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Cinematographer/filmmaker Richard Pearce made an auspicious directorial debut in 1979 with Heartland, a moving, unflinching look at the struggle of a turn-of-the-century Wyoming farm family that earned a Golden Bear at that year's Berlin Film Festival. Pearce earned an English degree from Yale and a degree in political economics from the New School for Social Research in New York before going on to film several documentaries in the early '70s including Woodstock (1970) and Marjoe (1972). His interest in filmmaking stemmed from assisting in the creation of Don't Look Back (1967), Pennebaker's documentary portrait of Bob Dylan. Following the success of Heartland, Pearce earned more critical praise for his films Threshold (1983) and Country (1984). He continues to both make feature films and work as a cinematographer.

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