Is Bert Marcus American Culture's Great New Storyteller?

Over the past decade, Marcus has produced nine films, including five documentaries – three of which he directed and wrote. Founded in 2017, Bert Marcus Film was born out of the highly successful track record of Bert Marcus Productions, the producers and financiers of acclaimed documentaries, The American Meme, The Apollo, What We Started, Champs, How to Make Money Selling Drugs and Teenage Paparazzo.   ...Read More

Forbes | June 14, 2019

"The American Meme" Is Most Disturbing Movie Of The Year

There is no fictional cautionary tale you can devise about the horrors of social media that is both as insightful and depressing as The American Meme. Directed by Bert Marcus, The American Meme unpacks and reveals the ecosystem of social media celebrity with incredible thoughtfulness. The American Meme isn’t a story about “social media gone wrong”—there are no stories about how a nude pic ruined someone’s public relationship, or how an offensive tweet cost someone a job. As you watch The American Meme, it dawns on you—in a horrifying way—that for many of the people Marcus interviews, including DJ Khaled, Paris Hilton, The Fat Jew, and The Slut Whisperer, this is a story about social media and self-branding gone right.   ...Read More

BUST | December 2018


Ultimately, my documentary [THE AMERICAN MEME] is character-driven, meant to undertake an examination of the humanity through each profiled social media influencer and their crafted personas. I wanted to explore a broad spectrum of distinct influencers that amassed followings for unique reasons.   ...Read More

Bella Magazine

“The American Meme,” a New Netflix Documentary, Records the Angst of Social-Media Influencers

Watching “The American Meme,” I found myself thinking of Sydney Pollack’s 1969 movie, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They,” which portrays a rigged Depression-era dance marathon taking place near L.A. in the course of weeks...A sadistic m.c. urges them to keep going “over broken bodies and broken dreams,” for the entertainment of intermittently cheering and jeering spectators...“Because each one of them is fighting down pain, exhaustion, weariness, struggling to keep going, battling to win.” His voice rises to hoarse scream. “And isn’t that the American way?”   ...Read More


Interview | ‘The American Meme’ Exposes the Cost of Social Media Fame

Award-winning filmmaker Bert Marcus‘ highly-anticipated social media documentary film The American Meme exposes the realities of social media fame and how the lines between reality and fiction are often blurred. The film sheds light on the highs and lows of social media and the effect it has on these “influencers,” exploring the pressure behind the spotlight, and how followers, likes, and on-going attention affects their jobs, health, relationships, and more.   ...Read More


Netflix Picks Up Doc 'The American Meme'

The doc, written and directed by Bert Marcus, explores the journeys of four distinct social media influencers — Paris Hilton, Josh Ostrovsky (aka The Fat Jewish), Brittany Furlan and Kirill Bichutsky — as they build empires out of their online footprints and rebrand the American dream.   ...Read More

The Hollywood Reporter

Netflix Acquires Bert Marcus’ Social Media Doc The American Meme

Netflix has acquired award-winning filmmaker Bert Marcus’ (Champs, What We Started) highly-anticipated social media documentary film The American Meme, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.   ...Read More

Coming Soon

Tribeca Film Review: ‘The American Meme’

“The American Meme” is a movie I very much recommend, since it’s both highly entertaining and an essential snapshot of the narcotic voyeuristic parasitic American fishbowl.   ...Read More

Variety, May 1, 2018

14 movies playing at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival that should be on your radar

This documentary looks at the people who are famous for being famous — Paris Hilton, The Fat Jew, Emily Ratajkowski, among others — and dissects what you really have to do to become a social media brand.   ...Read More

Business Insider, April 17, 2018

Best Tribeca Film Festival 2018 Movies: THE AMERICAN MEME

When Paris Hilton is a documentary’s sole voice of wisdom, you know you’re watching something special. Yet wise she is—and surprisingly vulnerable—in Bert Marcus’s zingy exploration of meme makers and their self-inflicted need to go viral at all costs. Suffused with vapidity, the doc somehow finds its way to an unexpected sadness and maybe something deeper and cautionary.   ...Read More

Time Out New York, April 11, 2018

‘Ophelia’ Film Review: Daisy Ridley Gives Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroine a Provocative Do-Over

Ridley is simply extraordinary, and she and MacKay give us a younger, lustier Ophelia and Hamlet than we usually get on the big screen. (At times, they call to mind the age-appropriate Romeo and Juliet from the 1968 Franco Zefferelli version.) She’s a girl angling to survive and to make her way through a complicated system that is designed to destroy the likes of her, and this Ophelia is nobody’s fool. It’s a tragedy that has played out countless times, but it feels fresh and powerful in this telling.   ...Read More

The Wrap, January 22, 2018

'Ophelia': Film Review | Sundance 2018

Hamlet's lady gets her day.

McCarthy’s staging of the many big scenes is impressively coherent while avoiding trendy flashiness. It’s modern but not anachronistically so in the manner of her fellow Australian Baz Luhrmann.   ...Read More

The Hollywood Reporter, January 22, 2018

‘What We Started’ Shines as the Premier Film on Electronic Music History [REVIEW]

Director Bert Marcus (previous producer of ‘How to Make Money Selling Drugs’ and ‘Teenage Paparazzo’) masterfully tells the story of how the legends of old throwing raves in empty fields and abandoned warehouses inspired the biggest boom in popularity that any musical genre has ever seen. The film utilizes modern EDM superstar Martin Garrix and the master of Space Ibiza, Carl Cox, as the focal points of the film to highlight the differences between the roots of electronic music culture to where it is now. Despite the dramatic change in crowd-size and cultural relevance, one thing remains the same for these two titans – their passion for performance and their love of the music.   ...Read More

EDM Tunes, June 21, 2017

‘What We Started’: a dance music film that gets it right

New documentary film What We Started looks to be our generation’s first veritable attempt at capturing the history of dance music in its entirety. It’s an ambitious undertaking, especially considering the traditional portrayal of dance music in Hollywood, which, more often than not, appears out-of-touch or overtly contrived.

Fortunately, What We Started is not one of those films. Where Bert Marcus’s new documentary succeeds is in its ability to present the paralleling narratives of the underground and the mainstream in tandem.   ...Read More

Dancing Astronaut, June 22, 2017

New Doc 'What We Started' Sees EDM Through the Eyes of Carl Cox & Martin Garrix

New documentary What We Started chronicles thirty years of EDM history by focusing mainly on the diverging careers of Carl Cox, one of the scene’s founders who just announced his retirement from iconic Ibiza venue, Space, and Martin Garrix, currently ranked the number one DJ in the world.

The doc was written, produced and directed by Bert Marcus, whose Bert Marcus Productions is also responsible for such films as Teenage Paparazzo, How To Make Money Selling Drugs and Champs, the latter of which was one of Netflix’s five most watched documentaries in 2015. Simultaneously, Marcus is also in production on Apollo, a film about the storied New York venue that Lee Daniels is directing. WME executive Pete Tong is executive producer and music supervisor of What We Started.   ...Read More

Billboard, October 27, 2016

Dance Music Doc 'What We Started' Chronicles the Rise of a Genre

For Marcus, a key impetus for making What We Started was to educate the public on a genre he feels is unfairly criticized. "The goal for us is to tell a story that is all-encompassing, dynamic, unexpected and certainly quite entertaining," he says. "I believe this is a misunderstood genre with a rich and robust 30-year history and we felt it needed to be shared properly with the world."   ...Read More

The Hollywood Reporter, October 27, 2016

Mean Streets: Director Bert Marcus Pushes for Change Outside the Ring in Champs

In a new documentary directed by Bert Marcus called Champs, boxing is analyzed from a variety of different views. The film hones in on the sociology of the sport, the careers it makes, and the post-ring lives of three world champs: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Bernard Hopkins. From poverty to fame to misfortune, their stories become cautionary tales of a sport in need of serious intervention. With insightful interviews and compelling footage, the film begs for changes to the rules and conditions that govern boxing, as well as the safety and welfare of amateur and professional boxers today.   ...Read More

MovieMaker, March 16, 2015

Bert Marcus On His Knockout Documentary CHAMPS

Beautifully shot reenactments and first-hand stories are interspersed with real footage of some of the most famous brawls of all-time, making for a riveting ride. But this isn’t just any sports documentary — thanks to heartfelt interviews with the film’s stars, heavyweight legends Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Bernard Hopkins, it transcends the genre to appeal to everyone, no matter if they’re interested in the “poor man’s sport” or not.   ...Read More

The Credits, March 10, 2015

‘Champs’ Review/Interview with Director Bert Marcus

Champs classifies as a must-see documentary. Examining a boxing world that’s full of sheer intensity and raw spectator value, this multi-faceted feature also exposes the sport for its unfair business practices and failure to protect the athletes involved. Writer and director, Bert Marcus, has crafted a gem. I was fortunate enough to land an early screening of Champs in addition to an interview with Marcus.   ...Read More

Baller Mind Frame, March 9, 2015

Review: The Excellent and Extremely Thought Provoking Film CHAMPS

I saw CHAMPS at Tribeca last year. It was part of a year where they ran a couple boxing documentaries (The other was MARAVILLA about Sergio Martinez) and a fiction film GLASS CHIN where boxing was a major plot point. CHAMPS was the best of the three and it was the only one I'm still thinking about almost a year later.   ...Read More

Unseen Films, March 9, 2015

The Ring Leaders

For the last few years Bert Marcus has been making a name for himself getting behind a certain type of documentary. . .Champs, which The Works is selling here at AFM, marks his directorial debut and casts a spotlight on three of the most acclaimed US boxers of the last century - Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins.

Yet this is not primarily a film about pugilism. “We tried to create a story that transcends sport and touches on some of the subjects that [elicit emotions] we can all relate to,” says Marcus ahead of AFM.

“Broken homes, poverty, lack of formal education, abuse and yet [these people] have the resources to be successful.

“The irony is these guys sought out one of the most violent sports to get away from violence. But there’s this cycle that gets them back to that.

These guys are prepared to be champions inside the ring but not outside.   ...Read More

Screen Daily, November 7, 2014

Toronto: The Works Picks Up Boxing Doc 'Champs'

The Works has picked up international sales rights on Champs, the boxing documentary that marks the directorial debut of producer Bert Marcus (How to Make Money Selling Drugs).

The Works . . . will present the doc to buyers at the upcoming American Film Market in Santa Monica in November. Tyson, who is a producer on Champs, will attend the AFM screening of the film to meet with potential buyers.   ...Read More

The Hollywood Reporter, September 22, 2014

Mike Tyson-Produced Boxing Documentary ‘Champs’ Lands U.S. Distribution

Amplify and Starz Digital Media have jointly acquired North American rights to director Bert Marcus’ documentary “Champs,” which premiered earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival and is slated for a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release in 2015.

“Champs” takes a unique look into the remarkable lives and careers of three of the world's most legendary boxers — Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Bernard Hopkins.

“There is so much to love about this illuminating and hugely entertaining film,” added Kevin Kasha, head of acquisitions for Starz. “We look forward to partnering with Bert and his team to share ‘Champs’ with audiences in the U.S. and Canada.”   ...Read More

The Wrap, September 15, 2014

Tribeca Review: Boxing Documentary 'Champs' Brings The American Dream Ringside

Director Bert Marcus makes an assured debut made particularly more impressive given he's juggling a few different formats. While "Champs" utilizes the standard talking head interview framework, it deftly weaves in re-enactments—that at times are much more beautifully shot than how that kind of material is usually treated.   ...Read More

Indiewire, April 28, 2014


In his debut doc about superstar fighters, Bert Marcus offers more sociology than boxing fans may expect, using mean-streets origin stories not just for biographical intrigue but to comment on hardships his subjects faced later in life.   ...Read More

The Hollywood Reporter, April 25th, 2014


Champs is as much about boxing as it is about the triumph, and failure, of the so-called American Dream. The Mike Tyson-produced documentary from first-time director Bert Marcus explores our very unique brand of patriotic idealism through the prism of a sport that gave us greats like Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali, a sport that can oftentimes be as awe-inspiring as it is brutal.   ...Read More

Indiewire, April 21st, 2014


As he sees it, the future of documentaries is simple: "Get a younger audience to view them as something they want to see rather than have to see."   ...Read More

Details Magazine, November 19th, 2013

Variety Honors Hollywood's New Leaders

Most documentaries bored USC grad and former Clear Channel worker Marcus, so he decided to make interesting ones like “Teenage Paparazzo” (acquired by HBO at Sundance 2010), “How to Make Money Selling Drugs” (snatched up by Tribeca Films at Toronto 2012) and, hopefully, his upcoming boxing exploration “Champs” (partly produced by Mike Tyson, who calls Marcus “a fighter”).   ...Read More

Variety, October 22, 2013

How to Get Eminem, 50 Cent, and Susan Sarandon in Your Doc: How 'How To Make Money Selling Drugs' Was Made by Bert Marcus

After producing "Teenage Paparazzo," I realized that we were once again presented with the chance to take a topic that has been explored hundreds of times and engage the viewer in ways that previous films on the topic never have. Our focus was to find a unique voice and critical angle towards improving the discussion around drugs. And How to Make Money Selling Drugs was conceived in theory.   ...Read More

Indiewire, July 2, 2013

How to Make Money Selling Drugs deals a new documentary blend

The 30-year-old Marcus believes the problem is that most documentaries aren't made with the same attention to compelling storytelling typically found in narrative features. At the same time, he feels that documentaries are reflexively marketed to a small slice of the population, guaranteeing that they will never play beyond that same narrow niche of moviegoers.   ...Read More

The LA Times, June 29, 2013

Producer Bert Marcus Explains 'How to Make Money Selling Drugs'

What sets this agit-doc apart from countless others is its unique structure; it plays out like a video game, with the viewer leveling up from foot soldier to international drug lord like they’re playing a marijuana-fueled RPG. However, unlike Mafia Wars, the subject matter covered in HTMMSD is nothing to be taken lightly.   ...Read More

Nerdist, June 28, 2013

How to Make Money Selling Drugs Cracks on the Romance of Pushing

Produced by Bert Marcus and actor and activist Adrian Grenier, How hawks decadent possibility—underscoring its allure for those who come from places of struggle—before settling into a historically grounded, wide-reaching critique of America's disastrous drug war, with an emphasis on its racist and classist policies.   ...Read More

The Village Voice, June 26, 2013

The Most Important Movie of the Summer (Hint: It's Not Man of Steel)

But the reason the film truly feels like a blockbuster is that you can't leave the theater without being shocked and outraged by what you've seen. Even if you go in feeling like you're well-versed in the insanity of the drug war, you'll walk out stunned.   ...Read More

The Huffington Post, June 19, 2013

How to Make Money Selling Drugs

The film, which features Eminem, 50 Cent, Rick Ross and others, delivers a unique perspective on the "war on drugs" and offers a glimpse into the lives of the people involved.   ...Read More

Extra, June 18th 2013

Video feature, Adrian Grenier Examines Drug Abuse in Hollywood

Former 'Entourage' star Adrian Grenier executive produces the documentary 'How to Make Money Selling Drugs,' examining drug abuse in Hollywood.   ...Read More

ETOnline Staff, September 13, 2012

Tribeca takes U.S. on ‘Drugs’ docu

The docu, directed by Cooke, centers on the world of drug dealing and drug enforcement. Film reunites producers Bert Marcus of Bert Marcus Prods. and Adrian Grenier, the team that created “Teenage Paparazzo.”   ...Read More

Variety, September 13, 2012


The provocative documentary offers an in-depth look at the high-stakes world of drug dealing and drug enforcement by blending authentic reportage with pop culture references. Directed by Matthew Cooke, the film reunites producers Bert Marcus of Bert Marcus Productions and Adrian Grenier (HBO’s Entourage), the team that created the breakout hit Teenage Paparazzo.   ...Read More

Movie City News, September 13, 2012

Documentary Takes a Business View of Street Drug Trade

“How to Make Money Selling Drugs, ” a documentary directed by Matthew Cooke and produced by Bert Marcus and Adrian Grenier, pushed the boundaries of alternative economics by examining those who sell drugs and those who prosecute the dealers as parts of the same business.   ...Read More

The New York Times, September 9, 2012

Up next: Future media mavens

Marcus raised $15 million from Wall Street, private equity firms and biotech companies to bankroll what he calls “thought-provoking films that can have a big social impact, but at the same time provide the most entertaining theatrical experience.” His philosophy: Match passionate creative talent and stylish filmmaking with the right investors and distributors.   ...Read More

Variety, December 9, 2010

Paparazzo producer fixes on ‘Drugs’

“What we’re trying to do is provide a glimpse into the lives of those involved in the ‘war on drugs’ and give some answers as to addiction,” he said. “We think the commercial prospects are going to be improved by getting recognizable people involved.”   ...Read More

Variety, December 9, 2010