David Hoffman is one of America’s veteran documentary filmmakers. During his 40-year career, Hoffman has made five feature-length documentaries including King, Murphy, an experimental feature film about a Long Island salesman who goes to Las Vegas on a junket to gamble with other high rollers. King, Murray was the winner of the Critics Award at The Cannes Film Festival. Other feature films include: Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends, starring Scruggs with Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, and The Byrds; Sing Sing Thanksgiving, a concert feature film at Sing Sing Prison in New York with B.B. King, Joan Baez and others; and It’s All Good, a film chronicling the lives of two aggressive rollerblade teams in New York City and Los Angeles that are competing for a national prize.
David Hoffman was born in New York, New York and raised in Levittown, Long Island by parents H. Lawrence and Eve Hoffman. Hoffman's father was an illustrator and teacher at Cooper Union and his mother was a public speaker. Although his initial career path was as a professional musician, when offered the chance to play for the Minneapolis Symphony (today known as the Minnesota Orchestra), Hoffman decided to venture into storytelling as a filmmaker. At the time the handheld 16 mm camera had just come into prominence in documentary filmmaking, largely as a result of the Maysles Brothers, and Hoffman picked up a used one and began to make movies. Because of his background it was no coincidence that his first films were about musical themes, and at age 24 he was recognized by the United States Information Agency (USIA) as one of the ten best young filmmakers in America.
Hoffman’s next venture as a filmmaker was into television. He opened his own production company, and produced programs for Public Television (including The American Dream Machine series) as well as low budget features. It was during this time his feature film, King, Murray, won the top Semaine de la Critique award at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival.