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Michael Kantor

Director/Producer/Writer Michael Kantor created the landmark six-part PBS documentary, Broadway: The American Musical, which was nominated for 5 Primetime Emmy awards in 2005.  It won two Emmys, including Outstanding Nonfiction Series.  osted and narrated by Julie Andrews, this hi-definition series was a co-production of Mr. Kantor’s company, Ghost Light Films, Inc. and Thirteen/WNET, NHK, and BBC in association with Carlton International.  Ten years in the making, The Wall Street Journal called Broadway “a vivid history of America itself in the last century” and People Magazine cited it as one of the “Top Ten TV Triumphs of 2004.”

After finishing Broadway, Mr. Kantor again teamed with Julie Andrews to create additional material for a special 40th Anniversary edition of The Sound of Music, to be released by Twentieth Century Fox in November, 2005.  Production included shoots on the Fox lot in Century City, California; a reminiscence between Ms. Andrews with Christopher Plummer filmed in Connecticut; a trip to Salzburg, Austria to visit the locations used in the film; and a featurette chronicling a sing-along presentation of the film attended by 18,000 at the Hollywood Bowl.

Mr. Kantor also wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning profile, Quincy Jones: In the Pocket, which aired on PBS as part of the American Masters series. It featured interviews with Oprah Winfrey, President Bill Clinton, and Maya Angelou among others.  He has also created segments on Arthur Miller and David Mamet for Thirteen’s series Egg: The Arts Show, and co-directed Cornerstone: An Interstate Adventure for HBO.  Kantor’s other credits include producing The West (Executive Producer Ken Burns), and work on projects as varied as Lindbergh, Coney Island, The Donner Party, Margaret Sanger, Out of the Past, The Impressionists, and Ric Burns’ New York series.  Mr. Kantor wrote Lullabye of Broadway: Opening Night on 42nd Street (aired on Thirteen/WNET, June 2002) which was produced by Metropolitan Entertainment in association with Ghost Light Films.

In the recording studio, Kantor has directed talents such as John Lithgow, Gwyneth Paltrow, Linda Hunt, Matthew Broderick and Hector Elizondo among others. Mr. Kantor has published essays and articles in American Theater, Newsday, TheatreWeek, Interview, and in College 101: A Freshman Reader, an educational textbook distributed by McGraw Hill.  Mr. Kantor was credited as a writer on three episodes of Broadway: The American Musical and, with Laurence Maslon, he co-wrote the companion book (Bulfinch Press) to the series which Publishers Weekly lauded as “a particularly striking and comprehensive take on a uniquely American art form.”   Together with Mr. Maslon, they co-wrote the six-part series, Make Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, which will premiere on PBS on January 14, 2009, and the companion book, now available from Twelve, Inc.

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