The grandson of the hot dog emporium’s founders Nathan and Ida Handwerker has completed a 30-year project: a documentary about Nathan’s Famous, titled “Famous Nathan.” Lloyd Handwerker’s grandfather died when he was 17, and the 57-year-old Brooklyn filmmaker pieced together his family’s history as a cinematographer-director. He told Indiewire that a book might be in the works.
Tell us about yourself: I was born in Brooklyn and my parents moved us to Long Island. I sure wish we had stayed in Brooklyn. Sorry, Long Island but Brooklyn is where i belong.
My apartment is a complete mess right now. It’s filled with cans containing tens of thousands of feet of home movie footage. I’m really looking forward to getting back to my normal messy apartment. I’m a cinematographer by trade and I cant wait to work on someone elses project for a change.
Biggest challenge in completing this project? Knowing it’s done!
What do you have in the works? Well, I am planning to start work on a book about Nathan’s Famous. I have collected a tremendous amount of family, archival and interview material during the process of making this documentary and would like to do a book that honors all the people that helped to create Nathan’s.
Did you crowdfund for this project? Not YET but i am going to be doing a kickstarter campaign to pay back my debts after the film screens in New York.
What cameras did you use? All of them. Seriously, i used almost all of them. This was a thirty year project!
Did you go to film school? NYU Graduate Tisch School of the Arts, and Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, N.Y.
What films have inspired you? Too many to name: American films from the 70s French New wave “Nobody Knows” by Hirokazu Koreeda, As a kid: “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”–my grandfather Nathan loved that film as well.. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly movies… Many documentaries including Shoah, “Sherman’s March,” “Tokyo Olympiad,” “Nobody’s Business” by Alan Berliner. And all Jerry Lewis movies!
Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about
their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and
what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up
to the 2014 festival. Go HERE to read all the entries.