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Doug Pray

Doug Pray

Filmmaker Doug Pray has directed a number of highly acclaimed feature-length documentary films about American subcultures and maverick characters.

His best-known and most recent film is SURFWISE, which tells the inspiring, humorous and often tumultuous story of legendary surfer Dr. Dorian Doc Paskowitz, his wife Juliette, and their nine children. The film premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival and was released in theaters nationwide by Magnolia Pictures. SURFWISE won the audience award at New York's Gen Art Film Festival and still enjoys a 100% Fresh rating at RottenTomatoes.com.

Doug's first film was HYPE!, a candid look at the emergence and explosion of the Seattle rock music scene, featuring Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and a ton of other local rock stars and pranksters. The movie premiered at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, was released theatrically coast-to-coast, and the DVD is available from Lions Gate. HYPE! was ranked #14 by Rolling Stone Magazine in its Top 25 Music DVD's of All Time.

Staying in the genre of rocking music docs, Doug's second feature, SCRATCH, also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. A dynamic exploration of the world of hip-hop DJs and turntablism, it features artists such as DJ Shadow, DJ Qbert, and hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa. SCRATCH was nominated for an IFP Independent Spirit Award in 2002, was released theatrically by Palm Pictures and worldwide by Intermedia Films, and the best-selling DVD is still widely available.

Last summer, Screen Media Films released BIG RIG, a broad portrait of America told through the eyes of long-haul truck drivers. This massive road film portrays 25,000 miles of U.S. highways, 45 states, and a fiercely independent group of truck drivers who defend their role as America's last cowboys.

Past films also include: INFAMY, an intense journey into the controversial world of illegal graffiti with six of America's most notorious vandals (Image Entertainment), and RED DIAPER BABY, a feature-length performance film of Josh Kornbluth's hysterical and emotional stage monologue (Sundance Channel).

In between his documentary production, Doug has worked as a commercial director. In 2006, he won an Emmy Award for an HIV-AIDS awareness campaign he shot and directed in El Salvador. He also directed a highly regarded series of short films about London workers for Dr. Martens, and a national TV campaign for gay rights in the workplace for the Gill Foundation, which won a Clio and Lion awards at the Cannes Advertising Festival. He has directed ads and short films for ESPN, Ford, Kodak, Adidas, Nike, Sprite, PBS and Kaiser Permanente, among others.

After majoring in Sociology at the Colorado College, Doug received an MFA from UCLA's Graduate School of Film and Television. He has served on the documentary juries of the Sundance, Silverdocs, AFI Fest, AFI Dallas, and SXSW Film Festivals, and is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He was born in Denver, Colorado, grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and lives in Los Angeles.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.

Doug Pray Facts

OccupationDirector

Selected Filmography

Not available.