Alan Berliner's uncanny ability to combine experimental cinema, artistic purpose, and popular appeal in compelling film essays has made him one of America's most acclaimed independent filmmakers. Berliner's experimental documentary films, First Cousin Once Removed (2013), Wide Awake (2006), The Sweetest Sound (2001), Nobody’s Business (1996), Intimate Stranger (1991), and The Family Album (1986), have been broadcast all over the world, and received awards, prizes, and retrospectives at many major international film festivals. All of his films are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. In July of 2013, Berliner was awarded the Freedom of Expression Award by the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. In 2006, the International Documentary Association honored him with an International Trailblazer Award “for creativity, innovation, originality, and breakthrough in the field of documentary cinema.” Berliner had also been a recipient of a Distinguished Achievement Award from the IDA in 1993. In 2002, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture presented him with a Cultural Achievement Award in the Arts, and he was the recipient of the Storyteller Award from the Taos Talking Picture Film Festival in 2001. Berliner is a recipient of Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Jerome Foundation Fellowships, and has received multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He’s won three Emmy Awards and received seven Emmy nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In addition to his work in film, Berliner has also produced a substantial body of photographic, audio and video installation works. His early "para-cinematic" photographs, scrolls and collages were exhibited at the Hunter College Art Gallery, The Collective for Living Cinema, and The Munson Williams Proctor Institute in the early eighties. CINE-MATRIX (1977) part of an exhibition titled, FRAMES: Two Dimensional Work by Film Artists, held at the Hunter College Art Gallery in 1980 was reviewed in Art Forum.