Netflix, the world’s leading Internet TV network, will premiere the original documentary My Own Man, from executive producer Edward Norton on March 6, 2015. The film was written, produced and directed by David Sampliner (Dirty Work), and will premiere exclusively on Netflix in all territories where Netflix is available.
When director Sampliner learns he’s about to become a father to a baby boy, he fears he must “man up” and finally embrace the latent masculinity he’s rejected all his life. But as he immerses himself in a strange new world of masculine ideals, including vocal lessons, warrior weekends and hunting, he realizes all roads lead back to his own fraught relationship with his father. Intimate, funny and moving, My Own Man reveals the sometimes painful truths that are often left unspoken between fathers and sons. The film made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2014.
“We’re proud to be working with Edward Norton and David Sampliner on this film,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of Original Documentary and Comedy. “Intensely personal and yet universally relatable, My Own Man is both an exploration of the new masculinity and an examination of age-old differences between fathers and sons.”
“My Own Man is as deeply personal as filmmaking can get. You rarely see an artist document their own personal experience with such candor and simultaneously offer such deep insights into the very universal struggle to communicate within a family,” said Norton. “It’s a film that lies within the emotional spectrum of great drama.”
“When I started making this film, I wanted to document an experience I shared with a lot of my peers: becoming a husband and father in a time when the roles for men were changing so dramatically,” said Sampliner. “But in the course of shooting over seven years, I realized that discovering how to be a 21st century dad meant coming to terms with my own father. I’m hoping that by watching a portrait of my family, audiences will find new ways of understanding their own.”
David Sampliner’s first documentary feature, Dirty Work (co-directed with Tim Nackashi) screened at the Sundance Film Festival, won Best Documentary Feature at the Atlanta Film Festival, aired on the Sundance Channel, and is now available on various digital platforms. He co-directed Art, Architecture, and Innovation, a documentary about the history of the Guggenheim Museum broadcast on WNET Channel 13 and now on permanent exhibition at the Museum. Recent short films he directed include Bread Power for Etsy’s website, and the DVD featurette on the making of By the People: The Election of Barack Obama, released by Sony Pictures. In 2013 The Moth podcasted his story Lucky Bastard as a StorySlam favorite. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, spent the better part of his adult life in New York City, and now lives with his family in Beacon, NY.
My Own Man is a Sixteen Tons Production in association with Class 5 Films. The film was written, produced and directed by David Sampliner (Dirty Work). Edward Norton, William Migliore, Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo serve as executive producers. Rachel Libert is co-producer.