Gabe Polsky

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Gabe Polsky
Gabe Polsky.JPG
Gabe Polsky speaking at the premiere of Red Army at the 2014 AFI Film Festival
Born (1979-05-03) May 3, 1979 (age 40)
OccupationFilm director, writer, producer

Gabe Polsky (born May 3, 1979) is an American film director, writer, and producer.

Early life[edit]

Polsky was born to Soviet immigrants and raised in the Chicago area. He graduated from Hotchkiss School for his high school education.[1] After graduating, he went on to Yale University and played hockey there.[2]


Polsky wrote, directed and produced Red Army, a documentary film about the Soviet Union and its famed ice hockey team.[3] Red Army premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival[4] and was released in theaters by Sony Pictures Classics on Jan. 22, 2015.[5]

A. O. Scott of The New York Times called Red Army a "stirring, crazy story—a Russian novel of Tolstoyan sweep and Gogl-esque absurdity.”[6] Time Magazine said: "this playful, poignant film presents a human story that transcends decades, borders and ideologies.”[7] Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter called the film "one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen.”[8]

Red Army was the only documentary included in the official selections at the 2014 Cannes,[9] Telluride,[10] Toronto,[11] New York,[12] and AFI,[13] film festivals. Red Army won Audience Awards at the 2014 AFI,[14] Chicago[15] and Middleburg[16] film festivals.[17] The film was selected as the Opening Ceremony film of the 2014 Moscow International Film Festival.[18]

In 2017 Polsky was an Executive Producer on the Genius series on National Geographic. The series was nominated for 10 Emmys. He and his brother Alan acquired the rights to the Einstein Estate and the book Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.[19]

In 2018 Polsky completed the documentary In Search of Greatness. Told through the eyes of the greatest athletes of all time, In Search of Greatness is a cinematic journey into the secrets of genius. The film features original interviews with sports-world legends Wayne Gretzky, Pelé, and Jerry Rice.[20] In April 2018. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film is an early Oscar contender for the best documentary feature award, and that the film uses a mixture of "remarkable archival footage and talking-head interviews". Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated said that the film is a "must see" and showcases "An unprecedented understanding of the true source of athletic genius."[21] Additionally, Nick Paumgarten of The New Yorker called In Search of Greatness "A soulful and idiosyncratic investigation of magic made manifest on the field, the court, the ice, and the canvas."[22] The film was nominated for numerous awards including a WGA award.

Polsky also co-directed and produced The Motel Life (2013), starring Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, and Stephen Dorff.[23] The film was described by IndieWire as “a perfectly formed Indie with a heart of gold."[24] Released in November 2013,[25] The Motel Life has been called “outstanding and enthralling” by The Washington Post[26] and “admirable and memorable” by The Wall Street Journal.[27]

Additional producing credits include: Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,[28] which was named in over 40 top-ten lists of the Best Films in 2009. Roger Ebert declared: "Nicolas Cage is as good as anyone since Klaus Kinski at portraying a man whose head is exploding. It's a hypnotic performance."[29] Ebert named the film as among the top 10 best mainstream films of 2009,[30] and then included it in his list of the best films of the decade. Polsky produced His Way, an Emmy-nominated documentary about Jerry Weintraub released by HBO in 2011;[31] and Little Birds,[32] which was named among the top ten independent films of 2012 by the National Board of Review. Polsky is adapting the novels Butcher's Crossing by John Edward Williams[33] and National Book Award-winning Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien.[34] Other projects in development include an adaptation of the novel Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.


  1. ^ Patrick Z. McGavin (November 10, 2014). "CIFF 2014 Interview: Gabe Polsky on "Red Army"". Roger Ebert. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  2. ^ Mike Rubin (December 5, 2014). "A Look Behind Hockey's Iron Curtain". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  3. ^ "IMDB".
  4. ^ "Cannes Film Festival".
  5. ^ "Sony Pictures Classics". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  6. ^ A. O. Scott (November 13, 2014). "New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Mary Corliss (November 16, 2014). "Review: Red Army: Much More Than Just a Hockey Doc". Time Magazine. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  8. ^ Scott Feinberg (September 1, 2014). "Telluride: 'Red Army' Joins 'Keep on Keepin' On' at Top of Heap of Best Doc Oscar Contenders". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  9. ^ "RED ARMY". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Telluride Film Festival". Archived from the original on September 5, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  11. ^ "Toronto International Film Festival". Archived from the original on December 4, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "New York Film Festival".
  13. ^ "AFI Fest". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  14. ^ "AFI Fest". Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  15. ^ "Chicago International Film Festival" (PDF). Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  16. ^ "Middleburg Film Festival | Middleburg, Virginia | October 20–23, 2016". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  17. ^ "Middleburg Film Festival" (PDF). Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  18. ^ "Moscow International Film Festival". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  19. ^ Michael Fleming (May 16, 2008). "Odd Lot boards Einstein film". Variety. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  20. ^ Polsky, Gabe, In Search of Greatness, Wayne Gretzky, Jerry Rice, Pelé, retrieved April 23, 2018
  21. ^ Movieclips Indie (April 5, 2018), In Search of Greatness Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Indie, retrieved April 23, 2018
  22. ^ Movieclips Indie (April 5, 2018), In Search of Greatness Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Indie, retrieved April 23, 2018
  23. ^ "The Motel Life". IMDb. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  24. ^ Jessica Kiang (November 16, 2012). "Rome Review: 'The Motel Life' A Small But Perfectly Formed Indie With A Sweet, Sad Heart Of Gold". IndieWire. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  25. ^ "The Motel Life". IMDb. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  26. ^ Stephanie Merry (November 7, 2013). "'The Motel Life' movie review: Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff star as brothers in a bittersweet tale". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  27. ^ Joe Morgenstern (November 7, 2013). "'Armstrong': The Lie Will Out". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  28. ^ "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans". IMDb. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  29. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 14, 2009). "TIFF #7: It was a very good day". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on September 22, 2009.[verification needed]
  30. ^ "The best films of 2009". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved December 20, 2009.[verification needed]
  31. ^ "His Way". IMDb. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  32. ^ "Little Birds". IMDb. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  33. ^ "Penhall Writing Mendes Film Butcher's Crossing". CraveOnline. December 9, 2009. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  34. ^ "Going After Cacciato". IMDb. Retrieved December 29, 2017.

External links[edit]