Contact: Michael KantorRegion: United States

Title: Executive Producer, American Masters
Genre: Performance, Factual, Biography
Region: United States

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Activities: Broadcaster

Financed by: Government funds, foundations, donations and underwriters

Transmission by: Cable, satellite, IPTV, Internet

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For over two decades, award-winning filmmaker Michael Kantor has created outstanding programs on the arts for television.


Mr. Kantor most recently won a George Forster Peabody award for his film, Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, which aired in 2013 as part of the Great Performances series on PBS. It was narrated by Joel Grey, and included performances by Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, David Hyde Pierce, Marc Shaiman and many other Broadway talents.  Mr. Kantor also produced SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE, which aired on PBS in October 15, 2013.


In 2012, Mr. Kantor produced The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater with Michael Tilson Thomas which aired on PBS and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.  Kantor served as Executive Producer of the ninety-minute special, Give Me the Banjo hosted by Steve Martin and created Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, the critically acclaimed six-part documentary series hosted by Billy Crystal that debuted in January, 2009.  His episode four script, When I’m Bad, I’m Better: The Groundbreakers, coauthored with Laurence Maslon, was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.  His landmark major series, Broadway: The American Musical, was hosted by Julie Andrews and was honored with the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series in 2005.  That same year, he created three hours of DVD extras for 20th Century Fox’s 40th Anniversary release of “The Sound of Music.”  Mr. Kantor is currently producing Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, hosted by Liev Schreiber, a three-hour series for PBS that will premiere in the fall of 2013, with a companion book published by Random House.


Mr. Kantor wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning profile, Quincy Jones: In the Pocket, which aired as part of the American Masters series.  With Stephen Ives, he co-directed Cornerstone: An Interstate Adventure for HBO, and produced The West (Executive Producer Ken Burns).  His twenty years of work in documentaries include projects as varied as EGG: the arts show, Coney Island, The Donner Party, Margaret Sanger, and Ric Burns' New York series.  As a writer, Mr. Kantor created Lullaby of Broadway: Opening Night on 42nd Street, co-authored the companion books to Broadway (Bulfinch) and Make ‘Em Laugh (Grand Central Publishing) and has published numerous essays and articles.  He is also President of Almo Inc., a company which distributes The American Film Theatre series, which includes Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (starring Katharine Hepburn), Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh (Lee Marvin), and Chekhov’s Three Sisters (Laurence Olivier) among its titles.  Mr. Kantor has served as a Tony nominator, and teaches documentary filmmaking at the School for Visual Arts in New York City.


AMERICAN MASTERS, THIRTEEN’s award-winning biography series, celebrates our arts and culture. Created and launched in 1986, the series set the standard for

documentary film profiles, accruing widespread critical acclaim. Awards include 67 Emmy nominations and 26 awards — nine for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabody Awards; three Grammys; an Oscar; two Producers Guild Awards for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television; and the 2012 IDA Award for Best Continuing Series.


AMERICAN MASTERS enjoys recognition from film events across the country and international festivals from London to Berlin and Toronto to Melbourne.

Other honors include The Christopher Awards and the Chicago International Television Awards as Outstanding Documentary Series, and the Banff Grand Prize and the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Movies.