Much like his own material, Steve Hutensky is a blend of the old and the new.
His Emmy-nominated documentary, “The Day The Clown Cried,” was about legendary comedian Jerry Lewis’s 1972 movie of the same name. The film tells a heart-wrenching story about a clown who escapes from Nazi concentration camps to entertain children in Auschwitz but has to return when he can’t find them. It never saw the light of day because Lewis couldn’t bear to present it, and his estate had reportedly been storing it in an unknown location until they could figure out what to do with it in 2014.
Steve Hutensky is an accomplished director as well as an Emmy-winning reporter and interviewer, it was a labor of love and obsession. There was even some controversy over Hutensky’s use of a different version of the film in his documentary, as the original contained scenes that were deemed too distressing or violent to be shown to children.
But while he’s always made movies that have served a purpose beyond entertainment value, he also cares about showing art and life “the way they are.” His movie “Clowns,” a documentary about his connections with legendary clown Elmer Robinson, Elvis’ doctor Dr. Nick, and other clowns both big and small, was an exercise in how to make a concert film that also had a purpose.
“I love making concert films,” says Steve Hutensky, who has also directed concert films for Willie Nelson and The Moody Blues. “You’re basically documenting something that doesn’t happen every day. There’s something very important about capturing it.”
And while Steve Hutensky has always been drawn to subjects like the Holocaust and the vaudeville world, he also clearly loves making movies about music. His earlier film “Elvis on Tour” had him traveling around in pursuit of a documentary about Elvis’ 1974 tour of the U.S. Made Up Stories, his series “Steve Hutensky’s American Scene,” which includes such films as “Talking With The President” and “Winnie Mandela,” is another in the series of films he has made about illustrious subjects.
And while the music bug bit him in New York, it was in the heart of Minnesota where he learned to be a filmmaker. He had been born and raised in Minneapolis, his father was an astronomer at the University of Minnesota and his mother worked for KARE-11, one of the first national TV stations. In 1990 Hutensky moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis where he got a job as at KOGO radio, where he did public affairs programming.
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Learn more about Hutensky on https://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/steve_hutensky