Cinematographer Bio


Slawomir Grünberg is an Emmy Award Winning documentary producer, director, cameraman, and editor born in Lublin, Poland. He is a graduate of the Polish Film School in Lodz, where he studied cinematography and directing. He emigrated from Poland to the US in 1981, and has since directed and produced over 45 television documentaries. His independent works focus on critical social and political issues and have won him international recognition. Slawomir has been a contributing director of photography for the PBS’ series: Frontline, American Masters, NOVA, AIDS Quarterly and Health Quarterly. He has also shot for ABC, NBC, HBO, Lifetime and Discovery networks. Slawomir had worked with such filmmakers as: Tod Lending (Legacy), Roger Weisberg (Breaking the Cycle) and Lee Grant (Confronting the Crisis) and Albert Maysles.

In 2000 Slawomir won the Emmy Award for a documentary he photographed, directed and co-produced: School Prayer: A Community at War. As a principal director of photography, he has shot over 70 documentaries, five of which received Emmy Nominations. His director of photography credits include among others: Legacy, which received an Academy Award Nomination for the best documentary feature in 2001, and Sister Rose’s Passion, which won the Best in Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2004 and received an Academy Award Nomination for the best documentary short in 2005. In 1997, Slawomir Grunberg was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Documentary Filmmaking, in 2002 received a New York Artist's Fellowship and in 2003 Soros Justice Media Fellowship.


Chasing Portraits
(Director of Photography)
The story of Moshe Rynecki’s art, and his great-granddaughter’s ongoing quest to find and understand his art legacy, lost during
WWII; In-Production, 52 min.

Safer in Silence
(Director of Photography)
A daughter -- estranged from her mother, a WWII refugee, searches for the truth in her family's hidden past. Uncovering Jewish roots she is pulled into a complex journey, spanning 25 years over five continents.
In-Production, 52 min.

Deadly Deception at Sobibor
(Director of Photography) A remote forest in Poland, where Israeli and Polish archaeologists lead a team to uncover evidence of a Nazi cover-up of a 1943 revolt and mass escape from the World War II death camp known as Sobibor.
In-Production, 75 min.

Karski & The Lords of Humanity
(Director of Photography/Director/Co-Producer)
A feature-length partially animated documentary about a man who tried to prevent the Holocaust. Special Award for"The Best Polish Film" at the Jewish Motifs International Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland.
2015, 75 min. Theatrical release in over 50 cinemas in Poland.

(Co-Director of Photography)
The Kielce Pogrom and the Polish family secret.
2015, 52 min.

Shimon’s Returns
(Director of Photography/Co-Director/Co-Producer)
A collector of memories and a seeker of good will, Shimon Redlich takes us on a journey through Poland and Ukraine, uncovering the brighter sides of dark times.
2014, 53 min.

Santa Rosa: An Odyssey in the Rhythm of Mariachi
(Director of Photography/Director/Co-Producer)
Reveals an unknown chapter in the history of World War II – the fate of Polish deportees into the Soviet Union who found unlikely refuge on Mexican soil.
2013, 55 min.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali
(Additional Camera)
The extraordinary and often complex life of Muhammad Ali outside the boxing ring is investigated. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War.
2013, 80 min.

(Director of Photography)
Mr. Angel chronicles the extraordinary life of transgender activist and porn pioneer, Buck Angel. He survived addiction, prostitution, and suicide and now tells a moving story of a man's search for acceptance from his family & the world.
2013. 75 min.

(Director of Photography/Co-Director/Producer)
The film portrays Magda (Magdalena Grodzka-Guzkowska) who joined the Polish Underground in the fight against Nazis at age 15. She risked her life in efforts to save Jewish lives in Warsaw. Decades later, she discovered her own Jewish roots, which she had been hitherto unaware of.
2012, 8.5 min.

Kathleen Ferrier
(Co-Director of Photography)
Kathleen Ferrier was only forty-one when she died of breast cancer, but during her short career she achieved both fame and fortune as a contralto singer.
2012, 52 min.

The Red Button
(Director of Photography/Co-Producer)
Tells the dramatic story of Stanislav Petrov, the Russian officer who, in 1983, saved the world from atomic war.
2011.52 min.

Coming Out Polish Style
(Director of Photography/Co-Director/Co-Producer)
Presents some of the complexities involved in being gay or lesbian in contemporary Poland.
Canal Plus Poland, 2011, 60 min.

Rainbow Folk (Teczowi)
(Director of Photography/Co-Director/Co-Producer)
A number of young people recount different experiences of  'coming out' to family and friends in the very dynamic Polish context, where homophobia is intertwined with signs of a growing social acceptance.
2011, 26 min.

In the Name of Their Mothers: The Story of Irena Sendler by Mary Skinner.
(Director of Photography/Co-Producer)
Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, led an underground operation to rescue 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto.
TVP 1, PBS, 2011, 52 min.

(Director of Photography/Director/Producer)
The film tells the story of a 56 years old Polish transgender.
HBO Poland, 2010, 72 min.

The Calling by Danny Alpert
(Director of Photography)
The Calling is a four-hour documentary series that follows Muslims, Catholics, Evangelical Christians. and Jews on a dramatic journey as they train to become professional clergy.
PBS/Independent Lens, 2010. 4x52 min.

The Peretzniks (Perecowicze)
(Director of Photography/Director/Co-Producer)
The film tells the story of a Jewish school in Lodz, Poland. The school was shut down following the Communist anti-Semitic campaign, which took place in Poland in 1968.
TVP1, Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC 2010, 52 and 92 min.

Paint What You Remember
(Director of Photography/Director/Producer)
Mayer was born in 1916 in a small shtetl: Opatow. His photographic memory and painting skills allowed him to meticulously recreate Jewish life in Opatow, as it was before the war.
Toronto Jewish Film Festival, 2010, 30 min.

For the Next 7 Generations by Carole Hart
(Director of Photography)
13 Indigenous grandmothers weaving a world that works.
2009, 85 min.

Coming Out in Poland
(Director of Photography/Director/Producer/)
What does it mean to be gay or lesbian in Poland today?
In the Life/PBS 2008, 18 min.

Critical Condition
(Additional Camera)
A look at the health care system from the perspectives of four critically ill Americans as they discover the problems that can result from being uninsured.
2008, PBS, 52 min.

(Director of Photography)
A documentary film by Bruce Broder that follows a Florida high school jazz band’s journey to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition.
Tribeca Film Festival. 2007

Praying with Lior
(Director of Photography)
Ilana Trachtman's documentary portrays how community including religious inclusion, can enhance the lives of people with disabilities.
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. 2007

Terra Incognita
(Additional Camera)
Dr. Jack Kessler, head of the Neurology Department at Northwestern University, centered his research on using stem cells to cure diabetes. When a skiing accident left his 15-year-old daughter a paraplegic, he turned his focus from diabetes to spinal cord injuries.
PBS, 2007, 52 min.

Portraits of Emotion
(Director of Photography/Director/Producer)
This film follows over the course of four years, the life of 14-year-old Jonathan Lerman, an artistic prodigy who is diagnosed with autism, an Expression Award at Brazil’s Disability Film Festival, 2007, the Grand Prix at the International Film Festival "Integration - You and Me", Koszalin,
Poland; Grand Prix at the Belgrade Int. Film Festival, Serbia: Portraits of Emotion, 2010

Saved by Deportation
(Director of Photography/Director/Co-Producer/)
The first feature length documentary film to tell the dramatic story of Polish Jews who escaped the Holocaust through their deportation to the Soviet Union. The Audience Award at the Washington Jewish Film Festival. 2006

Boys to Men?
(Co-Director of Photography)
There is a "National crisis of boyhood." (NY Times) This mini-series - one hour long conversation with 32 teen boys coupled with three half hour stories of a year in the lives of three very different 15 year old boys - tells us why.

Cruel and Unusual
(Director of Photography)
This film raises awareness about the abuse, isolation and poor medical care faced by transgender prisoners.
Jane Baus, Dan Hunt,Reid Williams – Producers. HDTV. Best Doc at San Francisco and NYC LGBT Film Festivals. 2006

Plonacy Facet - Burning Man
(Director of Photography/Producer)
On the 20th anniversary of Burning Man my camera followed several Polish artists, who became participants of this biggest festival of art in the open.
HDV, Polish TV 1, 2006. 52 and 90 min.

Waging a Living
(Director of Photography)  Four low-wage earners fighting to make work pay. Roger Weisberg - Director.
PBS/POV, 2006. 85 min.

Wygnancy – Exiles
(Director of Photography/Co-Director)
A story of Solidarity activists, who immigrated to US. Three part series,
TV Polonia, 2005

Sister Rose’s Passion
(Director of Photography/Line Producer)
The film talks about Christian-Jewish relations and Sister Rose Thering passion to educate Christians about the Jews. Oren Jacoby - Director, Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival, Academy Award Nomination for the best documentary short in 2005.
HBO, 2005, 39 minutes

Omar and Pete
(Director of Photography)
Two years study of the life outside the Baltimore prison system. Tod Lending - Director. EMMY Nomination. HDTV.
PBS/POV 75 min, 2005

Aging Out
(Director of Photography)
Chronicles the daunting obstacles three foster care youth encounter when they age out of the system. Roger Weisberg - Director.
PBS. 2005, 85 min.

Michael and Svetlana
(Director of Photography/Producer)
A fascinating transatlantic love affair journey and a documentary about an American who subscribed to matchmaking service to find himself a Russian bride. Warsaw International Film Festival.
2005. 56 and 93 min.

Borderline: The People v. Eunice Baker
(Director of Photography/Director/Producer)
A documentary that tells the story of Eunice Baker, a borderline mentally retarded woman who was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for murdering a young child, despite evidence that the  death was accidental. Best Documentary Award on a Theme on Disability at the Picture This…Festival in Calgary, Canada.
PBS, Free Speech TV, Link TV, Denmark TV2, Planete Poland, 2005, 56 and 77 minutes

The Legacy of Jedwabne
(Director of Photography/Director/Producer)
A documentary that tells the story of a pogrom in 1941 in Jedwabne, Poland and explores the implications of the past for present constructions and negotiations of personal, national and religious identity. Special Award at the Crossroads Film Festival, Lublin 2007; Polish TV Kultura, PBS, Link TV, Al Jazeera TV, Nostalgia Cable TV Russia, Planete Poland.
56 and 75 min., 2005

Best Friends: The Power of Sisterhood
(Director of Photography)
The unique bond between women friends is explored and celebrated in the moving documentary. Deborah Shaffer - Director.
PBS, 2005

B&B Guestbook 9/11
(Director of Photography/Producer)
Reactions of B&B guests to the September 11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath.
PBS. 2004. 26 minutes.

A Father...A Son...Once Upon a Time In Holywood
(Co-Director of Photography)
An intimate look at the Kirk and Michael Douglases' rocky relationship. Lee Grant - Director,
HBO, 2004, 90 minutes

Shakespeare Sessions
(Director of Photography).
Royal Shakespeare founders: John Barton and Sir. Peter Hall travel to America for series of workshops.
PBS. 2003, 57 minutes

Proud to be a Girl
(Director of Photography).
Girl s adolescence and parent s fear. EMMY Award (local).
PBS 2003, 26 minutes

Stealing the Fire
(Director of Photography).
German connection between its Nazi past and selling nuclear devices to Iraq.
ZDF Germany; Sundance Channel 2003. 95 minutes.

Green Card Gamble
(Co-Director of Photography/Co-Director)
Three Polish families who, as a result of winning a Diversity Program visa lottery, each received a green card.
PTV 2, Poland, 2003, 31x25 minutes.

The Topdog Diaries, Suzan-Lori Parks
(Director of Photography).
A portrait of a Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Fellow. scriptwriter.
PBS 2002, 57 minutes

A Crime of Insanity
(Director of Photography).
What happens when mentally ill person commits a violent crime.
PBS/Frontline 2002, 57 minutes

Grab Hold of the Reins
(Director of Photography).
Women struggling with cancer.
PBS 2002, 26 minutes

Fenecline: A Company Town Divided
(Director of Photography/Producer)
Film depicts the struggle of an African-American community in Louisiana s cancer alley to be relocated from under the shadow of a Shell refinery; Best of the Environment Category: Vermont Film Festival and International San Francisco Film Festival, EMA Award
(Environmental Media Association Award): - Best in Documentary Feature, Los Angeles,
ITVS/POV 2002, 57 minutes

Life 360
(Director of Photography)
Magazine series that reports on the achievements of men and women who face change and challenges in their communities and schools, in medicine and technology, and in
government and the arts. TV Series.
PBS, 2002

The Last Chance
(Co-Director of Photography) for MSNBC. Struggle with obesity in America.
2001, 57 minutes

John Leguizamo
(Co-Director of Photography)
For Bravo. A documentary portrait of an artist.
2001, 57 minutes

(Co-Director of Photography)
For ABC. A new look at the phenomenon of Beatles.
2000, 57 minutes

Selling the Dream: Stock Hype and Fraud
(Director of Photography)
Examines stock and securities fraud, along with the civil and criminal efforts to put the guilty out of business. The program features Jeff Streich, a stockbroker who worked in some of New York's most notorious "bucket shops"; Patrick Bennett, now serving
30 years on 42 counts of fraud,
E&A Network, 2000, 52 minutes

The Gun Deadlock
(Director of Photography)
Documentary about gun control focusing on how women feel about owning guns. The program features both sides of the gun-control issue, including victims of violent
gun-related crimes and those who are passionate advocates of the right to bear arms.
Lifetime TV 2000, 45 minutes

Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light
(Director of Photography)
For WNET/Thirteen - American Masters. An intimate documentary portrait of one of the greatest artists.
2000, 57 minutes

(Co-Director of Photography)
For HBO. Filmed over five years lives of three generations of African-American family. Academy Award Nomination and EMMY Nomination for the best documentary feature in 2001.
90 minutes

Trail of a Killer
(Director of Photography)
Famous Sam Sheppard murder mystery and the science behind re-opening of the case. Super 16 mm.
NOVA 1999, 57 minutes

Confronting the Crisis
(Director of Photography)
Real stories in child care in America.
Lifetime Channel. 1999, 57 minutes

The Cola Conquest
(Director of Photography)
Documentary that tells the story of the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company and its century-long battle with archrival Pepsi-Cola.
CBC Canada, 1999, 52 minutes

School Prayer: A Community at War
(Director of Photography/Producer).
A woman from Wisconsin who, after moving to Mississippi with her family, fights a heated battle with school authorities to have traditional religious practices removed from the public schools. POV 1999. Gold Award: WorldFest, Houston, National EMMY Award 2000.
57 minutes

Intimate Portrait: Kim Cattrall
(Director of Photography)
Profile of the life and career of actor Kim Cattrall.
Lifetime TV, 1999, 45 minutes

Intimate Portrait: Bella Abzug
(Director of Photography)
Profile of the life and career of the late Bella Abzug, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and political activist.
Lifetime TV, 1998, 45 minutes

Intimate Portrait: Betty Friedan
(Director of Photography)
Documentary about the life of feminist author and activist Betty Friedan.
Lifetime TV, 1998

Intimate Portrait: Cyndi Lauper
(Director of Photography)
Profile of the life and career of singer-actress Cyndi Lauper, who talks about her childhood, career, marriage and motherhood. Also includes interviews with friends and family members; home movies; clips from her performances, including her Emmy award-winning appearance on "Mad About You."
Lifetime TV, 1998, 45 minutes

Intimate Portrait: Gloria Steinem
(Director of Photography) Profile of the life and career of social activist Gloria Steinem.
Lifetime TV, 1998, 45 min

Intimate Portrait: Jane Alexander
(Director of Photography)
Profile of the life and career of Jane Alexander, Tony Award-winning actor and former Chair of the National Endowment For the Arts.
Lifetime TV, 1998, 45 minutes

Intimate Portrait: Jessica Tandy
(Director of Photography)
Profile of the life and career of actress Jessica Tandy.
Lifetime TV, 1998, 45 minutes

Intimate Portrait: Lauren Bacall
(Director of Photography)
Profile of the life and career of actress Lauren Bacall.
Lifetime TV, 1998, 45 minutes

Intimate Portrait: Vanessa Redgrave
(Director of Photography)
Profile of actress and humanitarian Vanessa Redgrave; examines her acting family, her own stardom, her relationships and her work with charities such as UNICEF. Among those commenting are her mother, Rachel Redgrave; her in the films "Norma Rae" and "Steel Magnolias."
Lifetime TV, 1998, 45 min

Intimate Portrait: Mia Farrow
(Director of Photography)
Profile of the life and career of actress Mia Farrow.
Lifetime TV, 1998, 45 min

My Retirement Dreams
(Director of Photography/Editor)
For PBS-Frontline. A journey into the mind and soul of retired persons in America.
1998, 57 minutes

Living in Tall Trees
(Director of Photography)
For WGBH/Asahi Japan. Canopy researches and environmentalists fight to preserve old forests of the Americas.
1998, 30 minutes

Skin Deep
(Director of Photography)
For BBC/PBS Peoples Century series. A study of racism in the United States and South Africa.
1998, 57 minutes.

Time to Speak
(Director of Photography)
A documentary on child abuse seen through the children’s point of view.
PBS National. 1998, 57 minutes.

From Chechnya to Chernobyl
(Co-Director of Photography/Producer)
Fleeing civil war refugees seek safety outside Chernobyl,Golden Cine Award, RVU Holland, Planete
Poland, 1997, 30 minutes

Breaking Ties
(Director of Photography)
Homelessness and poverty examined through experience of three families.
PBS National. 1997, 57 minutes

Sam Shepard: Stalking Himself
(Director of Photography)
Playwright/actor Sam Shepard discusses his career and reads from his works. Woven throughout are performance excerpts from Shepard plays.
PBS, 1997, 56 minutes

(Director of Photography /Second Unit Producer)
For PBS-Frontline. Several Polish-American Jews return to their Shtetl for the first time since World War II and recall memories of Jewish life in the small town, while also discovering lingering anti-Semitism. Silver Baton for Excellence in Radio/Television Journalism, duPont- Columbia University,
First Prize: Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel, Grand Prix: Cinema du Reel Film Festival, Paris.
1996, 3 hours

No Time To Be a Child
(Director of Photography)
For PBS Growin Up Not A Child series. It examines issues of children and violence from the child s point of view.
1995, 57 minutes EMMY nomination 1996.

When Billy Broke his Head and Other Tales of Wonder
(Director of Photography) For ITVS - PBS Special. A deep and personal look at what it means to be disabled in America
1995, 57 minutes. EMMY nomination 1996

Diary of an Artist
(Director of Photography/Producer)
For Polish Television Network. The story of a Polish rock and roll star who tries to make it big in America.
1995, 45 minutes

Jerzy Soltan - The Man Who Didn't Build Poland
(Director of Photography/Producer)
For Polish Television Network. Documentary portrait of Polish architect and intellectual Jerzy Soltan, who studied under master architect Le Corbesseuir.
1995, 45 minutes

Diamonds in the Snow
(Co-Director of Photography)
For WDR Germany and PBS Special.
A story of three children who survived the Nazi Holocaust, one of them the filmmaker.
1995, 57 minutes

Chelyabinsk - The Most Contaminated Spot on the Planet
For NHK Japan, NOS Holland, SWF Germany, TVP Poland. A journey into the horror of nuclear contamination in the Ural region of Russia. 1994. Grand Prix: International Nature & Environmental Film Festival, Grenoble, France; Award for Best Documentary: International
Festival of Environmental Films, Paris; Best Journalistic Achievement: Okomedia - International Environmental Film Festival,Germany
60 minutes

Adopting Olya
For Discovery - Great Britain, Denmark TV, TVP Poland, NOS Holland. A couple from California travels to Russia to adopt a 4-year old girl.
1994, 30 minutes

With a Song to Russia
For WETA - PBS Special. The Washington Choral Arts Society with Slava Rostropovich s National Symphony Orchestra tour to Russia in the midst of its 1993 political turmoil.
1994, 30 minutes

Mysterious Crash of Flight 201
(Co-Director of Photography)
For PBS-NOVA. The Story of a 12 month investigation into a passenger plane crash in the dense jungle of Panama.
1993, 57 minutes

Betting on the Lottery
(Director of Photography/Editor)
For PBS-Frontline. An entertaining look at lottery systems in various states
1990, 57 minutes

Russia for Sale
(Director of Photography)
For PBS-WNET. 58 Min. A documentary on the conservative forces challenging the processes of Pierestroika in Russia.
PBS-WNET 1992, 58 minutes

AIDS in Poland
(Director of Photography)
For PBS THE AIDS Quarterly with Peter Jennings. A look at the AIDS crises in Poland.
1990, 30 minutes

When the Family Gets AIDS
For WNET Independent Focus and Nippon TV - Japan. The impact of AIDS on one American family. First Prize: Sinking Creek Film Celebration; First Prize: Athens International Film Festival, First Prize: Video Festival, New York Expo of Short Film and Video.
1989, 30 minutes

Messenger to Poland
For WTTW s Journal - PBS. A look at Poland adjusting to a non-communist government.
1989, EMMY award (local). 57 minutes

Is This Life Worth Living?
(Director of Photography/Producer)
A film exploring the right to die dilemma and euthanasia. Filmmakers Library.
1987, 30 minutes

(Director of Photography/Producer)
The story of a European mime artist whose dream is to become a mime in New York City. Manhattan Cable.
1984, 20 minutes

A Sunday
(Co- Director of Photography/Producer)
A film about boredom in a small town in Poland. Polish Television Network., Best Student Documentary in Kracow Film Festival,
1980, 10 minutes

Selected television shows
(Cameraman) Polish Television Network, Warsaw, Poland.

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