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Joseph Gilford

Adjunct Faculty, School of Communication and Media

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JOE GILFORD has worked in film, TV and theatre, as a producer, writer and director for over 30 years. He has also served as story consultant and script doctor on numerous independent feature films. He is a nationally known lecturer on screenwriting and since 1999 has taught screenwriting at NYU’S Undergraduate Film Program.

Joe's new book on screenwriting, "WHY DOES THE SCREENWRITER CROSS THE ROAD...and other screenwriting secrets"(Michael Wiese Books) is due for publication in May 2015. Advance order is now available at Amazon:

Through his website,, Joe has coached and mentored the work of dozens of screenwriters, playwrights and novelists at every level.

Joe is the recipient of a 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant for Playwriting for his upcoming play “Ground Game” about CTE, the brain injury that afflicts American football players.

His feature screenplay, “Rush!,” the story of a goldmine scandal in Indonesia in the 1990s, will be produced by Creative Differences Productions. Saul Rubinek is the director (“Jerry & Tom”; “Bleacher Bums”).

His newest stage play, “Finks,” was presented as a mainstage production by New York Stage and Film at the Powerhouse Theater, Vassar College starring Jennifer Westfeld and Josh Radnor. “Finks” is a fictionalized chronicle of his parents’ real-life struggle as blacklisted actors in the 1950s.

For director, Fareed Al-Mashat he has recently completed the screenplay “Moonbounce,” a noir science fiction thriller set in the world of HAM radio operators. It is currently in pre-production.

He is the screenwriter of the feature film adaptation of the French science fiction novel by Ivan Leveque “Operation Pertica” and its sequel “Pertica II: The Awakening.” He is also the author of the new English adaptation of the novel, “Mission to Ernam,” now out in paperback from Dorrance (also available at

He is the creator and writer of “Game,” a new digital animation comedy series.

For PBS’s Great Performances & Time Warner Home Video he wrote the original script for “The Great American Songbook,” a history of American popular song hosted by Michael Feinstein. Also for PBS, he wrote the documentary “Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans and the Movies” hosted by John Turturro and featuring Paul Sorvino, and Marisa Tomei, and many others.

He is the writer of the A&E Biography, “Tom Hanks: Hollywood's Golden Boy.” He also served as a writer on the award-winning Lifetime series, “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.”

He is the author of the plays “Knockdown,” “Not Tunisia,” “In Aisle 4,” “The End of Our Rope,” “The Love Museum,” and “No Fault”.

His plays have been produced or presented at Naked Angels Theater Co., Roundabout Theater Company, Circle Rep Lab, New York Stage & Film, The Westbank Downstairs Theater, Southampton Writers Workshop and Todd Mountain Theater Project. He is a longtime member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and its Playwrights Unit. He had also worked as a stage director for many years before turning to writing.

He has had a long career producing television documentaries, winning a New York Emmy Award in 1997 for his work on WNET-NY’s (PBS) City Arts series. He has also been a writer and producer at Showtime, Bravo, Court TV, F/x, and New York's MSG MetroGuide channel.

Joe earned his BFA at NYU's Institute of Film & TV where he wrote and directed Max, a short film starring his father, Jack Gilford, playing film festivals and television all over the world.

He is a contributor to B"rooklyn: A State of Mind" (Workman Press), an anthology of essays and anecdotes about the borough of Brooklyn, NY, where he has lived since 1992.

He has been a teacher and lecturer of screenwriting at Columbia University’s Graduate MFA Film Program, New York’s Gotham Writers Workshop, Pratt Institute, Hollins University (VA), Montclair State University (NJ), and American Comedy Institute. He has served on the judging panels of events such as the Fusion Film Festival (NY) and the Philadelphia Screenplay Festival.

Since 1999 he has taught screenwriting at NYU’s Undergraduate Film & TV Dept., Tisch School of the Arts. He is a Visiting Professional teaching screenwriting at Montclair State University’s Dept. of Film in New Jersey.

Joe was born and raised in Manhattan. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.