Greta Schiller

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Greta Schiller
Born (1954-12-21) December 21, 1954 (age 64)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Occupationdirector, producer, editor, cinematographer
Years active1978-present
Partner(s)Andrea Weiss

Greta Schiller is an American documentary director.


Her 1976 short film Greta's Girls is one of the first independent short films that focuses on lesbians.[1] She had a part directing the 1981 documentary Greetings from Washington, D.C. which details the first important LGBT walk in 1979[1] and Maxine Sullivan: Love To Be in Love.[2] Later on, Schiller, who is openly lesbian,[3] teamed up with her film-making partner Andrea Weiss to direct the 1985 documentary Before Stonewall[1] which won two Emmy awards. Before Stonewall was the first gay or lesbian film to be funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.[4]

In 1984, Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss founded their own production company Jezebel Productions. The company emphasizes on educational films based on real people. The company is based in New York City and London since 1998. The creators were strongly influenced by both the New Left movement and the women's and gay liberation movements of the 1970s.[4]

They also directed International Sweethearts of Rhythm in 1986 which is about African American women musicians performing in the 1930s to 1940s, a 1988 romance entitled Tiny & Ruby: Hell Drivin' Women, and the 1996 documentary Paris Was a Woman.[1] Paris Was a Woman, being about creative lesbians in 1920s Paris, was a labor of love for Schiller and Weiss, taking 5 years to produce and breaking house records.[4] Schiller and Weiss have different areas of expertise which they bring to their filmmaking.[3] Schiller produced Escape To Life: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story (directed by Weiss). Schiller directed The Man Who Drove With Mandela in 2000 and I Live At Ground Zero in 2001.[2] She produced and directed No Dinosaurs in Heaven, about the problem of creationists infiltrating science education, in 2011.

Schiller received the US/UK Fulbright Arts Fellowship in Film and grants from multiple organisations.[2]


Before Stonewall combines interviews with multiple forms of media that shows the history of gays and lesbians during the early 20th century to the 1960s.[5] The Advocate said that Greta Schiller is "gifted" and Time Out New York wrote that Paris Was a Woman might cause viewers to "want to leave their spouse and move to Paris.[3] The author of Black Popular Culture has a picture from the film Love To Be in Love on the first page of the book.[6] The Atlantic Journal wrote that International Sweethearts of Rhythm "makes you glad documentaries were invented."[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Greta Schiller has won several awards over her career. Before Stonewall had earned her an award at the Torino International Gay& Lesbian film Festival as well as a Grand Jury Nomination at the Sundance Film Festival. Tiny and Ruby: Hell Divin' Women earned Schiller a teddy at the Berlin film festival, as well. Greta would win another Teddy in 1999 for Best Documentaryl, The Man Who Drove with Mandela. She has also won the Best Documentary title at the Newport International Film Festival and the Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.[7]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Haggerty, George; Bonnie Zimmerman (2000). Encyclopedia of lesbian and gay histories and cultures, Volume 1. Taylor & Francis. p. 243. ISBN 978-0-8153-3354-8. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Greta Schiller, Director". Jezebel Productions. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Mark J. Huisman (1996). "City of lesbian fight/In Profile". The Advocate. Here Publishing: 64. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Jezebel Productions, About". Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  5. ^ Piontek, Thomas (2006). Queering gay and lesbian studies. University of Illinois Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-252-07280-2. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  6. ^ Wallace, Michele; Gina Dent (1998). Black Popular Culture. The New Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-56584-459-9. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  7. ^ Greta Schiller's IMDb Awards page