Jeremy Kagan
Born (1945-12-14) December 14, 1945 (age 78)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
New York University (MFA)
American Film Institute (GrDip)
PartnerAnneke Campbell

Jeremy Paul Kagan (born December 14, 1945) is an American film and television director, screenwriter, and television producer.[1]

Early life

Born in Mount Vernon, New York, Kagan received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1967. He went on to attend the newly formed New York University Graduate Institute of Film & Television and was in the first class at the AFI Conservatory.

Film and television career

Kagan's feature film credits include the box-office hit Heroes (1977),[2] The Big Fix[2] (1978), a political comedy-thriller starring Richard Dreyfuss; The Chosen (1981), from the classic book of the same name by Chaim Potok; The Journey of Natty Gann[1] (1985), the first American movie ever to win the Gold Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival; the underground comedy Big Man on Campus[2] (1989); the cult classic fencing film By The Sword[2] (1991); and the hybrid film Golda's Balcony[2] (2006), from the hit play of the same name. His feature Shot was about what one bullet does to many lives.

He has also been a prolific television director, starting already in 1972 at the age of 26, directing "The Most Crucial Game", an episode in the second Columbo[2] season. In 1996, Kagan won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for the Chicago Hope episode "Leave of Absence". Other credits include the television movie Katherine: The Making of an American Revolutionary, which he also wrote, and Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8[2] for which he won the CableACE Award for Best Dramatic Special. Kagan also directed Roswell: The UFO Conspiracy,[2] which garnered a Golden Globe Award nomination.

Other television films include The Ballad of Lucy Whipple,[2] Courage[2] with Sophia Loren, Scott Joplin, Descending Angel for HBO and for Showtime Color of Justice,[2] Bobbie's Girl,[2] and Crown Heights,[2] about the riots in 1991 which won the Humanitas Award in 2004 for "affirming the dignity of every person." This film also received an NAACP Image Award and the Directors Guild nomination for best family film. Kagan also directed a movie episode of Steven Spielberg's Emmy winning Taken. He has worked on several other series shows including The West Wing, The Guardian,[2] Resurrection Blvd.,[2] Picket Fences,[2] Boomtown and more. His recent animation films have been shown on JLTV and film festivals.

Kagan produced and directed the ten-part series The ACLU Freedom Files, in 2006 and 2007 which received a number of awards and was shown on Link TV, Court TV and PBS. Kagan has made a number of short documentaries and advocacy dramatic films for NGOs including The Doe Fund which works with the homeless and formerly incarcerated, and The Democracy School a movement developing local governance, and Bioneers which advances achievements in environmental and social justice.

Other ventures

Kagan is a full tenured professor at the University of Southern California where he teaches the graduate courses in directing and has recently created the Center for Change Making Media which is a hub for research and training in advocacy cinematic genres. His production company ACTransformative Media has made numerous shorts including three for VaccinateLA.

He has served as artistic director at the Robert Redford's Sundance Institute and is on a National Board Member of the Directors Guild of America and chairperson of its Special Projects Committee which provides cultural and educational programs for the 19,000 members. In 2004 he was honored with the Robert Aldrich Award for "extraordinary service to the guild."[3]

In his capacity with the Directors Guild of America, Kagan also moderates the group's annual roundtable discussion featuring that year's five nominees for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film.[4][5][6][7][8]

Kagan is also the author of three books Directors Close Up and a "living" eTextbook Keys to Directing.

Personal life

Kagan lives in Venice, California, with his companion Anneke Campbell. She is an author, and was a writer on the series Freedom Files. His daughter Eve is a graduate of the Harvard Ed School, and is a practicing psychologist, actress, writer, and yoga teacher.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Film or series
1988 CableACE Awards Nominated Directing a Theatrical or Dramatic Special Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8
Won Dramatic Special Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8
(Shared with Amanda DiGiulio, Charles Hairston, Max A. Keller, Micheline H. Keller, and Ron Sossi)
2004 Directors Guild of America Award Won Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award
2005 Nominated Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs Crown Heights
1996 Emmy Award Won Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing for a Drama Series Chicago Hope
(For ""Leave of Absence" episode)
1981 Montreal World Film Festival Won Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention The Chosen
Grand Prix des Amériques The Chosen
1987 Paris Film Festival Won Special Jury Prize The Chosen


  1. ^ a b "Jeremy Kagan". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2014. Archived from the original on March 18, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Jeremy Kagan Filmography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2016. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016.
  3. ^ "Jeremy Kagan: 2004 Robert B. Aldrich Award Recipient". Directors Guild of America.
  4. ^ "Meet the 2020 DGA Nominees for Theatrical Feature Film". Directors Guild of America. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.
  5. ^ "Meet the 2019 DGA Nominees for Feature Film". Directors Guild of America. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.
  6. ^ "Meet the 2018 DGA Nominees for Feature Film". Directors Guild of America. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.
  7. ^ "Meet the 2017 DGA Feature Film Nominees". Directors Guild of America. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.
  8. ^ "Meet the 2016 DGA Feature Film Nominees". Directors Guild of America. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021.