Oscar and Emmy Nominated Film Producer/Director. Marx achieved international fame for his film Hoop Dreams (1994) and Rites of Passage film about various forms of substance abuse and addiction
Frederick Marx is an internationally acclaimed, Oscar and Emmy nominated director/writer with 35 years in the film business. He was named a Chicago Tribune Artist of the Year for 1994, a 1995 Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of a Robert F. Kennedy Special Achievement Award. His film HOOP DREAMS played in hundreds of theatres nationwide…
Frederick Marx is an internationally acclaimed, Oscar and Emmy nominated director/writer with 35 years in the film business. He was named a Chicago Tribune Artist of the Year for 1994, a 1995 Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of a Robert F. Kennedy Special Achievement Award. His film HOOP DREAMS played in hundreds of theatres nationwide after winning the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was the first documentary ever chosen to close the New York Film Festival.
It was on over 100 “Ten Best” lists nationwide and was named Best Film of the Year by critics Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, Gene Shalit, and Ken Turran and by the Chicago Film Critics Association. Ebert also named it Best Film of the Decade. It is one of the highest grossing non-musical documentaries in United States history.
It has won numerous prestigious awards, including an Academy Nomination (Best Editing), Producer’s Guild, Editor’s Guild (ACE), Peabody Awards, the Prix Italia (Europe’s top documentary prize) and The National Society of Film Critics Award. The New York, Boston, LA, and San Francisco Film Critics all chose it as Best Documentary, 1994. Utne Reader named it one of 150 of humanity’s “essential works,” and the Library of Congress recently added it to its prestigious National Film Registry. HOOP DREAMS (1994) is the film that first interested Marx in the welfare of teenage boys. BOYS TO MEN (2004) distributed by Media Education Foundation takes that as its central theme. BOYS BECOME MEN, now in production, is the sequel, pinpointing initiation and mentorship as the solutions to the problems teen boys face.
In 1993, Marx received an Emmy nomination for HIGHER GOALS (1992) for Best Daytime Children’s Special. Producer, Director, and Writer for this national PBS Special, Marx directed Tim Meadows of “Saturday Night Live” fame. Accompanied by a curriculum guide, the program was later distributed for free to over 4,200 inner city schools nationwide. THE UNSPOKEN (1999), Marx’s first feature film, features stellar performances from Russian star Sergei Shnirev of the famed Moscow Art Theatre, and Harry Lennix, most known for GET ON THE BUS, BOB ROBERTS, TITUS, ER, and MATRIX. A hobbyist songwriter, in 1991 Marx recorded a number of his songs collectively known as ROLLING STEEL. Two of those 11 songs are used over THE UNSPOKEN tail credits and one is used in BOYS TO MEN. THE UNSPOKEN and ROLLING STEEL are available through this website.
Having worked for a time as an English and creative writing teacher, Marx began his movie career as a film critic, and has worked both as a film distributor and exhibitor. He has also traveled extensively. He’s lived in Germany, China, and Hungary. He’s traveled repeatedly through Western and Eastern Europe, North Africa and Himalayan India. With a B.A. in Political Science and an MFA in filmmaking, Marx has coupled his formal education with a natural gift for languages, speaking German and some Mandarin-Chinese. His interest in languages and foreign cultures is reflected in PBS’ international human rights program OUT OF THE SILENCE (1991), the widely acclaimed personal essay DREAMS FROM CHINA (1989), and Learning Channel’s SAVING THE SPHINX (1997). He consulted on Iranian-Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi’s feature TURTLES CAN FLY (2004) and was a teacher of renowned Thai feature filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Three of Marx’s films premiered at the New York Film Festival. His films are distributed throughout the web, on Amazon, and elsewhere. Having dedicated his life to the making and promotion of independent films, Marx, a true maverick in the increasingly commercialized world of “independent cinema,” continues to provide a voice of artistic and social integrity. He repeatedly returns to work with disadvantaged and misunderstood communities: people of color, abused children, the working poor, welfare recipients, prisoners, the elderly, and “at risk” youth. He brings a passion for appreciating multiculturalism and an urgent empathy for the sufferings of the disadvantaged to every subject he tackles. As his mission statement indicates (“Bearing witness, creating change”), his is a voice strong and clear, and profoundly human.
Journey From Zanskar (2010)
Journey From Zanskar tells the emotional story of 17 small children who leave home and family, possibly forever, in order to save their dying Tibetan culture. Parting from one of the most remote and desolate places on Earth – Zanskar, in northwest India – the expedition must travel on foot over 17,000 foot Himalayan passes. The two monks serving as guides walked this same path 30 years ago when they were children. Written, produced, and directed by Frederick Marx, narrated by Richard Gere, featuring the Dalai Lama, the film tells the story of their incredible journey. Distributed in France by Jupiter films, Frederick Marx is currently self-distributing Journey From Zanskar in the United States through his non-profit company Warrior Films.
Rites of Passage 2018
An estimated $500 billion is spent yearly on teen dysfunctions: drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy and STDs, school dropouts and expulsions, gang and property crimes, traffic accidents, ADD, ADHD, depression and violence. Teenagers unconsciously push up against the confines of their own bodies, the rules of parents and society, and the capacity of their own minds and willpower to discover the true limits of their potential. It’s because they need to be initiated into adulthood.
Rites of Passage will show us how historically all major cultures and religions have had their own rites of passage. The film will show us the price we pay as a society for not initiating our teens. Communities are answering the call by co-creating their own functional rites of passage today. We will see real families who’ve been struck by the horrors and crimes of youth and how they’re repairing themselves and their neighborhoods. Finally, it will not only show us teens themselves who’ve been transformed by rites of passage, but how their metamorphosis has revolutionized their relations with family and friends, teachers and bosses, creating positive changes rippling across homes, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, cities and farms across the planet.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Living Your Life’s Purpose
Frederick Marx, Academy and Emmy nominated filmmaker most known for HOOP DREAMS and the series BOYS TO MEN, presents a 60 minute talk using his latest short films on why all teens require and deserve initiation and mentorship. Everyone knows the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.” But few know Michael Meade’s apt inversion: “It takes the struggles of youth to raise a village.” Our functioning as a community can best be measured by how effective we are in offering young people meaningful rites of passage into adulthood – effective challenges that can positively define them as newly emergent adults. It’s our job as elders to hold and contain the energy of young people during their time of furious transition. The implications of not doing so already surround us in the myriad forms of dysfunctional teen behavior and in “adults” who live out their lives as suspended adolescents, controlled by their appetites and fears. What can we do to repair this breech in the generational chain? A long-time student of these issues, Frederick Marx has some inspiring ideas.
Illinois Pioneers with Frederick Marx
Frederick Marx Speaker - PDA Speakers
1 HOUR OR LESS