Pentimento Productions was founded in 2013 by filmmaker Susan Lacy, with the support of her longtime collaborators Jessica Levin and Emma Pildes. Pentimento is an independent production company, with offices in both New York and Los Angeles.


Susan Lacy is most well known for creating AMERICAN MASTERS, the acclaimed PBS biography series profiling artists & visionaries who have helped shape our country’s culture. Susan created the series in 1986 and went on to serve as its Executive Producer for nearly 30 years. AMERICAN MASTERS has garnered unprecedented awards over the years – Susan earned the series 71 Emmy nominations and 28 wins, including a remarkable 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series, in addition to 12 Peabody awards, 3 Grammy awards and a nomination, and an Academy award and 4 nominations. Susan has also directed multiple award-winning films for the series: Inventing David Geffen, Judy Garland: By Myself, Joni Mitchell: A Woman of Heart and Mind, Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note, Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice, Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval. She produced the AMERICAN MASTERS films Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time, LennoNYC, and No Direction Home: Bob Dylan. In 2013, Susan began a new chapter in her long and celebrated career - she made the move from public television to independent filmmaking, with the formation of her own company, Pentimento Productions. Susan is thriving in her new role, now focused solely on directing and producing. Her first films at Pentimento are already underway, as part of a multi-picture deal with HBO.

Jessica Levin Emmy and Peabody award winning producer Jessica Levin has devoted her career to creating high quality non-fiction films, bringing to each new project her passion for music and the arts as well as her seasoned approach to archival material and inventive storytelling. She has collaborated with Susan Lacy on a rich variety of films, including AMERICAN MASTERS documentaries Joni Mitchell: A Woman of Heart and Mind, Judy Garland: By Myself, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, Annie Leibovitz: Life Through A Lens, LennoNYC, and Inventing David Geffen. Some of Jessica’s earlier producing credits include PBS projects Swingin’ with Duke and The Shakespeare Sessions plus ABC specials Wingspan and The Beatles’ Revolution. Jessica is one of Pentimento’s principal producers and is based in Los Angeles.

Emma Pildes With over a decade of experience in documentary film Emma Pildes has a strong background in non-fiction storytelling, archival research and documentary film production. She began her career in 2003 and has since been lucky enough to work for some of New York City’s top documentary filmmakers. In 2008, Emma came to work with Susan Lacy at AMERICAN MASTERS, helping to produce the Emmy and Peabody-award winning LennoNYC, Emmy-award winning Inventing David Geffen, as well as American Masters: Billie Jean King. Emma is one of Pentimento’s principal producers and is based in New York City.

Rupeshi Shah is an independent filmmaker based in New York City. She attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is now working as an associate producer at Pentimento, as well as showcasing her first major short film, “Radha."







Click here to learn more on HBO


ANNOUNCEMENT (Deadline, January 2018) - Documentary Jane Fonda in Five Acts, which is set for its world premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, will air later this year on HBO.

Directed and produced by award-winning documentarian Susan Lacy, Jane Fonda in Five Acts is described as an intimate look at Fonda’s singular journey. It draws on 21 hours of interviews with Fonda, who speaks candidly and frankly about her life and her missteps. She explores the pain of her mother’s suicide, her father’s emotional unavailability, 30 years of an eating disorder and three marriages to highly visible, yet diametrically opposed, men. The docu also includes interviews with family and friends, including Robert Redford, Lily Tomlin, producer Paula Weinstein and former spouses Tom Hayden and Ted Turner, among others, as well as rare home movies and verité footage of the 80-year-old Fonda’s busy life today at, as she puts it, “the beginning of my last act.”

Lacy is the creator and former executive producer of the celebrated WNET series American Masters, which is shown on PBS nationwide. Her previous HBO documentary, Spielberg, debuted on the network in October.

HBO Documentary Films presents a Pentimento production; produced and directed by Lacy; produced by Emma Pildes and Jessica Levin; edited by Benjamin Gray; co-edited by Kris Liem; director of photography, Sam Painter; music by Paul Cantelon.

The documentary will also be available on HBO Now, HBO Go, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.




Click here to view on HBO


ALSO SCREENED AT: Hamptons International Film Festival 2017, Rome Film Festival 2017, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2017, among multiple others

HBO PRESS RELEASE (July 2017) - One of the most famous filmmakers in the world, Steven Spielberg pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career more than ever before in the exclusive HBO presentation SPIELBERG. The feature-length documentary examines Spielberg’s filmography in depth, revealing how his experiences fed his work and changed it over time. Directed and produced by award-winning documentarian Susan Lacy, this unprecedented chronicle debuts SATURDAY, OCT. 7, exclusively on HBO.

The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

Steven Spielberg has built an unrivaled catalogue of groundbreaking films over the course of his nearly 50-year career. Charting the evolution of this iconic figure, Lacy draws on nearly 30 hours of exclusive interviews with the director, who opens up about his bittersweet childhood and lifelong obsession with moviemaking, his precocious early work as a TV “wunderkind,” his rise to fame through an incredible string of blockbusters, his later forays into more serious dramatic films, and the personal and professional relationships he’s cultivated through the years.

SPIELBERG also includes insights from members of Spielberg’s family, as well as friends and colleagues, plus clips and behind-the-scenes footage from many of his milestone films, including “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Bridge of Spies” and many more.

Lacy interviewed more than 80 subjects for the film, ranging from A-list celebrities, to directors and producers, to industry insiders, including J.J. Abrams, Christian Bale, Drew Barrymore, Cate Blanchett, Francis Ford Coppola, Daniel Craig, Daniel Day-Lewis, Brian de Palma, Laura Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Dreyfuss, Ralph Fiennes, Harrison Ford, David Geffen, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Holly Hunter, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ben Kingsley, Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, Liam Neeson, Martin Scorsese, Oprah Winfrey and Robert Zemeckis.

The result is a remarkably intimate portrait that combines Spielberg’s compelling first-person narrative with an in-depth exploration of the creative process and craftsmanship that have set him apart, highlighting themes such as separation, reconciliation, patriotism, humanity and wonder, which recur throughout his work.

Susan Lacy is the creator and former executive producer of the celebrated WNET series “American Masters,” which is shown on PBS nationwide. She has won countless awards, including ten Primetime Emmys® for Outstanding Documentary Series and 12 Peabody Awards. As executive producer of “American Masters,” Lacy produced a library of 250 films exploring the lives of America’s most enduring cultural icons, from Charlie Chaplin to James Baldwin to Bob Dylan. She has also directed films on subjects as diverse as Leonard Bernstein, David Geffen, Joni Mitchell, Judy Garland, Paul Simon, Rod Serling and Lena Horne.

An HBO Documentary Films presentation, SPIELBERG is directed and produced by Susan Lacy; produced by Emma Pildes and Jessica Levin; edited by Deborah Peretz.



MARCH 2016

Untitled Comedy Documentaries

COMEDY CENTRAL PRESS RELEASE - “Comedy Central is making an unprecedented commitment to a series of cutting edge comedy documentaries that will offer a specific and unique take on compelling stories from the world of comedy – a project conceived for the network by Emmy®-nominated “Drunk History” and “Another Period” executive producer and director, Jeremy Konner, and Pentimento Productions documentary Producer Emma Pildes. The network is partnering with Konner and the award-winning team at Susan Lacy’s Pentimento Productions — Emma Pildes, Jessica Levin and the legendary documentarian Susan Lacy — creator and former executive producer of the multiple award-winning PBS cultural biography series “American Masters.”’

The series will invite notable comedy talent, writers, producers and directors to tell a specific story that is personal, unique and anchored in comedy. Each documentary will have its own look, feel and sensibility based on the storyteller’s personal perspective. These new stories will be surprising, funny and will use a visual language to give each film a singular identity.




Susan Lacy, the creator and executive producer of the celebrated WNET series “American Masters,” shown on PBS nationwide, has signed a multi-picture deal to produce and direct documentaries for HBO. Lacy, who created “American Masters” in 1986, stated, “It has been my honor to be part of the PBS and WNET family for so many years…I am now thrilled to become part of the HBO family. To work with the amazing Sheila Nevins and her team is the dream of most documentary filmmakers, and to be able to focus solely on producing and directing documentary films at a place which is creating some of the best television in history is an opportunity I couldn’t resist.” Lacy’s first two feature-length documentaries for HBO are already underway. More details to follow.




Susan Lacy - President, Director, Producer

Jessica Levin 

Emma Pildes 


601 W 26th Street, Suite 1776, NEW YORK, NY 10001