Martyn Burke, novelist and director/writer of both documentaries and dramatic films, has traveled extensively from the Arctic Circle to the Amazon jungles to find himself in the middle of wars, revolutions and movies.
Martyn Burke’s feature credits include co-writing with Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker, Paramount’s cult comedy classic, TOP SECRET, writer of HBO’S timely and biting political satire, THE SECOND CIVIL WAR, writer of HBO’S biopic about legendary Chicago mafia don, Sam Giancana (starring John Turturro), and writer/director of the hit TNT film PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY which was nominated for five Emmys including Best Screenplay and Best Picture, the Producers Guild Award for Best Film, Directors Guild Award for Best Directing and the Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay.
He is currently developing the HBO series, REDS based on experiences out of his early days of filmmaking when he took a camera crew all over America, only later discovering that the sound technician was a KGB colonel running a major espionage ring.
His extensive credits as a documentary filmmaker include the recent and controversial PBS documentary ISLAM VS. ISLAMISTS: Voices from the Muslim Center, a film shot in Europe and North America revealing the dangers Muslim moderates face by standing up to radical extremists who are working to co-opt their religion; CONNECTIONS, the blockbuster expose on the Italian mafia in North America, and WITNESSES, the powerful, award winning, behind-the-lines film on the last days of the Soviet War in Afghanistan.
Other documentary subjects have ranged from the street gangs in Los Angeles, to the domestic travails of lower income families and life on the road with a huge carnival traveling across the America.
His novels; LAUGHING WAR; THE COMMISSAR’S REPORT, IVORY JOE; TIARA; THE SHELLING OF BEVERLY HILLS and THE TRUTH ABOUT THE NIGHT are often inspired by the places, situations and characters he has experienced through his camera lenS.
Dr. Feinstein received his medical degree in South Africa. Thereafter he completed his training in Psychiatry at the Royal Free Hospital in London, England, before training as a neuro-psychiatrist at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square in London. His Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. Degree were obtained through the University of London, England. He is currently a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
His neuropsychiatry research has focused on behavioral disorders associated with multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and hysteria (Conversion Disorders), while always continuing his ground-breaking research into the questions, “How are journalists affected emotionally by their work in war zones and what motivates them to pursue such dangerous occupations?"
In 2000-2001 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study mental health issues in post-apartheid Namibia. This led to the development of that country’s first rating scale for mental illness. He is currently engaged on a similar project in Botswana.
Dr. Feinstein is the author of Dangerous Lives: War and the Men and Women Who Report It (Thomas Allen, Toronto 2003), The Clinical Neuropsychiatry of Multiple Sclerosis (Cambridge University Press 1999, with a second edition in 2007), In Conflict (New Namibia Books, 1998), an autobiographical account of his time as a medical officer in the Angolan and Namibian wars, Michael Rabin, America’s Virtuoso Violinist (Amadeus Press, 2005) and Journalists Under Fire: the Psychological Hazards of Covering War (John Hopkins University Press). His most recent book is Battle Scarred: the Hidden costs of the Border War (Tafelberg, 2011) He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and has authored many book chapters.