Bruce Beffa
Bio

For more than two decades, I’ve been blessed to travel to over 40 countries producing, directing and writing acclaimed, multi Emmy Award-winning non-fiction films and projects – with more than 100 credits to my name. This work has aired networks including PBS, Showtime, ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO, Discovery, Disney, ESPN, Fox Sports, TBS and TNT.Also, I’ve recently collaborated with preeminent film and media entities such as The Kennedy/ Marshall Company, The Olympic Channel, and the World Science Festival.

Recent projects with producer Frank Marshall and The Kennedy/ Marshall Company include Five Rings Films, where I created and developed this Olympic-related documentary series now in production; and Boston: A Documentary, where I served as consultant.

2017 also continued my development and pre-production on the World Science Sports Festival for the World Science Festival, what will be the country’s largest tech savvy, interactive “sports meets science” live event.

In 2016, I collaborated with the Creative Director of the World Science Festival to develop, coordinate and produce several programs, including the NYC stage performance of Awakening the Mind: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Oliver Sacks.

2015 continued my collaboration with the World Science Festival. This included writing, producing and directing short films for the “Pioneers in Science” series. In addition, as part of Beffa Films, I developed a yearlong series on the Baltimore Orioles and the city of Baltimore.

In 2014, I partnered with the Creative Director at the World Science Festival to develop, coordinate and produce their advertising “image” campaign. I also consulted with – and worked to develop – various programs/ series, including: The Mystery of Genius (for the World Science Festival); 100 Years of Golf’s U.S. Open (for the USGA); and The Work: A Public Media Series with Wes Moore (for PBS).

2007 through 2013 witnessed my being commissioned by Fox Sports West and LA’s pro franchises to tell the story of Los Angeles through the lens of sport. The result: multiple LA Emmys, an LA Press Club Award and, even more, the hard earned respect from quite a few Angelinos that once questioned how a New Yorker could possibly tell the story of LA.

No less than Hollywood actor and director Rob Reiner sang the praises of this five-hour series of films that aired from 2011 through 2013 exploring Chavez Ravine and LA’s beloved Dodgers including Chavez Ravine: 50 Years Inside Dodger Stadium wryly narrated by long-time actor and comedian Martin Mull.

These projects followed closely on the heels of another series written, produced and directed for Fox Sports West in 2010 and 2011: 50 Years Under the Halo: Angels Baseball. Narrated by iconic broadcaster Dick Enberg, 50 Years Under the Halo garnered three LA Emmy Awards, an LA Press Club Award and a nomination for “Non-News Writing”.

That same year I earned a second national Emmy Award for my creative storytelling of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games  – my 11th Olympics – through NBC’s coverage on NBCOlympics.com.  My favorite story from Vancouver that I wrote and produced:  that of Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, the first native Alaskan to compete in the Olympic Games.  And what makes me especially proud?  Callan continues to show this short film while visiting classrooms throughout her native state – daring to inspire a new generation of Alaskans.

In 2009 and 2010, I created, wrote and produced the five-time LA Emmy Award-winning Golden Days, Purple Knights: 50 Seasons of Lakers Glory, a 13-part series of half-hour shows airing on Fox Sports West and narrated with the smoldering voice of leading actor Wendell Pierce (of HBO’s The Wire and Treme fame among his many credits).

2009 also saw my being honored with two more LA Emmy Awards for True Blue Stories, a year-long series airing in 2008 on Fox Sports West/ Prime Ticket that honored baseball’s Dodgers’ 50 years in LA.

My first national Emmy came with “Outstanding New Approaches” for NBC’s coverage the 2008 Beijing Olympics on NBCOlympics.com.

Additionally, in 2007 I conceived, wrote and directed Last Stand: Ibragimov vs. Holyfield, a behind-the-scenes documentary where I spent time at the training camps of both heavyweight fighters. Most fascinating, perhaps, came the opportunity to explore the motivations for Evander Holyfield to re-capture the world title at the rather advanced age of 44 – with its obvious risks and just as obvious rewards. This program aired on ESPN and throughout the world.

In 2005 and 2006 I consulted as author on Sports Potential, an internet venture chaired by former Sen. Bill Bradley, whose mission is to encourage children and teenagers to become more active in sports.

Also, in 2004 and 2005 I utilized my extensive worldwide network of contacts as Coordinating Producer while collaborating on the creation of A Place in Time, a documentary directed by Angelina Jolie. A Place in Time, which premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, involved 38 camera crews on seven continents filming on the same date, at the same time. It remains a truly awe-inspiring moment in my time.

From 1995 to 2005 I served as senior producer, writer and director for the acclaimed filmmaker – and my guiding light – Bud Greenspan and Cappy Productions, one of the most respected independent documentary film companies in the world. I traveled to more than 30 countries, interviewing hundreds upon hundreds of personalities along the way – from Sir Roger Bannister “the first man to break the 4-minute mile” to “sex kitten” Eartha Kitt.

During that time I wrote, produced and directed for more than 20 widely praised documentaries seen in 100 countries and throughout the U.S. including on PBS, Showtime, ESPN, TBS, Discovery, Disney, NBC, ABC and CBS. These documentaries earned numerous international honors, including Emmy and New York Festivals Awards. Some of my credits include: Kings of the Ring (Showtime); Ageless Heroes (PBS); Barrier Breakers (ESPN); and a series of Olympic Glory” films that chronicled the 1996 Atlanta, 1998 Nagano, 2000 Sydney, and 2002 Salt Lake Olympics (all on Showtime).

From a black South African named Josia Thugwane who suffered under apartheid, survived being shot in a carjacking and three months later won an Olympic marathon gold medal… to octogenarian modern dance icon Merce Cunningham who taught students 60 years his junior, my work with Bud Greenspan remains so dear to me.

From 1993 to 1994 I acted as senior producer and writer for the Special Projects unit at Turner Broadcasting System, covering the 1994 Lillehammer, Norway Olympics and 1994 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia. During this time I traveled to 15 countries uncovering stories, then conceived and wrote a series of short films.

I’ll be forever proud of a story that earned “Spud” Campbell, a humble, heroic merchant marine from Alabama, Norway’s medal of honor; the everlasting respect of the Norwegian people; and, most recently, an invitation to meet the King and Queen of Norway in Oslo five decades after the fact.  Why? During the waning days of World War 2, Spud helped save 19 Norwegian civilians from drowning after a Nazi air attack sank their ship.

And one of my greatest joys had to be collaborating with the preeminent writer on Czarist Russia, the Pulitzer-Prize winning author Robert Massie. Together, we created some positively jaw-dropping, haunting stories from both the Soviet and Czarist past. Even more, it fulfilled the dream of this youngster with a short wave receiver listening to Radio Moscow, and later a student of Soviet studies at Emory University, to become immersed in this vast, confusing, magical land.

Among my early credits/ positions are: producer/writer with NIKE Film and Video (1992); producer with Cappy Productions, Inc. (1991-92); and producer/associate producer with Turner Broadcasting System (1989-91).