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Phil Grabsky

Documentary filmmaker

Phil Grabsky is a writer, producer and director. He also frequently shoots his own films.

He and his company Seventh Art Productions are behind cinema films such as Muhammed Ali – Through the Eyes of the World, In Search of Beethoven, In Search of Mozart, Escape from Luanda, and The Boy Mir – Ten Years in Afghanistan. These films have played in festivals, cinemas, TV & DVD worldwide, winning dozens of awards. In cinemas, Phil’s films have been a great success: in Australia both In Search of Mozart and In Search of Beethoven played in cinemas for months and entered the all-time top grossing documentaries.

Among Seventh Art’s many other films are multiple singles for Channel 4 and the BBC as well as major series such as BBC’s I Caesar – the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and Sky Arts’ ‘Tim Marlow’ art series. Seventh Art has also made six award-winning history films with Monty Python’s Terry Jones.

Phil, working with co-director David Bickerstaff, has also completed the acclaimed short documentary Heavy Water: a Journey to Chernobyl, which uses Mario Petrucci’s poetry to explore the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Two more co-directed films with David Bickerstaff are Making War Horse – a film following the production of the smash theatre hit War Horse and The Making of Swallows and Amazons – the Bristol Old Vic Sets Sail. Both films featured on Channel 4. Grabsky also made the world’s first 3D visual arts film: Tim Marlow on British Sculpture at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Recently completed are both In Search of Haydn and, very recently, In Search of Chopin as well the hotly anticipated cinema and BBC film CONCERTO – A BEETHOVEN JOURNEY about world-famous pianist Leif Ove Andsnes & the 5 Beethoven piano concertos.

Phil has written four history books, including The Great Artists – co-authored with Tim Marlow – and the best-seller The Great Commanders. He is regularly involved as a judge for the Emmy, Bafta, Grierson and One World awards, and has won numerous personal awards himself including Royal Television Society awards for both ‘Best Director’ and ‘Services to Television’, and a Voice of the Listener and Viewer Award for ‘Services to Education.’

Phil also regularly lectures and gives masterclasses. Much of his and his company’s works are available on Amazon, iTunes, Audible and Kindle. Phil has also been invited to talk on Radio 3 (In Tune), Radio 4 (the Today Show, Start the Week, The History Quiz), Radio 5, BBC Southern Counties (Breakfast show, Music of my Life), Classic FM, LBC, Talksport, BBC World Service and similar internationally. He also attends many Question and Answer sessions with his films as well as three touring lectures: ‘Afghanistan – a Success Story?’, ‘A Life in Film’ and ‘A filmed History of Classical Music’.

Phil’s biggest project to date is the creation of a unique new arts brand: EXHIBITION ON SCREEN. This brings major art exhibitions – and the stories of both the galleries and the artists – to a cinema, TV and DVD audience worldwide. The Guardian newspaper said of EXHIBITION ON SCREEN ‘Just occasionally something will crop up that restores your faith in humanity’s future. Exhibition on Screen is a global phenomenon’.