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Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
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Part of Thalia Docs / Film

2011. US. Constance Marks. 76 min. Color.

Special Jury Price - Documentary, Sundance Film Festival

Audience Award, Nantucket Film Festival

Winner - Audience Award - Best Documentary & Special Jury Award, Traverse City Film Festival

Top Ten Audience Favorites - Hot Docs

Best of Seattle International Film Festival


"[ONE OF THE FIVE BEST INDIE MOVIES TO SEE THIS MONTH] REMARKABLE...a heartwarming story of how one person realized his dream, and made significant sacrifices along the way." - Leonard Maltin, THE HUFFINGTON POST

"CRITICS' PICK! A winning tale of the persistence and creativity behind one of the most famous and fuzziest faces in the world." - Neil Genzlinger, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"A classic American tale... A generous, heartwarming story. For any adult feeling overwhelmed by bad news and dark times, your antidote is right here." - Elizabeth Weitzman, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

"Inspiring... Deeply Moving... Even committed Elmo-haters may be converted by the time the closing credits roll." - Noel Murray, A.V. CLUB

"Of all the fur-swathed celebrities at the Sundance Film Festival this year, none holds a candle to Elmo... The squeaky-voiced muppet moved fans to tears Sunday at the world premiere." - Julie Makinen, LOS ANGELES TIMES

"It is impossible to come out of this documentary about Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo, without wanting to hug someone." - Jada Yuan, VULTURE/NEW YORK MAGAZINE


Kevin Clash, whose characters include Elmo, Hoots the Owl and Baby Natasha, is Sesame Street's Senior Puppet Coordinator and Muppet Captain as well as Sesame Workshop's Senior Creative Consultant.

He began building puppets at the age of 10 and performed on Baltimore's Harbor Front and local television as a teenager. Clash's first television work was for the CBS affiliate in Baltimore. He came to Sesame Street after attracting the attention of MuppetTM designer Kermit Love. Clash's film credits include Jim Henson's 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I and II, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets from Space and Elmo in Grouchland.

His television work includes The Great Space Coaster, Captain Kangaroo, Dinosaurs and Muppets Tonight. He also was Co-Executive Producer for Elmopalooza, CinderElmo, and Elmo's World; Co-Producer for The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland; and also directs Sesame Street episodes and other projects. Clash directed and co-produced the DVD series Sesame Beginnings for Sesame Workshop. Moreover, he directed and was Co-Producer for Sesame Workshop's outreach DVD Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings and Changes.

His most recent work includes directing and appearing in Talk, Listen, Connect: When Families Grieve. He also directed the MuppetTM segments of the PBS primetime special, Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times. Clash won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series for his work as Elmo in Sesame Street Seasons 21, 35-37, 39-41 and in 2001-2008 and 2010-2011 for his work as Co-Executive Producer for Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series.

In September 2006, Clash released his autobiography, My Life as a Furry Red Monster, What Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love, and Laughing Out Loud.

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