» Paul Wolansky
Associate Professor

Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Paul Wolansky
Office Location:
DeMille Hall 150D
(714) 744-7647
Columbia University in the City of New York, Bachelor of Arts
Columbia University in the City of New York, Master of Fine Arts in Directing
Seeing Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai marked a turning point in Paul Wolansky's life.  He was fascinated by an experience he found "as vivid as my dreams," captivated by the power of film to express universal truths.

The son of Ukrainian immigrants, Wolansky's family spoke Ukrainian at home and lived on the grounds of a mental hospital, where his father was the administrator.

Separated from the life his American friends lived, Wolansky became an observer.

He studied directing and screenwriting at Columbia University under Milos Forman and Frank Daniel, who later offered him a job teaching at USC.  It was as a teacher that Wolansky found a career he loved.

"In the business, another thousand people are trying to come up with the latest cool idea, but in film school you have the chance to convey your deep emotional beliefs about life."

"I push my students to dig deep," he says, "to really put out their vision of the truth."  If they do it well, Wolansky maintains, they too will see people be moved by what they have to say, just as he was first moved by Kurosawa, in a way that changed his life.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON II (2013) HIGH-DEF--115:00—COLOR CO-WRITER of all Ukrainian dialogue of this sequel to the acclaimed 2008 documentary SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON. Director: John Dunham. Producer: Gwendolen Twist. Production Co: Marathon Movie, Inc. Theatrical Release: June 12, 2013, in over 600 theaters nationwide (one night only.) Trailer may be viewed at: www.mararthonmovie.com
POVODYR (THE GUIDE) (2013) HIGH-DEF--120:00 CO-WRITER (with Ukrainian director Oles Sanin (Mamay (2003)) of this harrowing coming-of-age story about an American boy lost in 1932 Soviet Ukraine. After his father is murdered, the boy becomes seeing-eye guide to a traditional Ukrainian blind minstrel, witnesses Stalin’s Terror-Famine of 1932-1933 in which 10 million Ukrainian farmers were intentionally starved to death, and attempts to save the minstrel from Stalin’s massacre of all 300 of Ukraine’s wandering minstrels in 1933. Principal photography completed May 2013. Production Co: Zakryta Zona (Forbidden Zone) productions. Trailer may be viewed on YouTube at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAXw24lf-K4
"Double Blast", an action-comedy for which I co-wrote the story, was released internationally on DVD in Australia and Germany.
"Deadly Obsession", a suspense-thriller which I co-wrote and co-edited, was released internationally on DVD in Argentina, Australia and Germany.
"Blood Kin", an action-adventure which I co-wrote and co-edited, was released in North America and internationally on DVD by Lionsgate Entertainment.