The Tisch School of the Arts (TSOA) at New York University has announced that it has received a gift of $100,000 from television film producer, alumnus, and TSOA Dean’s Council member Alan Landsburg (’53) to establish the first documentary production fund at the Tisch School. The fund will support students in the graduate and undergraduate programs in the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television who are committed to making documentary films that give voice to extraordinary people and socially relevant issues that would otherwise not be heard.
“We are thrilled to announce the establishment of the very first documentary production fund at the Tisch School created to support young, talented documentary filmmakers,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School. “Alan Landsburg’s vision for creating his fund elevates awareness of the documentary art form as well as the impact that documentary films can have around the world.”
Landsburg is credited as an industry pioneer in new forms and important issues, and his career as a producer, writer, and director in broadcasting spans nearly 50 years. His innovations and creative vision have guided numerous television documentaries, series, game shows, mini-series and movies of the week as well as theatrical and industrial films.
“The creation of this Fund, in part, is a salute to the three wonderful professors who served as the entire staff of the radio and television department of Washington Square arts, circa 1949,” said Landsburg. “They gave me a wondrous four-year introduction to all the obstacles and triumphs of my future career. I followed their instructions and did succeed as a result. There is no doubt that a high-quality education in the cinematic arts provided by the Tisch School continues to inspire students and enable excellence in documentary filmmaking.”
Landsburg graduated in 1953 from NYU’s Washington Square College with BA in Radio and Motion Pictures. After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he established himself as a documentary producer and helped to pioneer the television series documentary format. His film, Kennedy, The First Thousand Days received a standing ovation at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Also under his banner is the fabulously successful reality format of the shows That’s Incredible and In Search Of.
In 1970, he founded the Alan Landsburg Production Company, which later merged with Reeves Entertainment Group. And in 1985, he formed the Landsburg Company, which was responsible for producing a variety of television programs, including such movies as The Disney Channel’s Parent Trap II starring Haley Mills; Adam: His Song Continues for NBC-TV; and The George McKenna Story for CBS Television.
Between 1986 and 2004, productions also included: the HBO movie Lone Gone; and the network television movies Strange Voices, Too Young the Hero, A Stoning in Fulham County, The Charlie Wedemeyer Story and The Ryan White Story. Other television productions include: the mini-series Bluegrass for CBS; the NBC documentary on breast cancer Destined to Live; the reality series Under Fire for CBS; the one hour children’s special A Place at the Table for NBC; the television movies Unspeakable Acts and In Defense of a Married Man for ABC; and the After-School Special Charlie’s Secret for CBS.
Among his company’s more than 50 Movies of the Week are: Country Justice starring George C. Scott; Triumph of the Heart: The Rickey Bell Story; Nightmare on Columbia County and Terror in the Night starring Joe Penny and Justine Bateman; The Diamond Fleece starring Ben Cross, Kate Nelligan, and Brian Dennehy; With Reason to Suspect: The Elizabeth Morgan Story starring Bonnie Bedelia, Rip Torn, and Patricia Neal; and most recently The Lottery starring Dan Cortese and Keri Russell and If Someone Had Known starring Kellie Martin and Kevin Dobson, the 1996 Christopher Award winner.
Landsburg is a member of the Television Academy, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Writers Guild of America and the Director Guild of America. He is also a member of the board of directors for Find the Children and the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine.