Jeffrey Schwarz (born 1969) is a filmmaker and producer based in Los Angeles, California. His latest documentary feature is I Am Divine, about the international drag superstar and John Waters' leading lady Divine. It had its world premiere at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival, and its Baltimore premiere at the Maryland Film Festival.
His previous documentary feature is HBO Documentary Films' Vito, about the life of Vito Russo, gay activist, film scholar, and author of The Celluloid Closet, premiered at the 2011 New York Film Festival and made its television debut on HBO in July, 2012. The DVD was released by First Run Features in April, 2013. Vito received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Research at the 2013 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, as well as a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Documentary.
In 2008, Jeffrey premiered the GayVN award winning feature documentary Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon, a portrait of 1970s adult film star Jack Wrangler. It premiered at 2008's Newfest and is distributed by TLA Releasing. It frequently airs on Logo.
Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, about the legendary Hollywood showman, premiered at the 2007 American Film Institute's AFIFest and was awarded the Audience Award for Best Documentary among many other festival honors. It was released as part of the William Castle box set in 2009 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and in 2011 was released as a stand-alone Special Edition DVD. It has aired on The Documentary Channel and TCM.
As President and CEO of Automat Pictures, Schwarz specializes in the production of studio EPKs (electronic press kits), Blu-ray and DVD content, and original television programming. Since the company's founding in 2000, he has produced content for major studio releases for directors such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Sam Mendes, Wes Craven, Rob Reiner, Joe Dante, Barry Sonnenfeld, Adam Shankman, Paul Verhoeven, John Carpenter, Chris Columbus (filmmaker), the Coen Brothers, Sidney Lumet, and many more. Jeffrey's documentary People Like Us: Making Philadelphia, premiered at the 2003 San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Schwarz also executive produced Whether You Like It Or Not: The Story of Hedwig, which enjoyed a run at film festivals around the world. No Day But Today: The Story of Rent was featured on the DVD release of that musical's feature film adaptation.
Television productions include Starz (TV channel)'s Sex and the Cinema, a look at sexuality on film; In the Gutter, a history of the gross-out movie; Hitchcocked!, a tribute to the artistry of Alfred Hitchcock; and Shooting the Police: Cops on Film. For the Independent Film Channel he produced Reservoir Dogs Revisited, a celebration of Quentin Tarantino's classic, and Still Swingin', a tribute to the indie classic Swingers; he also produced several episodes of HBO First Look.
Schwarz is currently in production on Tab Hunter Confidential, about the life of actor Tab Hunter.
A New York native, Jeffrey is a graduate of the SUNY Purchase Film Department, where he produced Al Lewis in the Flesh, a profile of "Grampa" Al Lewis, octogenarian star of TV's The Munsters. This film observes the American pastime of celebrity adulation and led to Jeffrey's on-going interest in producing films about popular culture and Americana. His first job in the film industry was as an apprentice editor on The Celluloid Closet, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s film adaptation of Vito Russo’s seminal book.
- Jeffrey Schwarz official site
- Automat Pictures official site
- Jeffrey Schwarz at the Internet Movie Database