GEORGE PAUL CSICSERY, a writer and independent filmmaker since 1968, was born in Germany in 1948, the son of Hungarian parents. He immigrated to the United States in 1951. He has directed 27 films--dramatic shorts, performance films and documentaries.
His most recent works are on mathematical themes. Julia Robinson and Hilbert's Tenth Problem, a one-hour biographical documentary about an American mathematician and her part in solving one of the 20th century's most famous mathematics problems premiered in January 2008. The project was supported by the Clay Mathematics Institute and by Margaret & Will Hearst. Hard Problems: The Road to the World's Toughest Math Contest, also premiered in January 2008. The feature documentary about American high school students who participated in the 2006 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Ljubljana, Slovenia was produced for the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). I Want To Be A Mathematician: A Conversation with Paul Halmos (2009) is based on a 1999 interview with the renowned teacher and mathematician. It was produced with support from the Mathematical Association of America and the Educational Advancement Foundation.
Some of Csicsery's recent films include The Right Spin (2005), about astronaut Michael Foale and his part in saving the Mir space station in 1997, made for Math Awareness Month, and The Thursday Club (2005) an hour-long doc about retired Oakland policemen who were involved in suppressing the antiwar demonstrations of the 1960s. Hungry for Monsters (2003), a feature documentary about a Pennsylvania case of false accusation of incest and child molest was shown at the Bermuda International Film Festival and in the Human Rights section of the 57th Locarno International Film Festival in 2004, and was broadcast by Teacher's TV in the UK in 2006. In 2003 he completed, Invitation to Discover, for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI), and porridge pulleys and Pi, a half-hour biographical film on mathematicians Hendrik Lenstra and Vaughan Jones, which premiered at the Teléscience Festival in Montréal, Canada in November 2003, and at the Exploratorium in March 2004. Troop 214 (1997 and 2008)), about exiled Hungarian Scouts in the United States and their return to Hungary, and Communist Pioneers, was co-produced with Duna-TV in Budapest, Hungary, and broadcast in November 2000. An English-subtitled version with English-speaking bonus features was released in 2008. N is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erdös (1993), about an eccentric wandering mathematician, was broadcast on Duna-TV, Hungary (1995), SBS-Australia (1996), the Sundance Channel-USA (1996-98), NHK-Japan (1997), and Noorder Licht, VPRO-Netherlands, January 2001, and again on Zomergasten on VPRO in 2007. The film is currently playing on PBS stations by arrangement with American Public Television, (2002-2009), and Discovery Canada (2003-2004). Csicsery produced, directed and edited Where the Heart Roams (1987), a feature documentary about romance writers and their fans, broadcast on the POV series on PBS (1991) and SBS-Australia. Television: The Enchanted Mirror (1981), which received prizes at the Marin, Mill Valley, Palo Alto and USA film festivals, was re-released by Whole Earth Films in 2008 on DVD. Half-hour 16mm films include Hookers (1975), about prostitutes organizing a union in San Francisco; Let's Get It Over With! (1970), about American student reactions to the U.S. invasion of Cambodia; and People of the Current (1971), about the Muslim Tausug people of Luuk township on Jolo island in the Philippines. Csicsery worked on films by Errol Morris (Gates of Heaven), and Barbet Schroeder (Koko).
Songs Along A Stony Road, a one-hour documentary about musicians discovered by Transylvanian ethnomusicologist Zoltán Kallós, is scheduled for release in 2009. Filmed in Transylvania during 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2006 with co-producer Chris Teerink of the Netherlands, the project was supported by CEC/ArtsLink, National Geographic's All Roads Film initiative, and by the Nederlands Thuiskopie Fonds. A fine cut of the film was screened as part of National Geographic's Tuesdays at Noon series in Washington, D.C., on August 26, 2008.
Csicsery is the author or co-author of four feature-length screenplays: Ida (1989), Meeting With Darkness (1992), East of Evil (1995), and Alderman's Story (2004), which is set in King Philip's War in New England in 1675, and was awarded first prize at the Rhode Island International Film Festival Screenplay Competition in 2005.
Csicsery's articles, reviews and interviews have appeared in Salon.com, Amerasia Journal, Asia Times, Heterodoxy, Film Quarterly, California Magazine, Savvy, the San Jose Mercury-News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the East Bay Express, the Oakland Tribune, The Japan Times, The Forward, Lufthansa Bordbuch, Release Print, and many other publications. His articles and interviews have been reprinted in several anthologies, including Conversations with Ishmael Reed, University of Mississippi Press (1995); Without Force or Lies, edited by William Brinton, Mercury House (1990); and Burden of Dreams, by Les Blank & James Bogan, North Atlantic Books (1984). He has a BA in Comparative Religions from UC Berkeley (1969), and an MFA in Film Production from San Francisco State University (1972).
George Csicsery received the 2009 Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award for bringing mathematics to nonmathematical audiences. He is also recipient of the 2008 Arpad Academy Gold Medal awarded by The Hungarian Association, an international organization founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951. This award is presented to Hungarians and their descendants living outside of Hungary, in recognition of scholarly, scientific, literary, and artistic achievements promoting the spirit and knowledge of Hungarian culture.
He has taught film editing at Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco (1982-1997) and general cinema courses to undergraduates at San Francisco State University (1996) and at UC Davis (1998). He lives in Oakland, California.
© 2004- George Csicsery