Jeremy Kagan


“Facts inform, stories transform.” So says Professor Jeremy Kagan, an internationally recognized director/writer/producer of feature films and television and a well-known teacher. Serving as Chairperson of Special Projects for the DGA, he received the Robert Aldrich B. Award for “extraordinary service to the guild.”

Some of his feature credits include the box-office hits HEROES with Henry Winkler, the political thriller THE BIG FIX with Richard Dreyfuss, THE CHOSEN (2 time Grand Prize winner) from Chaim Potok’s classic novel, and THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN (winner of Gold Prizes at Film Festivals). Among his many television shows are KATHERINE: The Making of an American Revolutionary and HBO’s CONSPIRACY: THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 8 (ACE Award for Best Dramatic Special). His film ROSWELL: THE UFO CONSPIRACY garnered a Golden Globe nomination and he directed the pilot for the hit series DR. QUINN: MEDICINE WOMAN. Among his other television films include

DESCENDING ANGEL for HBO about former Nazi criminals disguising themselves in the US and for Showtime COLOR OF JUSTICE with Judd Hirsh about racism. Mr. Kagan has won an EMMY for Dramatic Series Directing and directed WEST WING and Steven Spielberg’s TAKEN. His movie CROWN HEIG about the riots in 1991 in Brooklyn won the Humanitas Award for “affirming the dignity of every person.” This film also received an NACCP Award and the Directors Guild Nomination for best family film. His “hybrid” movie GOLDA’S BALCONY based on the one-woman play about Golda Meir starred Valery Harper and it was shot all against green screen. His feature SHOT has been used as an advocacy story to confront gun violence. He has made films for The Doe Fund which is the most successful program in America helping the houseless, and for The Bioneers which organizes leaders in ecology and social justice.

Professor Kagan teaches graduate courses at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC and has

created the The Change Making Media Center – - which specializes in

developing and creating Entertainment Education (EE) emphasizing the values of narrative

dramas and comedies to successfully motivate behavior change. His feature film was SHOT has been used to confront gun violence in America. 

Professor Kagan is author of DIRECTORS CLOSE UP, vol. 1, vol. 2 and vol 3, based on his popular interviews with DGA nominated directors for outstanding feature films and he is also the author of the interactive “living” eTextbook KEYS TO DIERCTING. He has served as the Artistic Director of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. 

A Graduate Fellow of the American Film Institute, he has an M.F.A. from NYU and a B.A.

from Harvard University. He has taught master seminars on filmmaking around the world.

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Films: The Chosen (Grand Prize, Montreal); Journey of Natty Gann (Gold Prize, Moscow); Big Fix; Heroes; Big Man on Campus. TV: Emmy, Drama Series; MOWs: Roswell (Golden Globe Nom.); Conspiracy: Trial of the Chicago 8 (ACE Award); Katherine; Descending Angel (HBO); Bobbie's Girl (Showtime);  Color of Justice; Crown Heights (Humanitas Award);  Ballad of Lucy Whipple; Courage; Sleeping Beauty;  ACLU Freedom Files. Episodic, including West Wing. Award winning documentaries, animation, music videos, advocacy videos.

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Visual History
VH198 Jeremy Kagan
Visual History Interview
Jeremy Kagan (The Chosen, The Journey of Natty Gann, Crown Heights) discusses his 40-plus year career as a director of feature films, TV movies, and episodic television, and his active involvement in the DGA including serving as the Chair of the Special Projects Committee.
DGA Quarterly
Jeremy Kagan
Each awards season, the Directors Guild of America’s nominees for best feature film gather for an in-depth discussion of their work at the annual Meet the Nominees Symposium.