Peruvian-born New York-based documentary filmmaker Roberto Guerra died last Friday, January 10. Born in Lima on May 22, 1942, he received a degree in engineering before switching to film. At the end of the 60s, he met filmmaker Albert Maysles on his first trip to New York City, for whom he worked filming on some of his projects.
Shortly after he met Eila Hershon, who became his professional collaborator an life partner, they married in 1991. They worked on numerous film projects for over 25 years including portraits of artists and international personalities such as Frida Kahlo, Henri Langlois, and Chanel among many others. Their work was awarded at the Montreal Festival of Films on Art, and featured in numerous film festival in New York, Edinburgh, London and Los Angeles. Their work was broadcasted in several countries through PBS, A&E, Channel Four, ZDF, and RAI TV 2. Hershon died of cancer in 1993.
In the mid-nineties, Guerra met Kathy Brew and the worked on a wide range of projects including short films, art installations, and segments for Public Television WNET's City Arts and Egg, for which they won two Emmy awards. After 17 years together, they married last August. Guerra and Brew most recently premiered their feature documentary Design is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli, which was released at the IFC Center last October. They were working on several documentary projects. Guerra also thought video at Rutgers University.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Roberto Guerra's name are requested for the following: The Lustgarten Foundation (involved in pancreatic cancer research) or Haven Hospice.
A memorial is on the planning at the Maysles Film Institute at a later date.
Pictured: Roberto Guerra with Kathy Brew in 2012.