Work Phone: (310) 636-8200
Office: SCA 366
Mitchell Block has been teaching independent producing since 1978 at USC.
Block produced the 2011 Academy Award nominated documentary film Poster Girl with director Sara Nesson. The film premiered at the prestigious Telluride and IDFA film festivals. Poster Girl tells the story of Robynn Murray, an all-American high-school cheerleader turned “poster girl” for women in combat, distinguished by Army Magazine’s cover shot. Now home from Iraq, her tough-as-nails exterior begins to crack, leaving Robynn struggling with the debilitating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
He is currently working on documentary and fiction projects as a producer for his company, Direct Cinema Limited, in partnership with various companies world-wide including Scott Free.
Block conceived, co-created and was an executive producer of the Emmy Award winning 10-hour documentary series Carrier and was a producer of its companion feature, Another Day in Paradise, both financed and distributed by Icon Productions. They premiered on PBS in May 2008. The series aired world-wide on the National Geographic Channels.
For seven years, Block worked as an acquisitions consultant for HBO Original Pictures (documentaries). In 2002, he was an executive producer of the Academy Award-winning documentary Big Mama for HBO.
Block was an executive producer of Stealing America: Vote by Vote, a feature documentary about the 2004 and 2006 elections, which opened in New York and Los Angeles in August 2008. The film received a Broadcast Critics Award.
His company, Direct Cinema Limited, has handled the marketing and distribution of over 60 Oscar nominated and winning documentaries, shorts and animated films.
Block's student film, No Lies, which he produced and directed was selected for the National Register of Historical Films in 2009 for preservation for all time by the Library of Congress and joins 7 other films from 1973 including American Graffiti, Badlands, Mean Streets, The Exorcist and The Sting.
Block has a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an M.B.A. from Columbia. He was also a producing fellow at the American Film Institute (AFI). He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is also a life member of the University Film & Video Association and the International Documentary Association. Block serves on the Academy Film Scholars Program and on its Grants Committee. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Shorts and Animation Film Branch. He was a founding member of BAFTA-LA and serves on the advisory board of Meaningful Media.
Block is a regular contributor to International Documentary where he writes about film and television business. He was a special consultant to the American Documentary Showcase, a program of the U.S. State Department for both documentary and animated films. This program, launched in 2008, highlighting selected films to international audiences and continues to conduct public screenings, master classes, and workshops. In addition, the filmmakers work with their foreign counterparts on outreach programs on film production and new media and look for new areas for collaboration with local filmmakers. Block is the only filmmaker with two films in the program. He has been a visiting lecturer at numerous colleges and universities worldwide. He has lectured and consulted globally on documentary and independent film production, marketing, distribution and programming and frequently works as an expert witness.