When one of the most prolific art forgers in US history is finally exposed, he must confront the legacy of his 30-year con.
Mark Landis has been called one of the most prolific art forgers in US history. His impressive body of work spans thirty years, covering a wide range of painting styles and periods that includes 15th Century Icons, Picasso, and even Walt Disney. And while the copies could fetch impressive sums on the open market, Landis isn’t in it for money. Posing as a philanthropic donor, a grieving executor of a family member’s will, a Jesuit priest, among others, Landis has given away hundreds of works over the years to a staggering list of institutions across the United States. But after duping Matthew Leininger, a tenacious registrar who ultimately discovers the decades-long ruse and sets out to expose his philanthropic escapades to the art world, Landis must confront his own legacy and a chorus of museum professionals clamoring for him to stop. Rooted in questions of authorship and authenticity, ART AND CRAFT starts out as a cat-and-mouse art caper, and what emerges is an intimate story of obsession and the universal need for community, appreciation, and purpose.
About the Filmmakers
Jennifer Grausman directed and produced the feature documentary Art and Craft, which was winner of the National Board of Review Top 5 Documentaries in 2014. Art and Craft opened theatrically across the country as well as in France and Japan before being broadcast on PBS via POV. Previously she directed and produced the Emmy-nominated feature documentary Pressure Cooker (2008), which was executive produced by Participant media and garnered awards from festivals across the country including a Special Jury Commendation at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival and Best Documentary at the 2009 Philadelphia Film Festival. It opened theatrically before being shown on BET. Grausman also co-produced Eric Mendelsohn’s fiction feature 3 Backyards (2009), which won Best Director at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and she produced several short films. In addition, Grausman acted as co-director of the Screenwriters Colony in Nantucket, MA from 2010 to 2012. Prior to receiving her MFA from the film program at Columbia University, she was the manager of exhibition and film funding at The Museum of Modern Art. She earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in art history at Duke University.
Sam Cullman is an award-winning cinematographer, producer and director of documentaries. ART AND CRAFT (2014), which Cullman shot, produced and directed with director/producer Jennifer Grausman and co-director/editor Mark Becker, won the National Board of Review Top 5 Documentaries in 2014 and was shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Awards. Cullman also produced and shot the Peabody and Sundance Grand Jury prize-winning THE HOUSE I LIVE IN (2012), directed by Eugene Jarecki. Later that year his short film, BLACK CHEROKEE (2012), which Cullman directed, shot and produced with Benjamin Rosen, premiered at DOC NYC. His first film, IF A TREE FALLS (2011), which Cullman co-directed, produced and shot with director/ producer Marshall Curry, won the U.S. Documentary Editing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and later received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature. In addition to camerawork on his own films, Cullman’s cinematography has also appeared in dozens of other documentaries including A CLASS DIVIDE (2016), WATCHERS OF THE SKY (2014), REAGAN (2011), KAMP KATRINA (2009) and KING CORN (2006). A graduate of Brown University (1999) with Honors in Visual Art and a second major in Urban Studies, Cullman currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Mark Becker co-directed and edited the documentary Art and Craft (2014), which was shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Awards, won recognition with the National Board of Review, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and screened theatrically via Oscilloscope Laboratories. Becker directed and edited the Emmy-nominated documentary Pressure Cooker (2008) for Participant Media; the film won jury and audience awards at many film festivals before opening theatrically. He produced, directed and edited the documentary Romantico (2005), which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, received two Independent Spirit Award nominations (including Best Documentary), and was released theatrically by Kino International. Becker produced and edited the documentary Elevate (2011), wrote and edited the Emmy-nominated documentary Circo (2010), and was one of two editors on the acclaimed Lost Boys of Sudan (2003), winner of an Independent Spirit Award. He is currently developing documentary and narrative films, and consulting on several documentaries in various stages of production. Previously, Becker worked at Lucasfilm as a documentary editor for several years and received his MA in documentary film from Stanford University.