2021 Honorary Fellow
Professor Alan Rosenthal is a distinguished film director, noteworthy for his expertise in documentary films. Born in England, Professor Rosenthal holds a master’s degree in law from the University of Oxford, a master’s degree in communications from Stanford University, and practised as a solicitor for several years, working in film financing. With a long career in documentary filmmaking, Professor Rosenthal has been director, writer, and producer of more than 60 films for broadcasting companies around the world, including ZDF in Germany, ARTE in France, the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, ABC, Israel TV, and the CBC.
Based in Jerusalem, Professor Rosenthal is a world expert on documentaries and docudramas, with historical and social matters at the heart of his work. Some of his important works include The Fatal Clash, The First Fagin, Stalin’s Last Purge, Adolf Eichmann - The Secret Memoirs, Waves of Freedom, and Heritage: Civilization and the Jews, which won him an Emmy Award. Professor Rosenthal also received other major accolades including the Christopher Award, a Peabody Award for journalism, and the CINE Golden Eagle Award.
Held in high esteem in the field, Professor Rosenthal has been engaged by many prestigious film schools, including the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, the University of North Texas, New York University, Rowan University, the London School of Economics, Leeds Beckett University, London Film School, York University, and the Victorian College of the Arts at The University of Melbourne. Professor Rosenthal was instrumental in helping in the development of Stanford University’s highly-regarded documentary programme. He was also a professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at Hebrew University for more than 40 years.
Committed to passing on his experience to a younger generation of filmmakers and documentarians, Professor Rosenthal has published seminal textbooks in film, documentary, and non-fiction film production, sharing his observations in theory and in practice. His publications include The Documentary Diaries: Working Experiences of a Non-Fiction Filmmaker, Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Digital Videos, and Why Docudrama?: Fact-Fiction on Film and TV.
A long-time supporter of the School of Film and Television at the Academy, Professor Rosenthal has contributed significantly to the academic development of the School. He has been regularly engaged as an advisor for the School, in his capacity as an external academic reviewer, and has assisted with the School’s academic programme validation and accreditation. Professor Rosenthal first visited the Academy for an initial introduction to the Division of Television in the School of Technical Arts in 1993. His valuable advice in reviewing the curriculum greatly contributed to the design of the School’s first degree programme. In his subsequent visits to Hong Kong over the years, he has delivered multiple workshops and seminars for Academy students, as well as providing professional development for faculty members.