"It's purely a gut feeling. Now it's a gut determined, I believe, by my world views. All of our guts are. Mine is a strong connection to underdogs, a proud tradition of wanting to speak out loudly, and, because I've made films all my life, an orientation towards those issues that can become personal stories."
Robert Greenwald, in a June, 2007 Digital Media Wire interview
"In the words of my grandmother: 'What else should we be doing?' I have four children who affect every decision I make, and the thought of not doing everything I possibly can to affect the most important time in history -- well, I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror if I didn't do all I am capable of to stop the destruction of my country."
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READ Q&A INTERVIEW WITH GREENWALD
Robert Greenwald was born in New York City on August 28, 1945. He is a producer, director and political activist. He was raised in New York City and was active in New York theater before moving to Los Angeles, where he started his career as a television director. He later moved onto feature films, notable ones being Breaking Up, starring Salma Hayek and Russell Crowe, and Steal This Movie!, a biopic about activist Abbie Hoffman.
After Steal This Movie!, Greenwald says he found his true calling: making issue-oriented documentary films. His most notable one is Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004), which takes the view that media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, now control virtually all media and have great influence on the American public. Greenwald directed and produced Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005), a documentary that reveals the retail giant's impact on American communities. Most recently, Greenwald directed and produced Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006), which uncovers the connections between private corporations allegedly profiteering from Iraq reconstruction contracts (Blackwater, Halliburton/KBR, CACI and Titan) and the decision makers who allow them to do so.
Greenwald is founder of two production companies. His first is Robert Greenwald Productions (RGP), which has been around for 20 years. RGP describes itself as having "a history of creating powerful and entertaining films with a strong social conscience," producing feature films including both Breaking Up and Steal This Movie!. He later ventured into Brave New Films, which states that it is a "new media website that uses cutting-edge new internet video campaigns to create a quick-strike capability that challenges corporate media with the truth while empowering political action nationwide." Organizations such as MoveOn.org have supported Greenwalds efforts.
Greenwald, while a dedicated political activist who works hard to get his message out to the American public, encourages his readers to follow suit and do the same . YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Flickr are all prominent social networks that Greenwald himself is active with, and hopes that these outlets will be used to spread his findings as well. Greenwald has both strong support and criticism for his views, but negative feedback only pushes him harder to prove his point. He is currently promoting Fox Attacks and The REAL Rudy on Brave New Films, compilations of viral videos that the company claims were seen "online by more than 840,000 people within weeks of distribution, and have collectively garnered over 7.5 million views."
Greenwald's films have garnered 25 Emmy nominations, four cable ACE Award nominations, two Gold Globe nominations, the Peabody Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Award, and eight Awards of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board. In 2002, he was awarded Producer of the Year by the American Film Institute. For his activism, Greenwald has been honored by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the Liberty Hill Foundation, the L.A. chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Consumer Attorney's Association of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the Office of the Americas.
Research and interview conducted by University of Massachusetts undergraduate reporting intern Khristine Dolor.
March 22, 2009. "Released on Web, a Film Stays Fresh," New York Times. This article talks about Greenwald's latest film, "Rethink Afghanistan," and his efforts to make the film as real time as possible, using technology to create an almost immediate release. He is posting the film in segments on rethinkafghanistan.com and also on youtube, showing the film while working on later parts. It's an ongoing cycle of funding, creating, and release, a process he finds necessary because of the time pressures of the news:
"His current subject, Afghanistan, is especially time sensitive. President Obama has already ordered 17,000 more troops to the country and is on the verge of outlining a new strategy. Given that backdrop, "it didn't seem to make sense to make a film that would come out even six months from now," Mr. Greenwald said."