|Born||15 August 1950|
|Education||Monterey Peninsula College, The New School|
Gaylen Ross (born August 15, 1950, Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American director, writer, producer and actress.
Background and Career
Born Gail Sue Rosenblum in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Anne and Wolf Rosenblum, and raised in a Jewish family. She is a graduate of Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis and she studied at Monterey Peninsula College, California. She received her BA from The New School for Social Research in Literature.
Ross was managing editor of the poetry journal, Antaeus and Ecco Press from 1975 to 1977. Ross has been a documentary filmmaker, including the films Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt with Nazis about the Hungarian Jew Rudolf Kasztner who negotiated with Adolf Eichmann to save the last Jews from occupied Europe, and Dealers Among Dealers, the definitive documentary of New York’s 47th Street diamond world.
Ross was an actress for four years, starring as "Francine" in George A. Romero's 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead, followed by her portrayal of Leslie Nielsen's adulterous wife "Becky Vickers" in George Romero and Stephen King's 1982 film Creepshow.
As a noted director, Ross's films produced by her own production company GR Films include: Listen To Her Heart: The Life and Music of Laurie Beechman; Not Just Las Vegas, about the rise of nationwide gambling in the USA; To Russia For Love, about the Russian Mail-order bride business; Selling The Dream: Stock Hype and Fraud; Dealers Among Dealers and the Emmy Award-winning Blood Money: Switzerland's Nazi Gold. Ross, along with John Connolly co-authored Married To A Stranger, about the Russian mail order bride business, published by Berkeley Publishing Group.
In 2009, Ross released Killing Kasztner on the life and assassination of Rezso Kasztner. The film depicts Kasztner, a Hungarian Jew, who negotiated with the Nazis during World War II for the release of 1,700 Jews and was later assassinated in Tel Aviv in 1957. The film has been screened in theaters and festivals in over eleven countries. It premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the best documentary films of 2010, and won Best Documentary at both Boston Jewish Film Festival and Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival.
Ross' film Dealers Among Dealers (1995) won a Gold Plaque at the Chicago Film Festival and was named “Best of Fest” at the Edinburgh Film Festival. It was broadcast on the PBS series POV. Both films were produced with long time collaborator Andy Cohen.
She wrote Blood Money: Switzerland’s Nazi Gold (1997), co-produced with Stephen Crisman, which won an Emmy Award and premiered at Berlin Film Festival.
Ross' documentary After Solidarity: Three Polish Families in America tells the story of three families who arrived as political refugees following the break up of Communism and Lech Walesa’s 1984 Solidarity protests in Poland. The film was shown on The Learning Channel and WNET.
In 2011, Ross released Caris' Peace which documents film and stage actress Caris Corfman's struggles with the brain tumor that left her without short-term memory. The film features numerous friends and colleagues of Caris including Kate Burton, Tony Shaloub, and Lewis Black.
Other films and television projects have covered such subjects as bank fraud, gambling in America, and Russian mail-order brides. She has also directed productions for both “The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous" and the "UJA Federations of North America."
Her current projects include professional boxing documentary TitleShot. With co-director Andy Cohen, projects in post-production include films on the Village Gate, and human rights activists. Ross is collaborating with Cohen again on Beijing Spring, a documentary set to be released in 2018 that tells the story of the brief window of artistic freedom and democracy movement between 1978 and 1982 following China's brutal cultural revolution.
As a director:
- Out of Solidarity (1989)
- Time for Art (1990)
- Not Just Las Vegas (1994)
- Dealers Among Dealers (1996)
- To Russia for Love: Mail-Order Brides (1999)
- Listen to Her Heart: The Life and Music of Laurie Beeckman (2003)
- Killing Kasztner (2008)
- Caris' Peace (2011)
- TitleShot (2019)
- "Beijing Spring (2018)". Internet Movie Database.