Don Levy

Don Levy (1932 –1987, born in New South Wales, Australia) lived and worked in London, England and Los Angeles, USA.

After studying theoretical chemistry at the University of Sydney, Levy was awarded a Research Scholarship to the University of Cambridge. There he obtained a PhD in Theoretical Chemical Physics in 1960. While at Cambridge, Levy became involved in the Film Society and made his first short films. After Cambridge he was awarded the first ever film scholarship in Britain to study in the newly created Film Department of the Slade School of Fine Art under the leadership of filmmaker turned lecturer Thorold Dickinson. He then made a number of short films for the Nuffield Foundation, including the experimental documentary Time Is (1964).

In 1962, Levy obtained the first ever film-making grant from the British Film Institute, and their newly created Experimental Film Fund for the production of a feature film, Herostratus. The film, made on a shoe-string budget, took over five years to be completed. It was co-financed between the BFI, the BBC and former BFI Director James Quinn. It was released in May 1968, opening at the ICA in London, England, subsequently being screened at film festivals across the UK and Internationally.

In 1968, Levy took up a position at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, USA, where he stayed for two years. He then moved to Los Angeles to work at the California Institute of the Arts, USA, where he taught and conducted research in film, video and multimedia, showing at informal film gatherings, and the now legendary independent cinema space Theatre Vanguard.

Sadly Levy passed away 1987. His work is now housed at the Academy Film Archives.

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