Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey


Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

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2011 . US. Constance Marks. 76 min. Color.

"A classic American tale… A generous, heartwarming story. For any adult feeling overwhelmed by bad news and dark times, your antidote is right here." – Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

Kevin Clash is the subject of this documentary, examining his life from his teenage days in Baltimore to those as a father and Muppeteer who travels the world.  Clash’s characters include Elmo, Hoots the Owl and Baby Natasha. He is Sesame Street’s Senior Puppet Coordinator and Muppet Captain as well as Sesame Workshop’s Senior Creative Consultant.

He began building puppets at the age of 10 and performed on Baltimore’s Harbor Front and local television as a teenager. Clash’s first television work was for the CBS affiliate in Baltimore. He came to Sesame Street after attracting the attention of MuppetTM designer Kermit Love. Clash’s film credits include Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I and II, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets from Space and Elmo in Grouchland.

His most recent work includes directing and appearing Clash won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series for his work as Elmo in Sesame Street Seasons 21, 35-37, 39-41 and in 2001-2008 and 2010 -2011 for his work as Co-Executive Producer for Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series.

In September 2006, Clash released his autobiography, My Life as a Furry Red Monster, What Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love, and Laughing Out Loud.

Awards and Prizes for Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

Special Jury Price – Documentary, Sundance Film Festival

Audience Award, Nantucket Film Festival

Winner – Audience Award – Best Documentary & Special Jury Award, Traverse City Film Festival

Top Ten Audience Favorites – Hot Docs

Best of Seattle International Film Festival

"[ONE OF THE FIVE BEST INDIE MOVIES TO SEE THIS MONTH] REMARKABLE…a heartwarming story of how one person realized his dream, and made significant sacrifices along the way." – Leonard Maltin, THE HUFFINGTON POST

"CRITICS’ PICK! A winning tale of the persistence and creativity behind one of the most famous and fuzziest faces in the world." – Neil Genzlinger, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Inspiring… Deeply Moving… Even committed Elmo-haters may be converted by the time the closing credits roll." – Noel Murray, A.V. CLUB

"Of all the fur-swathed celebrities at the Sundance Film Festival this year, none holds a candle to Elmo… The squeaky-voiced muppet moved fans to tears Sunday at the world premiere." – Julie Makinen, LOS ANGELES TIMES

"It is impossible to come out of this documentary about Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo, without wanting to hug someone." – Jada Yuan, VULTURE/NEW YORK MAGAZINE



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