Gabe Polsky

Gabe Polsky

Highest Rated: 96% Red Penguins (2019)

Lowest Rated: 59% Little Birds (2011)

Birthday: May 3, 1979

Birthplace: Illinois, USA

A filmmaker with a talent for subverting ideas about heroes and villains, Gabe Polsky's perspective as a filmmaker was initially informed by his parents' experiences. Growing up in Chicago as the son of Ukrainian immigrants, Polsky's youth was strongly defined by a love of hockey, which would remain a major force in his life well into his professional career. When it came time for high school, Polsky attended Lakeview, Connecticut's prestigious Hotchkiss School, and went on from there to the renowned Yale University. While at Yale, Polsky played on the school's ice hockey team, the Bulldogs. Polsky's career in film began in 2007, when he co-produced the black comedy "The Living Wake" (2007). The modest film was liked and respected by critics, leading to a bigger opportunity for Polsky's next project, producing the thriller "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" (2009). The film starred mega star Nicolas Cage and was directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog, increasing Polsky's visibility within the industry in a major way. After producing the heartfelt drama "Little Birds" (2011), Polsky was next tapped to produce the documentary "His Way" (2011) for HBO about the life and career of crooner Frank Sinatra. By now, Polsky had garnered tremendous experience in the filmmaking business, and was ready to try his hand at something more hands on. He signed on to direct the thriller "The Motel Life" (2012), based on the novel by Willy Vlautin, assembling a cast that included respected actors like Kris Kristofferson, Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, and Dakota Fanning. The taut, suspenseful film garnered praise from critics. For his next project, Polsky chose a subject that was dear to his heart. Directing the documentary "Red Army" (2014), Polsky explored the personal and professional stories behind Russia's ice hockey team during the 1970s and 1980s. Though many Americans were familiar with the U.S. side of the so-called "miracle on ice" that transpired when the American team unexpectedly prevailed over the Soviets during the 1980 Olympic games, Polsky knew that the athleticism, teamsmanship, and love behind the Russian crew would be fascinating and inspiring to many viewers. Particularly of note was Polsky's interview with Russian defenseman Viacheslav Fetisov, who was notoriously reluctant to give interviews. Though the player originally agreed to only a 15-minute interview, he eventually spoke to Polsky for five hours, discussing his experiences as an athlete in depth. When "Red Army" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, it was received tremendously well by critics, earning rave reviews across the board. Soon, the movie was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for a theatrical release scheduled for the following year.




96% 88% Red Penguins Director,
- 2019
92% 86% In Search of Greatness Director,
$54.2K 2018
92% 85% Red Army Director,
$728.7K 2014
70% 43% The Motel Life Director,
- 2012
59% 42% Little Birds Producer $16.6K 2011
No Score Yet 51% His Way Producer - 2011
86% 57% Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Producer $1.7M 2009