Producer/Director 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.

School Prayer: A Community at War premiered on PBS in the 1999 POV season, received a National Emmy Award, and won at many film festivals around the world. It also won The Jan Karski Competition, a competition designed to recognize and award outstanding television documentaries produced on the theme of moral courage. Another one of Slawomir’s films and funded by ITVS, Fenceline: A Company Town Divided premiered on PBS in the POV season of 2002 and received, among others, an award at the 2002 San Francisco International Film Festival and Vermont International Film Festival. This film also received a 2003 Environmental Media Association Award (EMA). The EMA Awards honor films and television productions that increase public awareness of environmental problems and inspire personal activism.

In 2004, Slawomir received the DreamCatcher Award at the Hope and Dreams Film Festival. This award was to recognize his commitment to documentary filmmaking. Slawomir’s independent works focus on critical social, political, and environmental issues and have won him international recognition. The themes of his most successful productions include: Jewish History & Identity, LGBT&Q, Environmental, Disabilities & Human Rights and Law & Social Justice & Immigration.

Slawomir’s films on the Holocaust theme include: Karski & The Lords of Humanity, 2015 (Special Award for “The Best Polish Film” at the Jewish Motifs International Film Festival, Warsaw); Shimon’s Returns, 2014, Castaways (New York Jewish Film Festival, 2013 and Gold (Zahav) Award in 2013 Robinson International Short Film Competition), The Peretzniks (TVP1 Poland), Paint What You Remember, The Legacy of Jedwabne (Award at the Crossroads Film Festival, Lublin, Poland) and Saved by Deportation (The Audience Award at the Washington Jewish Film Festival). In 1997, Shtetl, the epic film by Marian Marzynski, that Slawomir photographed and served as second unit producer for, was awarded the Silver Baton for Excellence in Radio/Television Journalism by Dupont-Columbia University.

Grünberg’s films, which dealt with LGTB&Q include: Trans-Action (HBO Poland) and Coming Out Polish Style (Canal Plus, Poland) and films on Human Rights and Law & Social Justice & Immigration include: The Red Button, 2012 and Santa Rosa: An Odyssey in the Rhythm of Mariachi, 2013 (Canal Plus, Poland).

Grunberg’s films on the theme of disabilities include: Borderline: People vs. Eunice Baker and Portraits of Emotion: The Story of an Autistic Savant received many prestigious awards at the international festivals. Borderline was awarded at The Picture This…Festival in Calgary, Canada. Portraits of Emotion received an Expression Award at Brazil’s Disability Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the International Film Festival “Integration – You and Me”, Koszalin, Poland 2008 and Grand Prix at the Belgrade Int. Film Festival, Serbia, 2010.

The organizes of Docboat 2009 – Warsaw Nonfiction E-Festival have granted Slawomir a prestigious award for a internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker, who has Polish roots. He is also a winner of 2007 Golden Glan Award given by Charile Theater in Lodz, Poland to the filmmakers, whose films oppose the popular fashions trends.

Chelyabinsk: The Most Contaminated Spot on the Planet, which he produced and directed, was awarded the Grand Prix at the International Nature & Environmental Film Festival, in Grenoble, France in 1996. In 1998, another documentary that deals with environmental issues, From Chechnya to Chernobyl, was awarded a Grand Prix at the International Environmental Film Festival in Prague, Czech Republic and also received a prestigious Golden Cine Award in the US.

Slawomir’s 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. As a principal director of photography, he has shot over 70 documentaries, five of which received Emmy Nominations. Slawomir has also been a contributing director of photography and editor for the PBS series: Frontline, AIDS Quarterly, American Masters, NOVA, Health Quarterly, Inside Gorbachev’s USSR with Hedrick Smith and People’s Century as well as Lifetime and HBO.

A recipient of Guggenheim, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and Soros Justice Media Fellowships, Grünberg has received multiple grants from National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Council on the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. Documentary films by Slawomir Grünberg have been screened & some of them made their way to permanent collections of various prestigious institutions including: Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, Mexico City, Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, Cape Town Holocaust Center in Cape Town, South Africa, Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

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