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Director, Writer, Producer, Cinematographer

Director, producer, writer, cinematographer Terry Sanders is a two-time Oscar winner and Emmy winner who has produced and/or directed more than 70 award-winning dramatic features, theatrical documentaries, television specials and a large body of portrait films of major American artists, writers, musicians and public figures.  


Sanders first professional job after producing and photographing the Oscar-winning dramatic Civil War short story film, A Time Out of War, was directing the second unit of Night of the Hunter for director Charles Laughton.  


Later he adapted The Day Lincoln Was Shot for CBS-TV and co-wrote the screenplay of The Naked and the Dead for Warner Bros.  


He produced and co-directed with his brother Denis the independent features Crime and Punishment, USA and War Hunt starring John Saxon and introducing Robert Redford.



9th Circuit Cowboy: The Long, Good Fight of Judge Harry Pregerson (Director, Writer, Producer, Cinematographer) documentary portrait of Harry Pregerson, decorated combat Marine seriously wounded in the WWII battle for Okinawa, who, for 50 years, was one of the most idealistic and humanistic judges in America.


Liza, Liza, Skies Are Grey (Director, Writer, Producer, Editor)  A sweet coming-of-age love story framed by a California motorcycle road trip set in the turbulent ‘60s, introducing newcomers Mikey Madison and Sean H. Scully.  Streaming on multiple platforms, including Amazon Prime.


Fighting For Life (Director, Producer, Writer) Theatrical non-fiction feature filmed in Iraq, Germany and the U.S. – focusing on the wounded and the military doctors and nurses of the Iraq War – an odyssey into the world of military medicine in a time of war. (


Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner. (Executive Producer, Co-Cinematographer) feature theatrical documentary which takes us from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s childhood home in small town Louisiana to his development as a writer, politically active gay man, and endlessly quotable globe-trotting force for a more literate and compassionate universe. Released by Balcony Films. (Sundance Official Selection; Winner, Seattle Film Festival). 


The Eyes of Don Bachardy (Director, Producer, Cinematographer) captures the fierce and passionate eye and the prolific work of one of the great portrait artists of America.  The documentary short explores into the complex and mysterious relationship between artist and subject in a richly detailed, intimate and exciting journey through the creative process.  (AFI Fest 2005).


Return With Honor (Director, Producer, Writer, Cinematographer) the highly acclaimed theatrical non-fiction feature that tells the riveting story of top-gun U.S. fighter pilots shot down over North Vietnam who became POWs for up to 81/2 years.  Presented by Tom Hanks, it played in theatres across America for a year and was broadcast nationally on PBS in November of 2000 and May of 2001. (Sundance Official Selection, Winner, Doubletake Film Festival).


Never Give Up: The 20th Century Odyssey of Herbert Zipper (Director, Producer, Writer) tells the extraordinary story of Vienna-born musician and conductor Herbert Zipper who survived Dachau, Buchenwald and a Japanese concentration camp to become one of the great music educators of the world, continuing at 92 to bring music to the inner city schools of America. (Oscar Nominee, Best Documentary Short, 1996 and honored with a special screening at the U.S. Holocaust Museum).


Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (Producer, Co-cinematographer) a portrait of the artist/architect which tells the gripping story behind the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and its impact on the American people and on the life and work of Maya Lin in the following decade. (Oscar Winner, Best Feature Documentary, 1995)

Into the Future: On the Preservation of Knowledge in the Electronic Age (Producer, Director, Writer) 1998 primetime national PBS special narrated by Robert MacNeil which warns of the coming worldwide crisis in the loss of digitally stored knowledge and information.


Rose Kennedy: A Life to Remember (Director, Producer, Writer) honors Rose Kennedy’s 100 years and her life and work in the field of mental retardation.  (Oscar Nominee, Best Documentary Short, 1991).


Lillian Gish: The Actor’s Life for Me (Director, Producer, Writer) looks at the history of cinema through the lens of the long life of the legendary actress. (Primetime Emmy Winner for Outstanding Informational Special, 1989).


The Kennedy Center Honors Biographies (Director, Producer) honors individuals for lifetime achievement in the performing arts -- Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Katherine Dunham, Virgil Thomson, Elia Kazan, and others. (Primetime Emmy, Outstanding Variety Special)


Screenwriters: Word Into Image (Director, Producer) is a six part film series on the art and craft of screen writing featuring    Neil Simon, Robert Towne, William Goldman, Eleanor Perry, Paul Mazursky and Carl Foreman. (Primetime Emmy Nominee, Outstanding Informational Series).


War Hunt (Producer, Co-Director) theatrical feature film starring Robert Redford and John Saxon, released by United Artists. (National Board of Review “Ten Best” List).


Crime and Punishment USA (Producer) theatrical feature film based on a modern adaptation of the famed Dostoevsky novel starring George Hamilton, Frank Silvera and Mary Murphy, released by Allied Artists.


A Time Out of War (Producer, Cinematographer) poignant American Civil War dramatic short film based on Robert  W. Chambers short story. (Oscar Winner, Best Short Film & First Prize Venice Film Festival).


Sanders directed To Live or Let Die which explores the moral and ethical issues involved in the care of very ill newborn babies (Oscar nominee, Best Documentary Short) and produced and directed Four Stones for Kanemitsu(Oscar Nominee, Best Documentary Short). He also directed the NBC special, The Kids from Fame, and produced and directed the high rated ABC special, The Legend of Marilyn Monroe.  Other films produced and directed by Sanders are: The New Indians, National Geographic Special narrated by Robert Redford, Copland Portrait portrait of famed American composer Aaron Copland (London Film Festival, Outstanding Film of Year), Slow Fires: On the Preservation of the Human Record 1987 primetime national PBS special narrated by Robert MacNeil about the crisis facing libraries of the world due to acid contained in paper, and Portrait of Zubin Mehta, about the famed conductor filmed in Los Angeles and Bombay.

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