Russ Emanuel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Russ Emanuel
Russ Emanuel.jpg
BornAugust 31, 1977
California, US
OccupationIndependent filmmaker and director
EducationUniversity of Southern California

Russell "Russ" Emanuel (born August 31, 1977) is an American director, producer, and independent filmmaker, having directed such actors as John Heard, Tarah Paige, Robert Picardo, Vincent Pastore, Glynnis O'Connor, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Jeremy London, Ryan Hurst, William Devane, Dan Grimaldi, Vinny Vella, Michelle Lee (actress), Larry Pine, Marina Sirtis, Sean Kenney (actor), Heather McComb, Armin Shimerman, Rico E. Anderson, Eileen Dietz, Kelli Maroney, Gary Graham, Laurene Landon, and Olivia d'Abo.

Emanuel was born in San Francisco, California to Charles Phillip Emanuel and Akemi Tsujita, but grew up in both Japan and the United States. He has stated that his background and upbringing have gifted him and his work with a very international view of the world.[1] Emanuel founded Russem Productions, a Los Angeles based production company in 2002, and has produced and directed a number of award-winning short and feature-length films.

In 2015, Emanuel was listed in Del Weston's book "The Top 100 Indie Filmmakers in the World Part 1".[2]


Emanuel attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with an emphasis in film studies, international relations, and Japanese. His films have explored many genres, including science fiction, horror, drama, comedy, and fantasy.

Emanuel's first films were shorts, including Her Knight (2003) and the award-winning Girl with Gun (2006).[3][4] In 2007, Emanuel produced his first feature film, P.J., which won seven national and international film awards. The film received many favorable reviews and the cinematography has been stylistically compared to Godard and the silent films of the German Expressionist movement.[5] Emanuel subsequently directed the feature film Chasing the Green (2009),[6][7] starring William Devane, and The Legends of Nethiah (2012) starring John Heard and Robert Picardo. His 2015 horror feature film Occupants, starring Robert Picardo, screened at numerous film festivals, including Shriekfest 2016.[8][9] His next film was the true-story crime thriller "American Wisper".[10] He is currently filming his sixth feature film "Staycation" about a global horror pandemic. [11]


Emanuel directed and produced the documentary film Restoration of Paradise (2014). Emanuel filmed the beauty of the Bolsa Chica wetlands and documented the history of the land, which has at different times been a Native American settlement, President Teddy Roosevelt's Gun Club, and a World War II home for artillery batteries.[12] Emanuel worked with the local environmental group, Amigos de Bolsa Chica, on the project.[13] The documentary was narrated by Robert Picardo of Star Trek fame. The film was well-received on the film festival circuit,[14] and won the SoCal Film Festival Award for Achievement in Local Filmmaking.[15]


Year Title Role Note
2003 The Failures Assistant to Producer (feature film)
2003 Her Knight Producer, Director, Writer (short film)
2004 The Diary Producer (short film)
2005 Mavet Producer (short film)
2006 Girl with Gun Producer, Director (short film)
2007 The Rapture Associate Producer (feature film)
Perfect Red Producer (short film)
2008 Heaven's Messenger (original title P.J.) Producer, Director (feature film) [16]
2009 Chasing the Green Director (feature film)
2010 Cult 11 Producer - 4 episodes, Director - 2 episodes: "Nurse Janet's Happy Place", "Make-Up Time, Mr. President" (web series)
2012 The Legends of Nethiah Director (feature film)
2013 The Meeting Director, Editor - 2 episodes: "Tales from the Curbside: A Prairie Homeless Companion", "A Savage Meeting" (web series)
2014 Restoration of Paradise Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Editor (documentary)
2015 Occupants Director (feature film)
2017 Collar Producer, Director (short film)
2018 The Assassin's Apprentice Director (short film)
Allegedly Producer (short film)
The Meeting Director, Editor - 2 episodes: "A Not So Funny Meeting", "Meeting Clapit" (web series)
2019 American Wisper (original title Wisper) Director (feature film)
2020 Lighter Than Air Producer (short film)
Routine Director (short film)
2022 The Assassin's Apprentice II: Silbadores of the Canary Islands Director (short film)
Staycation Director (feature film)


Action on Film International Film Festival

  • (2015) – Best Cinematography Documentary / Restoration of Paradise (2014)
  • (2018) – Best Spoof / The Meeting: Webisode III - A Not So Funny Meeting (2018)

Bare Bones International Film Festival

  • (2018) Best Feature Thriller / Occupants (2015)
  • (2019) Ned Hockman’s Best Bare Bones Director Award / The Assassin's Apprentice (2018)
  • (2020) Best Thriller: First Place / American Wisper (2019)
  • (2021) Micro-Short: Best Covid-Pandemic Film / Routine (2020)

Boston Science Fiction Film Festival

  • (2017) Best Found Footage / Occupants (2015)

Canada International Film Festival

Chandler International Film Festival

  • (2017) Best Action/Thriller Feature / Occupants (2015)
  • (2019) Best Action/Adventure Film / The Assassin's Apprentice (2018)

Hollywood MiniDV Festival

  • (2005) Festival Prize for Best Horror/Scary Short / The Diary (2004)

Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival

  • (2016) Best Trailer / Occupants (2015)

Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema

  • (2017) Excellence in Filmmaking / Occupants (2015)
  • (2018) Excellence in Filmmaking / Collar (2017)
  • (2019) Marshall Hawkins Best Original Score Short / The Assassin's Apprentice (2018)

Independent Filmmakers Showcase IFS Film Festival

  • (2018) Best Short Thriller / The Assassin's Apprentice (2018)

Indigo Moon Film Festival

  • (2018) Best Narrative Feature (Juried Award) / Occupants (2015)

Las Cruces International Festival

  • (2018) Best Director / Occupants (2015)

ME Film Festival

  • (2017) Best Sci-Fi Film / Occupants (2015)

New Jersey Film Festival

  • (2008) Grand Prize for Best Feature Film/Video / P.J. (2008)

Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival

  • (2021) Best Isolation in Sci-Fi / Routine (2020)


  • (2016) Best Sci-Fi Feature / Occupants (2015)

SoCal Independent Film Festival

  • (2014) Special Achievement in Local Filmmaking / Restoration of Paradise (2014)
  • (2017) Audience Choice Award, Best Director / Occupants (2015)

Telly Awards

  • (2006) Bronze Trophy: Best Entertainment (Non-Broadcast Production) / Girl With Gun (2006)
  • (2018) Silver Trophy: Best Craft-Writing (Non-Broadcast Production) / Occupants (2015)

The Indie Gathering International Film Festival

  • (2019) 1st Place Suspense-Thriller Feature / Occupants (2015)
  • (2021) 1st Place Drama Feature Film / American Wisper (2019)
  • (2021) 1st Place: Micro-Drama / Routine (2020)

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival

  • (2012) Silver Award for Independent Theatrical Feature Films - Family/Children / The Legends of Nethiah (2012)
  • (2018) Special Jury Award: Suspense/Thriller, Platinum Award: Dramatic - Original / Collar (2017)
  • (2021) Silver Remi: Shorts - Fantasy/Horror Winner / Routine (2020)


  1. ^ Novack, Van (November 12, 2008). "'P.J.' reflects change in many lives". Huntington Beach Independent.
  2. ^ Top 100 Indie Filmmakers in the World Part 1 by Del Weston
  3. ^ "Girl with Gun - Two Reviews in One". Comic Book Bin, By Tony Farinella & Christopher Moshier Aug 27, 2006
  4. ^ "Short Film Critique: Girl with Gun". Micro Filmmaker, November 15, 2006 Reviewed By: Monika DeLeeuw-Taylor
  5. ^ Handler, Amy R. "P.J., an Interview with Filmmaker Russ Emmanuel". Film Threat. Archived from the original on 2010-03-01.
  6. ^ "Review: ‘Chasing the Green’". Variety, Andrew Barker April 20, 2009
  7. ^ "Movie Reviews: American Violet, Crank: High Voltage, Sleep Dealer". LA Weekly, April 16, 2009
  8. ^ "“Occupants” (Shriekfest 2016): Couple Confronts Terror from a Parallel Reality". Gruesome Magazine, November 25, 2016 by Joseph Perry
  9. ^ "Pearson set to be the Opening Night Gala of the SCI-FI-LONDON FILM FESTIVAL on April 27". The Fan Carpet, 20 April 2017.
  10. ^ "American Wisper (2020)". IMDb.
  11. ^ "Staycation (2022)". IMDb.
  12. ^ Langthorn, Daniel (September 22, 2014). "Filmmaker gives Bolsa Chica its close-up in Documentary". Orange County Register.
  13. ^ "'Restoration of Paradise' to Screen October 4 at the SoCal Film Festival in HB" (PDF). The Tern Tide. Amigos de Bolsa Chica. 38 (3): 7. Fall 2014.
  14. ^ Booth, Paul. "SoCal Film Festival 2014". Influx Magazine.
  15. ^ "SoCal Film Fest 2014 Award Winners". SoCal Film Festival.
  16. ^ "Heaven's Messenger (2008)". IMDb. Retrieved October 9, 2019.

External links[edit]