DER Filmmaker – Dennis Lanson

Dennis Lanson

United States
  • Dennis Lanson has been writing, producing and directing film and video since the 1970s.

    Phans of Jersey City (1979), distributed by DER and co-directed by Steve Forman, screened at New Directors/New Films and on PBS stations; Booming (1982), a documentary about uranium mining in Wyoming in winter, screened at Edinburgh, Denver, Park City, and other international festivals; Pitstop (2002), an independent feature, a dark comedy about nine people stuck in the same motel beside an interstate, also toured the festival circuit, was broadcast on WGBH, and premiered at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

    Recent video projects include Seeking the 36 (2010), a half-hour documentary about the Lamed Vov, the mythical “just souls” that in Jewish lore are said to balance the evil in the world; Gringolandia (2011) about the impact of gringo settlers on a small city in Mexico; and The Opus 139 Project (2013) (trailer) about a Gloucester organ builder, CB Fisk Inc., and the process of contracting, designing, and installing a large organ in Harvard University’s Memorial Chapel.

    Mr. Lanson is a former member of the Writers Guild of America West, has authored numerous screenplays, and has worked on crew and as an editor on a range of documentary films. Among his editorial credits are documentaries for A&E, Discovery, the History Channel, and PBS.

    For his non-fiction work, which has focused on issues of community, work, and culture, Lanson has received grants from the AFI, and state Humanities and Arts Councils in Wyoming, New Jersey and NY. For his screenwriting, he has won artist fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, VCCA, and the Djerassi Foundation.

    Currently a full professor at Endicott College, Dennis Lanson has also taught filmmaking at Cal Arts, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Brooks Institute, Boston University, The Museum School, and Emerson College. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of the Arts and was a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute, Los Angeles.