Bill Carter is the director of the award-winning documentary film Miss Sarajevo, a surreal and startling portrait of Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia, during the height of the city’s siege, which includes personal accounts from his experiences delivering aid to the besieged city of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. Bono was the film’s executive producer and U2, along with Luciano Pavorotti, performed the theme song “Miss Sarajevo.” In completely extraordinary circumstances, during the war Carter established a live satellite feed between the people of Sarajevo and many of the 1993 European concerts on U2’s legendary ZooTV tour. For Sarajevans, this was an opportunity to speak to millions of young people about life under siege and destruction of Sarajevo, and helped to spur world action to end the conflict. Carter met U2 in Italy in 1993 for an interview for Sarajevo television. Miss Sarajevo won the International Monitor Award, the Golden Hugo, and the Maverick Director Award (Newport Beach Film Festival).
Carter’s first book, Fools Rush In, was about his experiences hand-delivering 1,200 tons of food during the Bosnian War and takes the reader on an emotional journey from Alaska to Sarajevo to the Southwest U.S. and back again. Bono described Carter’s memoir as “Dante’s Inferno for the MTV Generation. What a guide Bill Carter turns out to be to the hell of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. Oddly, and inspiringly, he finds some heaven there.”
Carter has since held more than 50 lectures at universities such as Harvard, New York University & Boston College – showing his film “Miss Sarajevo” and talking about the war in Bosnia. In 2009, he was given honorary citizenship to Sarajevo – an honor normally bestowed upon heads of state (he is the second journalist to receive the honor, after Christiane Amanpour).
Carter’s second memoir, Red Summer, is the true story of his experience set net fishing in Egegik, Alaska on the shores of Bristol Bay over the course of four seasons. The book chronicles the extreme physical and mental exhaustion involved in harvesting wild salmon from the largest and most sustainable fish run in the world. The memoir follows the rugged sea captain Sharon Hart who is both revered and highly respected for her skill and experience in a profession mostly dominated by men.
Carter’s third book Boom Bust Boom not only delves into saving Bristol Bay from the prospect of Pebble Mine, but is a sweeping account of civilization’s complete dependence on copper and what it means for people, nature, and our global economy.
In the past 15 years, he has traveled to more than 70 countries and has written for magazines including Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Gear and Spin. He produced several pieces for MTV Europe, including a New Year’s Day two-hour tribute to Bosnia with bands such as Pearl Jam, Paul McCartney, U2 and others, and he has directed short documentary films for Emmylou Harris and Calexico.