Jeff and Michael Zimbalist are Emmy and Peabody Award winning writers, directors, and editors whose films have been broadcast on HBO, MTV, PBS, ESPN, Channel 4 UK, the BBC and BET, as well as theatrically distributed worldwide.
In 2010, the brothers co-directed, co-produced, and co-wrote THE TWO ESCOBARS, which internationally premiered as an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, world premiered in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, was an official selection at the Los Angeles Film Festival and IDFA, and has won numerous international festival awards. The film was theatrically released and broadcast in over 20 countries by Disney/ESPN, won 4 Gold Medals in the New York Film and TV awards, and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Documentary, as well as the Writer's Guild of America's Best Nonfiction Script of 2010. Since, the Zimbalist brothers have directed two other entries into the ESPN 30for30 series, including "Arnold's Blueprint" and "Youngstown Boys", which won an Emmy in 2014 for ESPN Films Best Sports Series.
FAVELA RISING, which Jeff directed, shot, edited and produced, was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary in 2005, and among the 36 international awards it has won are Grand Prize Film of the Year by the International Documentary Association, Best Film at the Sydney International Film Festival and Leeds International Film Festival, as well as Best Director at the Tribeca Film Festival. FAVELA RISING was theatrically exhibited in five continents, held over in theaters in the United Kingdom for six months, and theatrically released by ThinkFilm and HBO in 34 cities in North America.
In 2011, Jeff's film BOLLYWOOD: THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD premiered as an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, and was sold worldwide by Wild Bunch.
Currently, Jeff and Michael are finishing a scripted feature film about soccer legend Pelé, produced by Academy Award winner Brian Grazer. Additionally, Jeff and Michael are working on THE SCRIBE OF URABA, a narrative feature about the true story of the first Colombian Peace Community, starring Jada Pinkett Smith.
Jeff and Michael's production company, All Rise Films, is a Ford Foundation grant recipient and has produced award-winning documentaries on third world development issues for clients such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the SEVEN Fund and the John Templeton Foundation. They have also worked with musicians such as Quincy Jones and Shakira to develop original documentaries about music’s influence around the globe. The brothers' four part series for the Sundance Channel and contribution to HBO’s 14-part Addiction Project both continue to broadcast.
Jeff graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with honors in Art Semiotics and Modern Culture and Media, and a concentration in Latin American Studies. Michael graduated with honors from Wesleyan University and trained as an actor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Prior to working together, Jeff taught at the New York Film Academy and the Maine Photographic Workshops. Michael directed stage plays for The Old Globe Theatre and served as Artistic Director and Senior Writer of El Colectivo Chunique – a Mexico-based theater company that Michael founded in 2004.
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