Portrait image of Diana Friedberg

About

Diana Friedberg

Multi Award-winning Film Maker,

Author and Photographer

BiograpHy

Diana Friedberg ACE is a multiple award-winning editor and producer. In 1967 she began her career in her native South Africa. There, in 1972, she became the first woman to direct a feature film. She moved to Hollywood with her husband and family in 1986. With an MFA from USC in film production Friedberg has edited and produced features, episodic television, animation series and non-fiction productions for companies as diverse as Disney, National Geographic, The History Channel, A&E, Discovery, NBC, USA, Stephen J. Cannell, and Leonard Nimoy Productions.

Fired by her passion for beads, Diana was inspired to travel the world filming and documenting the use of beads and beadwork in cultures in every corner of the globe. This resulted in her groundbreaking five-part documentary series entitled World on a String.  Widely acknowledged and loved, it garnered 31 international awards. A companion photographic book soon followed the film’s success. In 2020 she completed a major documentary on the life of composer Max Steiner and his contribution to the art of film scoring. Diana co-chaired the American Cinema Editors intern program for 18 years, mentoring many young editors to successful careers in the industry. In 2017 she was the recipient of American Cinema Editors Heritage Award, given in recognition of her unwavering commitment to advancing the image of the film editor, cultivating respect for the editing profession, and tireless dedication to American Cinema Editors.

 

Diana Friedberg with Heritage Award

Diana at the 2017 ACE Eddie Awards

Career

Diana Friedberg (nee Ginsberg) ACE

AMERICAN Filmography:

  • Member of American Cinema Editors (ACE) and co-chair of the Intern Program (1996 -2014)
  • MFA in Cinema production, USC 1976
  • BA Drama and English, University of Cape Town 1967
  • Licentiate of the Trinity College of Music in Speech and Drama 1964

Worked on panels for Women in Film International, a group working within WOMEN IN FILM and organized many international events with visiting filmmakers (1974 -1976).

2017 – Recipient of American Cinema Editors Heritage Award.

EDITOR/PRODUCER: NON-FICTION AND REALITY

MAX STENER: MAESTRO OF MOVIE MUSIC– A 2- hour special on the life of film music composer Max Steiner and his contribution to the art of film scoring. 2021. Producer, Director and Editor. 

WORLD ON A STRING – 5-part award-winning documentary series – Bead Society of Los Angeles.
2001-2008. Director/Producer/Photography/Editor. 

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

IN QUEST OF THE BEST Traveler Magazine – 2007
PARTS 1, 2, and 3 – Honorary award from Associated Press, V.I.P.

Part 1: The Eternal Bead

Gold Ava Award, 2008
Communicator Award, 2008
Blingy Award, 2007
Cine Golden Eagle, 2005
Telly Silver Screen Award, 2006
Chris Awards: Honorable Mention, 2005
US International Film & Video Festival: Silver Screen Award, 2005

Part 2: The Tiny Mighty Bead

Platinum Ava Award, 2008
Blingy Award, 2007
Telly: Bronze Award, 2006
Davey Award, 2006
US International Film & Video Festival: Certificate of Excellence, 2005
Chris Awards: Honorable Mention, 2005

Part 3: The Sacred Bead

Gold Ava Award, 2008
Communicator Award, 2008
Blingy Award, 2007
US International Film & Video Festival: Silver Screen Award, 2006
New York Film Festival: Bronze Award, 2007
Chris Awards: Honorable Mention, 2006
Telly: Bronze Award, 2007

Part 4: The Treasured Bead

Diamond Blingy Award, 2008
Gold Davey Award, 2008

Part 5: A Passion for Beads

Cine Golden Eagle, 2009
Gold Communicator Award, 2009
US International film and Video Fest, Silver Screen Award 2009
Telly: Bronze Award, 2008
Honorable Mention Ava Award, 2008
Emerald Blingy Award, 2008
Gold Davey Award, 2008

A SACRED DUTY – Jewish Vegetarian Society America

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Silver Chris Award 2008
Silver Screen Award 2008 US International Film and Video Festival 2008
Green Apple Award

EDITOR/PRODUCER: DRAMATIC SHORT FILMS

 
INFOMERCIALS on global warming – Supreme Master TV.

 8 Short films for Disney Educational:

DARE TO CARE – Featuring Edward James Olmos.

I’M NO FOOL – 3 short films featuring Elijah Wood. I’m No Fool on Wheels, I’m No Fool as A Pedestrian, I’m No Fool in Unsafe Places.

THE WONDERS OF LIFE – 3 short films incorporating Bob Kurtz animation.

The Bones and Muscles Get Rhythm, The Brain and the Nervous System Think Sciene, The Heart and Lungs Play Ball.

IF I’M LYIN’, I’M DYIN’ – Teens learn myths about smoking, develop resistance skills, and discover the   effects of smoking on the body.

         AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

         Cine Eagle Award THE WONDERS OF LIFE – THE HEART AND LUNG PLAY BALL

         Cine Eagle Award DARE TO CARE

         Cine Eagle Award I’M NO FOOL IN UNSAFE PLACES

         Apple award THE WONDERS OF LIFE – THE HEART AND LUNG PLAY BALL

         Gold Medal Award Houston Film Festival THE WONDERS OF LIFE – THE HEART AND LUNG PLAY BALL

ACROSS THE RUBICON – Producer/Editor. Feature documentary starring Pieter-Dirk Uys and leading political figures in South Africa’s apartheid political system. PBS and worldwide distribution. Zepra International.

MYSTERIES UNDERGROUND Associate Producer. Special – National Geographic Television.

         AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

            Multiple Emmy awards

EDITOR: REALITY AND DOCUMENTARIES

MOMMY DOCS – MPH Entertainment PBS Pilot 

DOG WHISPERER – 3 seasons featuring Cesar Milan. MPH Entertainment/National Geographic Channel

THE SIMPLE LIFE 3 – Reality series featuring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Bunim Murray/Fox

THE BILLIONAIRE – BRANSON’S QUEST FOR THE BEST Reality Series featuring Sir Richard Branson, Bunim Murray/Fox.

REAL WORLD – Reality Series. Bunim Murray Productions MTV.

STARTING OVER – First Reality daily soap show – 30 episodes. Bunim Murray Prod/NBC Syndicated.

SEX EDUCATION – 3 DVDs featuring sexual education.

CORPORATE WEAPONS – Documentary. Greystone Productions/The History Channel.

PIRATES – Documentary. Greystone Productions /The History Channel.

JUNKYARD WARS – Reality series. 5 episodes. The Learning Channel.

THE BEST OF CALIFORNIA – Documentary. Syndicated.

THE GREAT ADVENTURE – Fine Living Channel.

THE NIGHTCLUB YEARS – 2-hour Special MPH Entertainment/A & E.

LAS VEGAS – BOOMTOWN – 2-hour Special MPH Entertainment/MSNBC.

THE HISTORY OF SEX – 5-part series. MPH Entertainment /The History Channel.

         AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

         EMMY CONSIDERATION

 SEX IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY – 2- hour series MPH Entertainment/The History Channel.

 UNSOLVED MYSTERIES – 60-minute reality special. Cosgrove-Meurer/Dave Bell Productions NBC.

 CRUSADERS – Reality series Walt Disney/Buena Vista Productions. Special for NBC.

 THE FOUNDING FATHERS – 3 hours MPH Entertainment – History Channel.

          AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

         EMMY CONSIDERATION and winner of CHRIS AWARD

 100 YEARS, 100 MOVIES -THE WILDER SHORES OF LOVE – 10-hour series. Mel Stuart Productions/ TNT/American Film Institute.

 THE WRIGHT BROTHERS – Documentary. Alien Voices/Leonard Nimoy Productions.

 RACE FOR THE POLES – 2-hour Special. MPH Entertainment/The Learning Channel.

 TOP SECRET – SCOTLAND YARD and THE MOSSAD. Johnny Depp – Narrator. 2-part series FilmRoos/The Discovery Channel.

 IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS – 4-hour Special MPH Entertainment/The History Channel.

 LIZA LOU – Short documentary. Producer and Editor. Leonard Nimoy Productions.

 SCIENCE AT THE EDGE – 3-part series. The Learning Channel.

 LIFEFORCE – 5-hour series. MPH Entertainment/Discovery Health Channel.

 TRIBUTE TO EDITING OSCAR WINNERS for the ACE EDDY AWARDS (2001).

 HISTORY’S MYSTERIES.  Produced by FilmRoos and MPH Entertainment for The History Channel:

      THE INQUISITION – 2-hour Special – Premiere show

     ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY – 2 -hour Special

     SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD – 2-hour Special

     ROB ROY

     SIR FRANCAIS DRAKE

     THE BLOODY TOWER OF LONDON

     THE TRUE STORY OF MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY

     LOURDES

     CAVEMEN – THE NEANDERTHALS

     PROJECT UNDERWORLD – THE MAFIA

     THE ODESSA FILE

     ARABIAN NIGHTS

     TATTOOS

     BLACK DEATH

     BLACK SOX – WORLD SERIES CONSPIRACY

     ROANOKE

     LIVINGSTONE, I PRESUME

     MRS PRESIDENT

     HUMAN SACRIFICE

     PIRATES OF THE BARBARY COAST

     SCOTLAND YARD

     SAINTS AND SINNERS OF THE CALIFORNIA COAST

     THE FIRST AMERICANS

     LOST MUMMIES OF THE INCAS

     SAMURAI

     SACRED PLACES

     REINCARNATION

     THE SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL

     SABOTAGE AT BLACK TOM

 (Many of these History Mysteries were first released by A&E under the series title ANCIENT MYSTERIES featuring Leonard Nimoy as host.)

 BIOGRAPHY SERIES:

     RASPUTIN – FilmRoos/A&E.

     IVAN THE TERRIBLE – FilmRoos/A&E.

MYSTERIES OF THE BIBLE:

     BIBLICAL ANGELS – FilmRoos/A&E.

 AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF QUEEN ESTHER – FilmRoos/Lifetime Channel.

 GOOD NEWS – Network pilot for Lucy Gonda Productions.  

EDITOR: EPISODIC

RENEGADE – 24 Episodes. 3 seasons. Stephen J. Cannell/New World Entertainment & Stu Segall Productions CBS/Syndication.

FEATURES

 

THE MAN WHO BROKE A THOUSAND CHAINS -1987 Editor.

Directed by Daniel Mann. Starring Val Kilmer, Kyra Sedgewick, Charles Durning and Sonya Braga. HBO and released internationally as theatrical feature.

          AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

         Nominated for 8 CABLE ACE AWARDS.

 OLYMPUS FORCE -1988 Editor. Starring Richard Todd, Christopher Lee, Joss Aklynd, Linda Thorson and Ronald Lacey. Atlantis/Multimedia.

 DEATH MERCHANTS (B.O.R.N.) – 19889 Co-Producer/Editor. Starring William Smith, Ross Hagan, Russ Tamblyn, Hoke Howell, P.J. Soles and Amanda Blake. The Movie Outfit – International release.

SOUTH AFRICAN FILMOGRAPHY:

DOCUMENTARIES AND DRAMATIC TV SHOWS (1982-1986)

EDITOR/PRODUCER

LEGACY – 6 x 30-minute shows portraying the history of the Jewish people in South Africa and the social, political and economic contribution of this minority group to the cultural life of South Africa. Astranova Films /SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation).

ACROSS THE RUBICON – Astranova Films/PBS 90-minute docudrama.

PERFORMERS OF THE DAWN – 2 x 1-hour documentaries featuring colored people who were part of the Eoan group, the earliest performing arts cultural group involved in the production of opera in South Africa. Astranova Films/SABC.

HOT SNOW – 1-hour drama. Astranova Films/SABC.

 ART AND ABOUT – 13 x 13-minute shows featuring young people involved in the fine and performing arts. SABC’s contribution to the International Year of Youth. Astranova Films/SABC.

FROM BARTER TO BANKNOTE – 2 x half-hour shows dealing with the history of money with reference to South Africa. Astranova Films/SABC.

A DELICATE BALANCE – 6 x 30-minute shows examining the world’s environmental problems and the devastating impact on South Africa. Astranova Films/SABC.

HALF A CENTURY SKYWARDS – 30-minute film celebrating 50 years of civil aviation in South Africa. Astranova Films/SABC.

50 YEARS OF THE FLYING SPRINGBOK – 20-minute film commemorating the 50th anniversary of South African Airways. Astranova Films. Released internationally and as an Inflight show.

ON THE FIRST DAY OF FEBRUARY – 20-minute film covering the events and festivities during the 1984 anniversary celebrations of SAA. Astranova Films/South African Airways.

PORTRAIT OF HOUT BAY – 30-minute documentary investigating the history, character and lifestyle of one of South Africa’s oldest fishing communities. Astranova Films/Corporate.

EDITOR

JANTJIE -Television feature – Dramatic love story about a young colored man’s affections for a childhood friend played against a backdrop of racial tension and the Border War in Namibia. SABC.

ITREYNI (THE TRAIN) 11 x 30-minute dramatic series. The story of a train conductor and his adventures during the course of duty. C Films/SABC.

ISIHOGO SISEMHLABENI (HELL ON EARTH) 1-hour dramatic film. A firefighter suffers from amnesia as a result of serious burns. He has to make a new life for himself. C Films/SABC.

         AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

         Winner of TONIGHT Award.

MRS DUMBLEBY  2 – 13 x 7minute animation programs for young children. C Films/SABC.

AFRICAN FIRESIDE TALES – 13 X 13 puppet animation series based on African legends. C Films/SABC.

MRS DUMBLEBY – Series of 13 x 7 animation programs for young children. C Films/SABC.

COAST WATCH – 30-minute documentary examining South Africa’s fishing industry. C Films/SABC.

THE CAPE MALAYS – 60-minute documentary examining the history of the Muslim community in the Cape. C Films/SABC.

THE SORCERER – 39 x 13 min animation programs featuring electronic puppets. African fireside tales and legends. C Films/SABC (African language).

MABERONE – 7 x 13 min dramatic love stories playing out in an ancient African tribal setting. (African language) C Films/SABC.

Dr KLEIMAN (CLAYMAN) – Series of 13 x 5 min clay animation series C Film/ SABC.

INTERGALAXY – Series of 26 x 26-minute computerized puppet animation series C Films/SABC.

MARIPANE – Series of 13 x 13-minute dramatic love story set in tribal Africa. C Films/SABC (African language).

         AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

         TONIGHT Award for Best Drama Series

SPACE CADETS – Series of 13 x 26-minute computerized puppet animation series. C Films/SABC (African language)

SEWER RATS – Series of 13 x 26-minute dramatic series. C Films/SABC.

PARENT AND CHILD – Series of 13 x 13-minute educational programs. C Films/SABC.

THABURE – Series of 26 X 26-minute adventure dramas. C Films/SABC (African language).

THE UNBROKEN THREAD – 40-minute documenting the history of cotton and a current investigation into the cotton industry in South Africa. Corporate.

PUTCO BUSES – 40-minute examination of the bus services in Johannesburg. Corporate.

FAIREST CAPE – Documentary overview of the scenic attractions of the Cape Peninsula. SABC.

THEN CAME THE ENGLISH – 3 x 60-minute episodes. An in-depth examination of the history of the English-speaking peoples of Southern Africa. The series traces the story of their development, set against the background of Britain’s colonial role and presence in the sub-continent. IFC Films/SABC.

         AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

         TONIGHT Awards for Best Director, Best Presenter and Best T.V. Documentary Series.

THEY CAME FROM THE EAST – Series of 6 x 26-minute series looking at South Africa’s Indian community, their history, religions and cultural affairs including Mahatma Gandhi’s early years in Natal. IFC/SABC.

THEIR FRONTIER, THE SEA – 3 x 26-minute shows examining the SA Navy including submarines, frigates, minesweeping and the Navy’s role guarding the Cape Sea Route. IFC Films/SABC.

MAKOMA – Producer/Editor – Short documentary dealing with the S.A. Government’s role in uncovering the ancestral bones of an African leader which had lay buried for over 100 years on Robben Island. With the help of an African soothsayer, the bones were found, dug up and reburied during a state funeral in the ancestral tribal homeland. Made for the South African Government.

FOLLOW THAT RAINBOW – Script supervisor. Feature film for the International market with locations in Switzerland and South Africa. Directed by Louis Burke.

MARIGOLDS IN AUGUST – Producer. Written and starring Athol Fugard. Set up co-production with the BBC.

WINNERS 2 – Script supervisor and Assistant director to Jans Rautenbach. Emil Nofal films.

SOUTH AFRICA – Associate Producer. 1-hour Special on South Africa made for CHANNEL 13 in Los Angeles hosted by Anne Kaestner. An in-depth look at the Apartheid System. 1977.

FRATERNITY ROW (OH BROTHERHOOD) – Script Supervisor on feature produced for USC Film School.

In 1978 conducted numerous interviews in Namibia and shot footage in Egypt for the SA Department of Information

 In 1977 under the auspices of the Department of Adult Education at the University of the Witwatersrand in conjunction with their school of Dramatic Art and SA Film and Television Technicians Association, initiated and organized an intensive 8-week film course covering various aspects of the industry with many leading professionals from the industry participating. This was the first film course to be offered in SA.

EDITOR AND ASSISTANT EDITOR: FEATURE FILMS (1970-1974)

CRAZY PEOPLE – Directed by Dirk de Villiers, Cape Town. C Films.

ABASHOKOBEZI – Assistant Director and Supervising Editor. C Films.

PENS EN POOTJIE – Directed by Dirk de Villiers. Bevil Films.

THE VIRGIN GODDESS – Script Supervisor/Editor. Directed by Dirk de Villiers. Feature starring Isabel Sarli. Bevil Films.

HOUSE OF THE LIVING DEAD – Editor. Directed by Ray Austin starring Shirley Ann Field and Mark Burns. Capital Films.

DIE SPOOK VAN DONKERGAT – Director/Editor. Starring Pip Freedman, Pieter van der Byl (Piet Pompies) and Nerina Ferreira. Capital Films.

         AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

         One of first women in South Africa to direct a feature film.

MY BROER SE BRIL – Script Supervisor/Editor. Directed by Dirk de Villiers. Bevil Films

DIE LEWE SONDER JOU – Script Supervisor/Editor. Directed by Dirk de Villiers. Bevil Films.

ZEBRA – Assistant editor. Cavalier Films.

A NEW LIFE – Assistant editor. Cavalier Films.

VICKI – Assistant editor. Cavalier Films.

GOLD SQUAD – Assistant editor. Cavalier Films.

DIE DRIE VAN DER MERWES – Assistant editor. Cavalier Films.

SIEN JOU MORE – Assistant editor. Cavalier Films.

THE GAUNT WOMAN Editing Intern Universal Pictures MOW. Directed by Boris Sagal starring Rachel Roberts and Lorne Greene. Pinewood Studios. London (1969).

Audio Kine Africa (1968). Assistant editor in Cape Town, South Africa Commercials and documentaries for clients including Peter Stuyvesant, Rothmans, Dunhill and Lexington working with internationally acclaimed director Ashley Lazarus.

Assistant editor from 1967 -1968. AKA Productions, Cape Town (commercials).

Image of Diana and Lionel Friedberg
Diana with her husband Lionel Friedberg. Together they have run a successful motion picture and television company for over 40 years.

AUTHOR:

MAKE THE CUT

A Guide to becoming a Successful Assistant Editor in Film and TV.
2010
Co-authored with Lori Jane Coleman.

JUMP•CUT
How to Jump•Start Your Career as a Film Editor
2016
Co-authored with Lori Jane Coleman.

WORLD ON A STRING: A COMPANION FOR BOOK LOVERS
2013
Photographic Publication.

REFLECTIONS
2016
Photographic Publication.

MYSTICAL CONNECTIONS: BEYOND SYMBOLS
2021
Photographic Publication.

 

OTHER:

MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS AND SCREENINGS

The Corning Museum of Glass, New York

LIFE ON A STRING exhibition. May – September 2013

Videos and images from WORLD ON A STRING featured in the exhibition.

         AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

 “On behalf of everyone here at the Museum, I’d like to thank you again for so generously sharing your videos and images. Everything you shared with us has enhance our visitors’ understanding of bead history”

Mary C. Mills, the Corning Museum of Glass

 

LACMA Los Angeles.

October 2004.

World premiere of WORLD ON A STRINGPart One -The Eternal Bead.

Gala event sponsored by the Los Angeles Bead Society, The Decorative Arts Council of LACMA and the Lucy Gonda Foundation.

 

The Bead Museum, Washington D.C.

December 2004 through September 2005.

Exhibition: The Eternal Bead based on Part OneThe Eternal Bead

Film had a gala premiere at the U.S. Naval Heritage Center

Sponsored by the Bead Society of Greater Washington

 

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, California

September 2005.

World Premier of WORLD ON A STRING Part Two – The Tiny Mighty Bead

 

The Bead Museum, Washington D.C.

June 2006 – August 2007.

Exhibition: Sacred Beads and Symbols of Faith based on Part Three – The Sacred Bead

Film had a gala East Coast premiere at the U.S. Naval Heritage Center.

 

The Bead Museum, Washington DC

Oct 2007 – Oct 2008 .

Exhibition: Earth’s Treasures based on Part FourTheTreasured Bead

East Coast premiere at the U.S Naval Heritage Center

 

Tropen Museum – Amsterdam

Exhibition: Pracht en Kraal – van Madonna tot de Masai. (Beauty and the Beadfrom Madonna to the Masaai)

December 2006 – May 2007.

WORLD ON A STRING Parts One, Two and Three included as part of the exhibition.

 

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

“We are honored and grateful to be able to include parts of your wonderful DVDs in our exhibition and publication.”

Loan Oei, guest curator.

 

Izoko National Museum of Art – Cape Town, South Africa.

June 2005.

WORLD ON A STRING Part Two – The Tiny Mighty Bead screened as part of South African beadwork exhibition.

 

International Bead and Beadwork Conference – Istanbul.

November 2007.

WORLD ON A STRING Part Four – The Treasured Bead, screened as opening night gala celebration.

 

Bowers Museum

October 2007

Premiere screening of WORLD ON A STRING Part Four – The Treasured Bead sponsored by the Bead Society of Los Angeles and the Orange County Bead Society.

 

The Bead Museum, Washington D.C.

September 2008

Exhibition: Passion for Beads based on WORLD ON A STRING Part Five – A Passion for Beads

Film had a gala East Coast premiere at the U.S. Naval Heritage Center

 

Denver Museum of Nature and Science 2011.

Exhibition on seed beads included extracts from WORLD ON A STRINGThe Tiny Mighty Bead

 

 

Glendale Bead Museum, Phoenix Arizona.

Series played continuously in the museum as part of their permanent exhibition.

 

Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show Jogs pavilion 2016.

Curated Museum Exhibition entitled World on a String featuring items from my personal collection accompanied by screenings of World on a String.

 

Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show Jogs pavilion 2017.

Curated Museum Exhibition entitled WORLD ON A STRING featuring items from my personal collection accompanied by screenings of WORLD ON A STRING.

 

The National Museum of Nature Science

Silicon World: Rock, Crystal & Glass Beads. Taiwan 2018,

WORLD ON A STRING extracts incorporated in the exhibition.

 

 

 

Image of Diana and Lionel Friedberg with family

Diana Friedberg with her family at the 2017 ACE Eddie Awards

Contact Diana Friedberg

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Email Diana directly at dianafriedberg@sbcglobal.net