Carl Kurlander is an American television writer, producer and screenwriter. He grew up in Pittsburgh and attended Shady Side Academy and Duke University . Kurlander is best known for his extensive work on American teen sitcoms and has served as producer with Peter Engel on a number of programmes including Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Hang Time, USA High and Malibu, CA and as a screenwriter who co-wrote the semi-autobiographical smash hit St. Elmo's Fire.
He is co-author of The F Word: A Guide to Surviving Your Family with comedian Louie Anderson, and was featured in Po Bronson's bestselling book What Should I Do With my Life?, which landed him on The Oprah Winfrey Show in February 2003, on a program about people who had changed their lives, where Carl spoke about leaving Hollywood to move back to his hometown to teach at the University of Pittsburgh.
This journey inspired a movie Carl produced and directed, My Tale of Two Cities which has been called a "funny, moving, and-- above all- entertaining film" about coming home and one America's great cities reinventing itself for a new age. The film uses the metaphor of Pittsburgh being the real-life Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and, during the making of the film, Kurlander and his crew got crowds from Times Square to Beverly Hills to sing Fred Rogers' theme song "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" ala Ferris Bueller's Day Off. After delighting audiences at film festivals around the country and special screenings for the International MENSA society and as the keynote for the International Downtown Association Annual Conference, on March 23, 2010, My Tale of Two Cities was the first movie ever to be invited to screen on Capitol Hill at the new U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center where Congressman Mike Doyle called the film "a comeback story which can inspire cities around this country." The film is being distributed by Panorama Entertainment and is playing in theaters in selected cities during the summer of 2010. ()
"Carl Kurlander's movie is the wry, funny tale of the fulfillment he found moving back home to the city of his youth. A cross between Woody Allen and Fred Rogers, he reminds us that our cities are the real "Real America" because they are the creative, connected places in which we can best renew ourselves, our country, and our hope for all humanity." -- Howard Fineman, Newsweek
He is the producer of "The Shot Felt 'Round The World", a new film about Jonas Salk and his team at the University of Pittsburgh who pulled together with a nation to conquer one of the most feared disease of the twentieth century, polio. (www.shotsthatchangetheworld.org)
Carl works as a visiting distinguished senior lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh and is the co-founder of the Steeltown Entertainment Project, a non-profit whose mission is to connect entertainment professionals, with Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) ties, to projects, people and partnerships in order to support and invest in the socially and commercially significant film and media industry of the Pittsburgh region. See www.steeltown.org.