^ "Audience and Juried Award Winners". The Valley Film Festival. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  46. ^ "Awards". Awareness Film Festival. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  47. ^ "Awards". New Jersey Film Festival. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  48. ^ "2019 Awards". Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  49. ^ "2019 Awards". Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  50. ^ "American Black Film Festival (ABFF) 2020 Awards Winners".
  51. ^ "2019 Awards". Retrieved January 20, 2021.

External links[edit]