President / Producer / Director / Writer / CinematographerAs producer/director and president of Our Town Films, Paul Sanderson has enjoyed considerable success in creating television documentaries and educational programs. Since founding Our Town Films in 1992, Mr. Sanderson has won over 30 national awards, including nine CINE Golden Eagles. The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has honored Mr. Sanderson by placing one of his films in its permanent collection. His programs have appeared on NBC, PBS, The Discovery Channel, A&E Network, The History Channel and CNBC. His films have premiered at Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian.
Paul G. Sanderson III
Mr. Sanderson was Producer/Director/Writer/Cinematographer on Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture, a feature length documentary about this famous Gilded Age artist who created some of the most beautiful and enduring works of public art in American history. The film premiered at The Metropolitan Museum of Art followed by screenings at major museums all over the U.S. Audience responses include: “visually stunning,” “a feast for the eyes and the ears alike” and “what a triumph.” The film was selected to premiere at the Montreal International Festival of Films on Art and made its national television debut on PBS. It has received a CINE Golden Eagle, a Telly Award and a Bronze Plaque from the Columbus International Film Festival.
Most recently, Mr. Sanderson was Producer/Director/Cinematographer on In Money We Trust? a one-hour documentary for PBS that gives an insightful and illuminating answer to the question “What is Money?” Based on the book “Money” by Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames, the film features 25 notable world financial experts, economists and authors including former Federal Reserve Chairmen Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker, Harvard’s Larry Summers, famed economist Arthur Laffer as well as Jack Weatherford, author of “The History of Money.” One PBS executive called it “a stylish and interesting program with impressive interviews that during these times, is especially resonant when talking about trust.” The film won a Silver Telly Award.
Mr. Sanderson produced and was co-cinematographer on Wings of Madness, the story of Alberto Santos-Dumont, a pioneering Brazilian aviator who made his fame in Paris c. 1900 that aired on PBS’s NOVA series. Sanderson was also Director of Photography and Production Consultant for The Mormons, a four-hour special that aired on PBS’s American Experience and Frontline. In addition, he was Co-Producer and Director of Photography for Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries, a feature documentary on this famous author and defender of the environment which was broadcast on National PBS and received a CINE Golden Eagle.
Sanderson also produced and directed, Doomed Tower at Sea, a ninety-minute documentary special on the catastrophic story of an Air Force radar platform built off the coast of New Jersey during the Cold War. All of its personnel were killed when the giant tower collapsed during a fierce storm in the winter of 1961. Mr. Sanderson worked closely with famed underwater cinematographer Al Giddings (Titanic, Andrea Doria) in shooting the story. TV viewers called it “riveting” and “beautifully-crafted.” Broadcast on The History Channel, the program has received both a Crystal Award of Excellence and a Telly Award.
In addition, Mr. Sanderson produced and directed The Gate of Heaven: The Story of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. This hour-long documentary portrays one of American’s preeminent parish churches through its 175 years of development. After it aired on PBS, viewers praised the film in terms such as “magnificent,” “moving,” and “one of the best television programs I have seen in a long time.” It was screened at the New York International Film Festival and received a CINE Golden Eagle Award, a Crystal Award of Excellence, and a Telly Award.
Mr. Sanderson produced and directed a feature documentary chronicling American democracy during the twentieth century. Happily Ever After? The Twentieth Century Struggles for Democracy was narrated by Charlton Heston, Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters. The film premiered at Radio City Music Hall before embarking on a 16-city tour of the United Sates. It was broadcast in primetime by the Discovery Channel and was honored with a CINE Golden Eagle as well as a Bronze Plaque from the Columbus International Film Festival.
He also worked as Director of Photography on Jeff Sewald’s award winning We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told, a feature documentary on the incredibly prolific and rich story of great jazz musicians that came from “the Steel City.” He was also Director of Photography on Helen Whitney’s feature documentary Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death which is an in depth look at this most difficult of all subjects and which was broadcast on PBS. One viewer called the film “beautiful as a work of art.”
Other recent documentary projects include I Can Dance: Four Stories a feature documentary that Mr. Sanderson produced, directed, wrote and was cinematographer which looks at the world of Pro/Am ballroom dancing through the stories of two amateurs and two professionals. The film premiered on PBS in New York City (WNET) and screened at the Miami Documentary Film Festival. He was also producer/director/writer and cinematographer on the documentary short LeFrak City about this pioneering housing complex in Queens, New York. In addition, he was Director of Photography on award winning filmmaker Helen Whitney’s three-hour documentary Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate which was broadcast on PBS.
Currently, Mr. Sanderson is Co-producer and Director of Photography of “Word Master: Alfred Butts and the Story of Scrabble” a feature length documentary on the history of one of the most popular international board games of all time. Mr. Sanderson is also Producer/Director/Writer/Cinematographer on Marco Frisina: The Power and Glory of Music a feature documentary on the life and music of this priest/film composer from the Vatican whose breathtakingly beautiful music is just now being discovered in the U.S.
Mr. Sanderson and Our Town Films have done many award-winning corporate projects over the years for clients that include Forbes Magazine, Pfizer, Siemens, General Motors, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Institute of International Education and The College Board. The video projects range in length from 30 second TV spots and Public Service Announcements to hour-long corporate histories. Corporate histories and anniversary films include the history of Forbes Magazine, the 100th Anniversary of the LeFrak Organization, the 125th Anniversary of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and the 175th Anniversary of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue.
Mr. Sanderson has also done a number of successful videos for schools including videos for Suffield Academy (CT), Seton Hall Prep (NJ), St. Thomas Choir School (NY), Rutgers Law School: Newark (NJ), 150th anniversary of the Pingry School (NJ), 100th anniversary of New Canaan Country School (CT).
References: Susan Lacy, Former Executive Producer and founder of American Masters Steve Forbes, Chairman and CEO, Forbes Media