Robert has taught an interdisciplinary humanities course exploring contemporary China, India, and the Middle East at Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, CA since 1995, as well as a course dedicated to his literary mentor, William Shakespeare. In 2007, Mr. Adanto was the recipient of the National Association of Independent Schools' Leading Edge Award for Global Sustainability, for the AIDS education and activism program he founded in 2006, the Crossroads Teen AIDS Ambassadors.
Robert’s debut feature-length documentary film, The Rising Tide, explored China’s meteoric march toward the future through the work of some of the Middle Kingdom's most talented photographers and video artists, including Wang Qingsong, Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Yang Yong, Chen Qiulin and O Zhang. Shot in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen in the summer of 2006, this unflinching and incisive study captures the confusion and ambiguity that characterize the new China. “An often surprising and thought-provoking documentary,” wrote WICN’s Mark Lynch, “The rest of us better make an effort to grasp what their work is about, or get out of the way. An “eye-opener” in every sense of the word, if you are an artist, curator or art teacher be sure to catch this film.”
The documentary premiered at the United Kingdom's China Now! Festival as part of Constant Stream: China 08 at the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre in London, where it screened with a film by acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhangke. The film has also enjoyed screenings at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Smithsonian Institution's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, The National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, The Worcester Art Museum, and The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami. The film was also featured at The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, screening in conjunction Shanghai Kaleidoscope, an exhibition curated by Christopher Phillips of the International Center for Photography in NY, and was an Official Selection of The Cape Winelands Film Festival in Cape Town, South Africa. In May of 2009, the film also screened in association with Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, MA. In June, the film was screened in conjunction with The China Project at The Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia and The Works Art and Design Festival in Edmonton, Alberta. In October of 2009, the film will screen in association with Reversed Images: Representations of Shanghai and Its Contemporary Material Culture at The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, in conjunction with Art for the Millions: 100 Sculptures from the Mao Era.
Robert is currently completing another contemporary art-related documentary entitled Pearls on the Ocean Floor. The film examines the lives and works of Iranian female artists living in and outside the Islamic Republic, and features internationally recognized artists like Shirin Neshat, Parastou Forouhar, Leila Pazooki, Makekeh Najiny, and Sara Rahbar. It will be completed in May.