Standing O for Miami Beach Native Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

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Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Isabella Rosselini (photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders Studio)
Miami Beach native Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ celebrated career as an award-winning portrait photographer and documentary filmmaker continues to thrive. Son of Dr. Ruth W. Greenfield, Miami musician and teacher who, through music, broke racial barriers in the 1950s and brought together black and white students, taught by black and white teachers. This pioneering color-blind approach was considered scandalous at the time, but was a breath of fresh air in the then-segregated society.  Ruth taught for 32 years at what is today Miami Dade College, Florida’s first integrated college. In the fall of 2011, the college rededicated its Wolfson Campus auditorium in her honor.
Michelle Obama, John Malkovich, Toni Morrison, WoodyAllen

Greenfield-Sanders is known for his striking portraits of world leaders and major figures in fashion, art, music, and cinema including Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Barack Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Sandra Day O’Connor, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Hillary Clinton. 

Dennis Hopper, Sonia Sotomayor, Edward Kennedy, Serena Williams
Timothy’s photographs have been exhibited extensively, with shows including “The Latino List” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, “The Black List” at the National Portrait Gallery, “Supermodels of the 70s and 80s” at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City, and “Injured Soldiers and Marines,” which traveled worldwide. His work has also been published in numerous books, among them The Black List in 2008, Face to Face: Selected Portraits 1977–2005 in 2006, 30 Porn-Star Portraits in 2004, and Art World in 1999.

As a documentary filmmaker, Timothy’s credits include The Black List: Volumes 1, 2, and 3, and About Face: The Supermodels Then and Now, which screened at MIFF 2012 with a packed house at Coral Gables Art Cinema with Greenfield-Sanders and model Carol Alt in attendance.  In About Face, he tackled the themes of beauty and aging by interviewing some of the most famous female models from the past five decades.  Among the memorable testimonies are Paulina Porizkova on her youthful insecurities; Jerry Hall on escaping Texas for France; Beverly Johnson on being Vogue’s first African-American cover in 1974, and Carol Alt on posing for Playboy at age 47. 

His feature documentary film, Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart, about the musician Lou Reed, won a Grammy in 1999 for Best Long Form Music Video.  Regardless of which medium he’s working in, Timothy has remained consistent in his artistic vision, and that vision has always been inspired by the people in front of his camera. As he told Professional Photographer, “I’ve stayed true to myself. I never felt I could do lots of different types of photography. I was interested in people.”

Greenfield-Sanders returns to Miami with his latest documentary, The OUT List, featuring 16 accomplished members of the LGBT community as they speak their minds about a variety of issues from identity to equality.  – Tatyana Chiocchetti

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Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.