Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald

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Robert Greenwald (born August 28, 1945) is an American film director, film producer, and political activist, noted in the 2000s for his documentaries critical of Fox News and of the George W. Bush administration, as well as numerous award-winning television movies from the 1980s and 1990s.

Early life

Greenwald was born and raised in New York City, the son of Harold and Ruth Greenwald.cite web | url= | title=Robert Greenwald Biography (1943-) | | accessdate=2007-11-26] He attended the city's High School of Performing Arts. He was active in New York theater, directing the plays "Me and Bessie" (1975) and "I Have a Dream" (1976).

Television and feature film career

Greenwald then moved to Los Angeles, where he launched a successful career as a director for television.

In 1977, he received his first of three Emmy Award nominations for producing the television movie "21 Hours at Munich" about the massacre at the 1972 Olympics. His next Emmy nomination came in 1984 for directing "The Burning Bed", the critically-acclaimed television movie starring Farrah Fawcett about domestic abuse. During this period he produced or directed many television movies; "The New York Times" would later characterize this work as "commercially respectable B-list movies".

Greenwald's first foray into feature films, directing Olivia Newton-John in "Xanadu" (1980), was not as successful – the film was a critical and commercial failure. [cite web |url= |title="Xanadu" |accessdate=2007-07-23 |format= | ] [ cite web |url= |title="Xanadu" (1980) – Box office / business |accessdate=2007-07-23 |format= | ] Years later, he returned to making features, producing and directing "Breaking Up" (1997), starring Salma Hayek and Russell Crowe, as well as "Steal This Movie!" (2000), the well-received biopic of 1960s and 1970s activist Abbie Hoffman.

Documentary work

After "Steal This Movie!", Greenwald turned toward making issues-oriented documentary films, most notably ' (2004). His 2006 full-length documentary, ', examines corporate business and profits behind the War in Iraq. Greenwald was also the director and producer of "" (2005), about the impact the retail chain has had on American communities. Greenwald's approach has been to adapt the principles of guerrilla filmmaking to political documentaries, using small budgets and short shooting schedules to produce timely films and then distributing them on DVDs or the Internet in affiliation with politically sympathetic groups such as news | url= | title= How to Make a Guerrilla Documentary | author=Robert S. Boynton | publisher=The New York Times | date=2004-07-11 | accessdate=2007-11-26]

He executive-produced three political documentaries known as "The Un Trilogy": ', ' (2003), which Greenwald also directed, and "".

Greenwald is the founder of Brave New Films, a media company that has published additional documentary films such as ', ' and, "". Brave New Films has also released a pair of television series entitled "ACLU Freedom Files" and "The Sierra Club Chronicles". Brave New Films has recently formed a partnership with The Young Turks (talk show) to provide live coverage of political events via streaming video.

Videos on 2008 presidential candidates

During the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, Greenwald has made a series of short viral videos, the first of which are "Fox Attacks: Obama" and "The Real McCain". The former video was seen 225,000 times on its first week on YouTube. []

On September 4, 2007, he issued the first of four additional viral videos, called "The REAL Rudy", targeting what Greenwald claims are myths surrounding the reputation and record of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and his handling of the September 11, 2001 attacks. [ [] Dead link|date=March 2008] The credits page offers "very special thanks" to activist Sally Regenhard, who is a mother of a New York firefighter killed in the September 11 attacks. [ [ The REAL Rudy ] ] Released installments include "The Real Rudy: Command Center" [] and "The Real Rudy: Mistakes in 30 Seconds". []

On May 18, 2008, he released The Real McCain 2. Within a week the video had attracted over 1.2 million views on youtube alone.

Greenwald has also made short videos on other subjects, such as 2007's "Fox Attacks: The Environment", which garnered 380,000 YouTube views in its first three weeks and was used as part of a campaign to get Home Depot to withdraw advertising from Fox News. [cite news | url= | title=Environmentalists Push, but Home Depot Refuses to Drop Ads on Fox News | author=Andrew Adam Newman | publisher=The New York Times | date=2007-07-30 | accessdate=2007-11-26]

Greenwald has lectured at Harvard University for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and speaks frequently across the country about his work. Since May 2005, Greenwald has been a contributing blogger to "The Huffington Post". [cite web | url= | title=Robert Greenwald | publisher=The Huffington Post | accessdate=2007-11-26]

Recognition and criticism

Greenwald's films have garnered 25 Emmy Award nominations, four CableACE Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, the Peabody Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Award, and eight Awards of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board. He was awarded the 2002 Producer of the Year Award by the American Film Institute.

For his activism, Greenwald has been honored by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the New Roads School, Consumer Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the Office of the Americas. He is co-founder (with actor Mike Farrell) of Artists for Winning Without War, whose purpose is to advance progressive causes and voice opposition to the Iraq War.

Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly has denounced Greenwald as a "far left propagandist" [ [,2933,245644,00.html - Is '24' Hurting Muslims? - Bill O’Reilly | The O’Reilly Factor ] ] and "just to the right of Fidel Castro". [ [ Eugene Weekly : News : 11.23.05 ] ]

elected filmography

* "Fox Attacks: The Environment" (2007) (director)
* "" (2007) (director)
* "The REAL Rudy" (2007) (director)
* "" (2007) (director/producer)
* "" (2007) (director/producer)
* "Fox Attacks: Black America" (2007) (director/producer)
* "The Real McCain" (2007) (director/producer)
* "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" (2006) (director/producer)
* "The Big Buy: Tom Delay's Stolen Congress" (2006) (producer)
* "Stop The Falsiness" (2006) (executive producer)
* "" (2005) (director/producer)
* "Beach Girls" (2005 Lifetime mini-series) (producer)
* "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" (2004) (director/producer)
* "Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties" (2004) (executive producer)
* "" (2004) (director/producer)
* "Unprecedented: the 2000 Presidential Election" (2002) (executive producer)
* "Steal This Movie" (2000) (director/producer)
* "Breaking Up" (1997) (director/producer)
* "The Burning Bed" (1984) (director)
* "Xanadu" (1980) (director)
* "21 Hours at Munich" (1977) (producer)


External links

* [ Robert Greenwald official website]
* [ Brave New Films official website]
* [ Robert Greenwald's youtube account]
* [ Robert Greenwald's site of his and others' viral videos on Rudy Giuliani]
* [ Brave New Film's Young Turks page]

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