A classically-trained actor and documentary filmmaker, Robert Adanto earned his MFA in Acting at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He made his directorial debut with The Rising Tide (2008), a feature-length documentary exploring China’s meteoric march towards the future through the words and works of some of the Middle Kingdom's most talented photographers and video artists, including Wang Qingsong, Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Yang Yong, and Chen Qiulin. Shot in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen in the summer of 2006, this unflinching and incisive study captures the confusion and ambiguity that characterize the new China. “An often surprising and thought-provoking documentary,” wrote WICN’s Mark Lynch, “The rest of us better make an effort to grasp what their work is about, or get out of the way. An “eye-opener” in every sense of the word, if you are an artist, curator or art teacher be sure to catch this film.”
Pearls on the Ocean Floor, Mr. Adanto’s second film, examines the lives and works of Iranian female artists living and working in and outside the Islamic Republic. It features interviews with art luminaries Shirin Neshat, Shadi Ghadirian, Parastou Forouhar and others, capturing the uncertainty of this momentous time in Iran's history. Pearls on the Ocean Floor was an Official Selection at the UK Iranian Film Festival in London, The Glasgow International Film Festival, and received the Bronze Palm Award for Best Documentary at the the 2011 edition of the Mexico International Film Festival and the Spirit of Independents Award at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Since relocating to south Florida from his hometown Los Angeles, Robert Adanto has produced three more feature-length documentaries.
In 2014, he completed City of Memory, a film exploring Hurricane Katrina's impact on the lives of New Orleans' visual artists, including Deborah Luster and Tameka Norris. In August of 2015, The New Orleans Film Society invited Mr. Adanto to present City of Memory at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, in association with The Rising, an exhibition commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Later that year, he completed The F Word, a documentary taking an in-depth look at radical “4th wave” feminist performance in Brooklyn, featuring Narcissister, Ann Hirsch and Leah Schrager, amongst others.
A fellow of the Sundance Institute Documentary Program, Robert’s most recent project Born Just Now, is a documentary offering an intimate portrait of Marta Jovanović, an internationally-recognized, performance artist living in Belgrade, in the former Yugoslavia. Robert’s films have enjoyed screenings at over 40 international film festivals and have been presented at the Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., the National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, The MFA Boston, LACMA, The Hammer Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and The National Museum of Australia in Canberra, amongst others.