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Joe Gilford


JOE GILFORD has worked in film, TV and theatre, as a producer, writer and director for over 35 years. He has taught screenwriting at NYU Tisch Undergarduate Film department since 1999.

His feature screenplay Mob Town is due for release in 2019. It is the story of the famed 1957 Apalachin Meeting of key mafia leaders in upstate New York and its repercussions in the history of organized crime.

His play, “Finks,” received its New York premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre, in 2013 winning high critical praise and nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, Outstanding Play and Outstanding Leading Actress (Miriam Silverman).  It was also nominated as Best New Play by the Off-Broadway Alliance.“Finks” is based on the experiences of Joe’s parents Jack & Madeline Gilford’s real-life struggles as blacklisted actors in the 1950s.

“Finks” was presented at TheaterWorks Silicon Valley and at The Rogue Machine Theater Co., Los Angeles (Review: The Hollywood Reporter)

“Finks” was videotaped as part of the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts “Theater on Film & Tape” archive. It is also an audio podcast from the Radio Drama Network and will debut on public radio stations around the country. It is published by Dramatists Play Service.

“Finks” had its world premiere in 2005 at New York Stage & Film’s Powerhouse Theater at Vassar and regional productions at TheaterWorks, Silicon Valley and The Rogue Machine Theater Co., Los Angeles.

Joe has received his second Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant for playwriting for his play, The Radio Boys, detailing the struggles of Edwin Armstrong and his invention of FM radio.  Joe previously received a Sloan Foundation grant in 2011 for his play “Danny’s Brain” about brain injuries afflicting American football players.

His feature screenplay, “God’s Thumbprint,” the story of an international gold-mining scandal in Indonesia in the 1990s, will be produced by Creative Differences Productions.  Saul Rubinek is the Director & Producer (“Jerry & Tom”).

He was a writer of “Gold Fever,” the four-part mini-series about the 1849 California gold rush produced by Stephen David Entertainment for the Discovery Channel.

For director/producer, Fareed Al-Mashat, Joe wrote the screenplay “Moonbounce,” a noir science fiction thriller set in the world of HAM radio operators. It is currently in pre-production.

He has had a long career producing and writing television documentaries, winning a New York Emmy Award for his work on WNET-NY’s (PBS) “City Arts” series. For PBS’s Great Performances & Time Warner Home Video  he wrote the original script for “The Great American Songbook,” a history of American popular song hosted by Michael Feinstein. Also for PBS, he wrote the documentary “Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans and the Movies” hosted by John Turturro and featuring Paul Sorvino, and Marisa Tomei, and many others.

He is the writer of the A&E Biography, “Tom Hanks: Hollywood's Golden Boy.” He also served as a writer on the award-winning Lifetime series, “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.”

He is the author of the plays “Knockdown,” “Not Tunisia,” “In Aisle 4,” “The End of Our Rope,” “The Love Museum,” and “No Fault”.

His plays have been produced or presented at Naked Angels Theater Co., Roundabout Theater Company, Circle Rep Lab, New York Stage & Film, The Westbank Downstairs Theater, and Todd Mountain Theater Project. He is a longtime member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and its Playwrights Unit. He worked as a stage director for many years before turning to writing.

Joe’s book on screenwriting, “Why Does the Screenwriter Cross the Road?…and other secrets of screenwriting” is available at all book sellers. (Click to see more…)

Joe earned his BFA at NYU's Institute of Film & TV where he wrote and directed Max, a short film starring his father, Jack Gilford, playing film festivals and television all over the world.

He is a contributor to Brooklyn: A State of Mind (Workman Press), an anthology of essays and anecdotes about the borough of Brooklyn, NY, where he has lived since 1992.

He has been a teacher and lecturer of screenwriting at Columbia University’s Graduate MFA Film Program, New York’s Gotham Writers Workshop, Pratt Institute, Hollins University MFA program (VA), Montclair State University (NJ), and American Comedy Institute. He has served on the judging panels of events such as the Fusion Film Festival (NY) and the Philadelphia Screenplay Festival.

Since 1999 he has taught screenwriting at NYU’s Undergraduate Film & TV Dept., Tisch School of the Arts. He is also currently a Visiting Professional teaching screenwriting at Montclair State University’s Dept. of Film in New Jersey.

Joe was born and raised in Greenwich Village, NY.  He lives in Brooklyn.


Represented by Abrams Artists Agency

Legal Consultant: Sendroff & Baruch, NY

Photos: Home page ERIC ETHERIDGE  - -  Bio page GERRY GOODSTEIN

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