Taxicab Confession won the Emmy 1995, the first year that it was shown on HBO, and it was nominated twice more as the series ran until 2011. To make Taxicab Confessions we equipped a New York City taxicab with six miniature hidden cameras, and we picked up rides like any taxicab. Joe Gantz, or his brother Harry, was in a follow vehicle and they could see and hear what was going on in the cab. They were asking the questions through the driver, who could hear them using a wireless earpiece. Taxicab Confessions was the first widely seen television show that encouraged gay, lesbian and transgender people (along with many other groups) to talk about their experiences and then to honestly portray their stories. Taxicab Confessions would tell the stories of often marginalized people, from their own point of view, in a way that the viewer could identify and connect with the person in the back seat of the cab.
"The 1990s HBO series ushered in both the current reality TV craze and a level of confessional, honest discourse the likes of which hasn’t been seen since
I watched Taxicab Confessions for the first time in my mother’s basement while home on break from boarding school in 1995. I remember dutifully keeping my finger on the volume button as a drunk lesbian tried to make out with her female driver. There was also a crack-addicted prostitute longing to be loved by her father; an aging violinist taking requests in the back seat; a benevolent addict describing how he beat a man for stealing money from a friend’s funeral fund; and a transgender guy — something I’d never seen and could only barely imagine — explaining to an old Jewish cab driver what it felt like to be alienated from his family before concluding, optimistically, that he could be anyone he wanted in New York City.
As a closeted gay teen in a protected WASP-y hamlet of Connecticut, the HBO series was intoxicatingly informative. It was late-night poetry, an ode to the other. As an “other” myself, it was comforting to learn of the existence of such people and know that they — and their stories — were only a Metro North train ride away (and then, of course, a hop in a cab). Taxicab Confessions always helped you see the humanity in people who were different from you. We could use a good dose of that now."
- C. Brian Smith, Journalist
AMERICAN WINTER premiered on HBO in 2013. It was a nominee for the 35th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Award® , was short listed for the prestigious Ridenhour Documentary film prize and won many awards including Best Documentary Feature of the 36th Portland International Film Festival, a Sidney Award for Excellence in Journalism for the Common Good, and a Best of the Festival at the Workers Unite film festival. It also received a Bending Toward Justice Award from Senator Jeff Merkley .
Produced and directed by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Joe and Harry Gantz, American Winter is a documentary feature film that follows the personal stories of families struggling in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Filmed over the course of one winter in Portland, Oregon, American Winter presents an intimate and emotionally evocative snapshot of the state of our economy as it is playing out in many American families. The film follows multiple families in their daily struggle to keep their heads above water, while facing overwhelming challenges and dwindling resources available to help them, creating a powerful firsthand view of Americans caught in today’s financial undertow.
The experiences of the families in American Winter are a vivid illustration of what has been happening to families across America, including working families losing their homes, people who remain jobless or underemployed, children going hungry, families getting their heat shut off in the dead of winter, and people with health issues overwhelmed by medical costs.
Framed through the personal stories of eight families, American Winter puts a face on the country's economic challenges and humanizes the discussion around these issues. When viewers see these hard working, relatable families in need, it breaks down stereotypes and makes it harder to justify cuts to social services, motivating and bringing together individuals and organizations working towards a new paradigm of opportunity for all Americans.
"Using a mix of hard facts and personal stories, American Winter is too compelling to ignore." - Indiewire
"Wrenching" - Washington Post
"Finally, a movie has arrived that shows the precariousness of the US economy for the majority of Americans, refusing to distinguish between a deserving and non-deserving poor" - Greg Kaufman, The Nation
“...A very vivid snapshot of what life was like for many formerly middle-class families. Families that, amid the deepest valley of the economic downturn, were having trouble keeping it all together." - APM's Marketplace
"Powerful and timely" - NBC's In Plain Sight
"A thoughtful and confrontational exploration of poverty" - Daily Kos
To make Ending Disease we were granted unprecedented access to ten of the first clinical trials using stem cell and regenerative medicine to cure many of the most devastating diseases, including brain cancer, breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma, HIV, repairing a broken spinal cord, retinitis pigmentosa and SCID (babies born without an immune system), and the results are truly inspiring.
Ending Disease is about how scientists are now able to cure, or are on the verge of curing, certain types of blindness, a broken spinal cord, HIV/AIDS, and different types of cancer. For the first time in history there are cures to many diseases, some of which previously there were not even any treatments for. Ending Disease is exactly the kind of optimistic documentary that people are looking for in the midst of this pandemic.
“A tremendously important film”
Lael Lowenstein KPCC FILMWEEK
“Gantz expertly balances the importance of science with the emotions and humanity of family members facing life-threatening illnesses in a way that few other narratives or documentaries have.”
-Georgi Presecky, Patch Chicago
“Gantz followed patients and their doctors through first generation, FDA-approved clinical trials using stem cells and CAR T-cells to treat conditions previously considered incurable.”
Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News
“Joe Gantz’s engaging, powerful, educational, inspirational, insightful, moving, 185-minute, four-part documentary examines the passage of Proposition 71 in 2004 in California.”
"Boy, I learned so much about stem cells watching Ending Disease. We’ve had stem cells in the news for years and years, and it’s been a little bit of a political football where embryonic stem cells are concerned. But if you want to understand the science behind it, the news has not done us a great service. This movie does. It looks at 10 trials and they [… ] talk to the patients, the families, the doctors, the children, it deals with faith issues, with public policy issues, it is lengthy and really in depth."
Wade Major, KPCC FILMWEEK
THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD
The Race to Save The World is a climate documentary with a uniquely optimistic approach. It follows passionate activists whose single-minded focus is the creation of a sustainable world for future generations. These climate warriors, ages 15 to 72, are in the trenches fighting for a livable future, regardless of the personal cost. Emmy award-winning filmmaker Joe Gantz brings an urgent and intimate portrait of the protests, arrests, courtroom drama, and family turmoil these activists endure as they push for change. The Race to Save The World is an energizing call-to-action that inspires viewers to quit waiting on the sidelines and join the fight to protect all life on this planet.
"The fight to halt the destruction of the planet's climate system may be the biggest movement in earth history, and these brave people help tell a tale everyone needs to hear!"
-Bill McKibben, Founder 350.org
“The Race to Save the World shows us that passion and commitment is alive and well, with diverse people - from teens to grandmas - engaging in the time honored tradition of protest and civil disobedience to combat the climate crisis. I hope everyone will watch this film and be inspired to join these everyday heroes in the struggle of our lifetime.”
-Annie Leonard, Executive Director, Greenpeace US
“The Race to Save The World offers a frank look at some Americans who have chosen to place their bodies at the "tip of the spear" in the fight for climate justice. Their courage, and their resolute optimism, is inspiring.”
-Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day
“The huge personal risks people are taking everyday to save our planet from toxic fossil fuel interests pulsates throughout The Race To Save The World. The courage of the climate activists featured - young and old - gives goosebumps.”
-Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.
“The film realistically captures characters who take real risks and shows the impacts on their loved ones and on themselves… Gantz' film spurs us to think about how to be more effective.”
-Dr. James Hansen, Director of Climate Science at the Earth Institute at Columbia University