| Paul Wagner

Paul Wagner


American Focus Inc.




Emmy and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner has been producing and directing documentary films for over thirty years.

Paul’s first dramatic feature, WINDHORSE (Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, and Rotterdam Film Festivals; Florida and D.C. Film Festival Audience Awards; and Santa Barbara Festival Best Film and Best Director), tells the story of three Tibetans' struggle for freedom against the Chinese communist regime. One of the first digital feature films, it was shot clandestinely in Tibet and Nepal and released by New Yorker Films.

His most recent film is a documentary entitled Thoroughbred, a look inside the world of big-time horse racing filmed in Kentucky, New York and Dubai, that will be broadcast on national PBS in May of 2011.

Paul Wagner has also produced documentary films for the Smithsonian Institution about old-time medicine shows, museum education, family traditions, fishmongers, Southern pottery, the U.S. Postal Service, the Columbian Quincentenary, and anthropological rituals around the world. He served as executive producer for films on the history of insane asylums and on the French novelist Marcel Proust, both broadcast nationally on PBS.

Before his career in film, Paul performed as a country singer in clubs in Philadelphia, PA. He lives with his wife, Ellen, and their four children in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he is a member of advisory boards for two arts groups: Live Arts Theater and Light House, a media arts organization for young people. Paul is an Adjunct Faculty member of the Media Studies Department at the University of Virginia where he has taught courses on narrative and documentary film.

Selected Publications


The Stone Carvers (Emmy Award and Academy Award, PBS broadcast) a portrait of Italian-American artisans

Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle (four regional Emmy Awards, PBS), the story of the Pullman Porters who organized America’s first African America labor union

Out of Ireland, the Story of Irish Emigration to America
(Sundance Film Festival, PBS) starring Liam Neeson, Kelly McGillis, and Gabriel Byrne

Signature: George C. Wolfe (National Educational Telecommunications Association Public Television Program of the Year, PBS) a portrait of the controversial theatre director

A Paralyzing Fear, the Story of Polio in America (Emmy Award, Eric Barnouw Award for Best Historical Film of 1998, PBS)

Absolutely Irish (WGBH, American Public Television), an Irish music concert documentary.


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