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Joe Gilford

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JOE GILFORD has worked in film, TV and theatre, as a producer, writer and director for over 35 years. He has taught screenwriting at NYU Tisch Undergarduate Film department since 1999.

Joe’s new book on screenwriting, “Why Does the Screenwriter Cross the Road?…and other secrets of screenwriting” is available at all book sellers. (Click to see more…)


He has just completed the feature screenplay The Sit Down for producers Brian Cange and Robert Ivker. It is the story of the famed 1957 Apalachin Meeting of key mafia leaders in upstate New York and its repercussions in the history of organized crime.


His play, “Finks,” received its New York premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre, winning high critical praise. “Finks” was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, Outstanding Play and Outstanding Leading Actress (Miriam Silverman).  It also received the Best New Play nomination from the Off-Broadway Alliance.“Finks” is a dramatized chronicle of Joe’s parents Jack & Madeline Gilford’s real-life struggles as blacklisted actors in the 1950s.

“Finks” was videotaped as part of the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts “Theater on Film & Tape” archive. It is also an audio podcast from the Radio Drama Network and will debut on public radio stations around the country. It is published by Dramatists Play Service.

“Finks” had its world premiere in 2005 at New York Stage & Film’s Powerhouse Theater at Vassar.  

Joe has received his second Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant for playwriting for his play, The Radio Boys, detailing the struggles of Edwin Armstrong and his invention of FM radio.  Joe previously received a Sloan Foundation grant in 2011 for his newest play “Danny’s Brain” about brain injuries afflicting American football players.


His feature screenplay, “God’s Thumbprint,” the story of an international gold-mining scandal in Indonesia in the 1990s, will be produced by Creative Differences Productions.  Saul Rubinek is the Director & Producer (“Jerry & Tom”).

He was on the writing team of “Gold Fever,” the four-part mini-series about the 1849 California gold rush produced by Stephen David Entertainment for the Discovery Channel.

For director/producer, Fareed Al-Mashat, Joe wrote the screenplay “Moonbounce,” a noir science fiction thriller set in the world of HAM radio operators. It is currently in pre-production.

He is the screenwriter of the feature film adaptation of the French science fiction novel by Ivan Leveque “Operation Pertica” and its sequel “Pertica II: The Awakening.”  He is also the author of the new English adaptation of the novel, “Mission to Ernam,” now out in paperback from Dorrance (also available at Amazon.com).

He is the creator and writer of “Game,” a new digital animation comedy series.

He has had a long career producing television documentaries, winning a New York Emmy Award for his work on WNET-NY’s (PBS) “City Arts” series. He has also been a writer and producer at Showtime, Bravo, Court TV, F/x, and New York's MSG MetroGuide channel.

For PBS’s Great Performances & Time Warner Home Video  he wrote the original script for “The Great American Songbook,” a history of American popular song hosted by Michael Feinstein. Also for PBS, he wrote the documentary “Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans and the Movies” hosted by John Turturro and featuring Paul Sorvino, and Marisa Tomei, and many others.

He is the writer of the A&E Biography, “Tom Hanks: Hollywood's Golden Boy.” He also served as a writer on the award-winning Lifetime series, “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.”

He is the author of the plays “Knockdown,” “Not Tunisia,” “In Aisle 4,” “The End of Our Rope,” “The Love Museum,” and “No Fault”.

His plays have been produced or presented at Naked Angels Theater Co., Roundabout Theater Company, Circle Rep Lab, New York Stage & Film, The Westbank Downstairs Theater, Southampton Writers Workshop and Todd Mountain Theater Project. He is a longtime member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and its Playwrights Unit. He worked as a stage director for many years before turning to writing.

Joe earned his BFA at NYU's Institute of Film & TV where he wrote and directed Max, a short film starring his father, Jack Gilford, playing film festivals and television all over the world.

He is a contributor to Brooklyn: A State of Mind (Workman Press), an anthology of essays and anecdotes about the borough of Brooklyn, NY, where he has lived since 1992.

He has been a teacher and lecturer of screenwriting at Columbia University’s Graduate MFA Film Program, New York’s Gotham Writers Workshop, Pratt Institute, Hollins University MFA program (VA), Montclair State University (NJ), and American Comedy Institute. He has served on the judging panels of events such as the Fusion Film Festival (NY) and the Philadelphia Screenplay Festival.

Since 1999 he has taught screenwriting at NYU’s Undergraduate Film & TV Dept., Tisch School of the Arts. He is also currently a Visiting Professional teaching screenwriting at Montclair State University’s Dept. of Film in New Jersey.

Joe was born and raised in Greenwich Village, NY.  He lives in Brooklyn.

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Photos: Home page ERIC ETHERIDGE  - -  Bio page GERRY GOODSTEIN

Joe Gilford on IMDb

FINKS by Joe Gilford is now on sale online at:  

Dramatists Play Service

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