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George T. Nierenberg

"Director George T. Nierenberg and his team of collaborators have fashioned a model of emotional communications in the non-fiction feature realm, deserving of the widest possible exposure in all media."
- Variety

"George T. Nierenberg... builds his movies around multifaceted characters who serve both to involve the audience and really ’open up’ the material."
- Michael Sragow, Rolling Stone

"Nierenberg plunges into his projects with all the resources at his disposal, as willing to stage a scene ­ in a natural setting ­as to catch one on the run."
- David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor

"Nierenberg is perhaps our most accomplished and sensitive chronicler of popular performing art."
- Joel E. Siegel, City Paper (Washington, D.C.)

George T. Nierenberg directing a production.

George Nierenberg is an acclaimed filmmaker whose career has spanned the worlds of independent features, network, cable and international television, and corporate productions. His fascination with the roots of American music has led to a series of remarkable non-fiction films. His award winning film, Say Amen, Somebody (MGM/UA, 1983) explores the lives and works of the pioneers of Gospel music. Before its theatrical release, Say Amen... was celebrated at major film festivals including Cannes, Telluride, New York, Toronto and London. It was named “One of the Ten Best Films Of The Year” by People Magazine, Siskel and Ebert and Rolling Stone, among others.

Nierenberg also received accolades for No Maps On My Taps , an Emmy winning film on jazz tap dancing which received a theatrical release before airing on PBS, cable and international television. The production spawned a traveling theatrical presentation of tap dance performances to over 60 cities around the world. It has also spurred a resurgence of interest in the medium of jazz tap dancing itself, serving as the inspiration for such works as Gregory Hines’ Tap and George C. Wolfe’s Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk. Mr. Nierenberg is currently in the early phase of development of a project with tap dancer Savion Glover.

In 1989, he received an Emmy nomination for directing That Rhythm... Those Blues, a film exploring early days of Rhythm and Blues for the PBS series The American Experience. Other television credits included Neon Lights, for National Geographic’s Explorer, segments for ABC’s Day One and Saturday Night with Connie Chung on CBS. Nierenberg was enlisted as a producer to launch the latter two network shows. He also served as a consultant overseeing the non-fiction programming at Lifetime Television. He has produced, directed and developed projects for United Artists, PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, AMC, Bravo, Nickelodeon, Cinemax, United Artists, and Reader’s Digest.

He recently served as a consultant for the State Department for a project on American identity produced through the Smithsonian and MJM.

He is currently working on Black Smoke, a film on Black firefighters in the FDNY. He is also developing Nobody’s Children, a film on unaccompanied child asylum seekers. Some of his other recent projects include Head of the Class: The Lion King, an hour TV special for Walt Disney and Bravo and the one hour season opener for the series Paramedics on The Learning Channel. He also co-executive produced and directed a series pilot for TNN, Adventure Chef. Mr. Nierenberg directed portraits of popular musical artists such as Chicago, Robert Palmer, Cyndi Lauper, Blues Traveler, Sinead O’Connor and Boz Scaggs for Hard Rock Live on VH1. For American Movie Classics he created Gotta Dance!, a two-part pilot series on ballroom dancing.

His corporate clients include Cisco, Pfizer, Mercedes Benz, Zeiss, The Milken Foundation, McDonald’s, and IBM. He recently completed a film for Pfizer on their "Sharing The Care" program as well as three videos on people whose lives were saves by antibiotics, He also made a corporate identity film for Zeiss. For Cisco Systems he directed two films which were presented at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

He has been the recipient of numerous grants and honors from the NEA, NEH, CPB, PBS, AFI, and NYSCA as well as state and private foundations.

Memberships and Honors

  Panel Member National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting/Annenberg Fund.

  Honorary Board Member, Jury Member and Panel Moderator ­ Hampton Film Festival.

  Grant recipient from: ­the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York State Council on the Arts, the American Film Institute and various state endowments and private foundations.

  Member ­ National Association of Television, Arts and Sciences; Independent Feature Project; New York Women In Film and Television; Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers; International Documentary Association.

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