Pawel Grajnert

Pawel Grajnert is a writer/director working on theater, film and television projects in the US, UK and Poland. He is a graduate of the Film Program at the School of Arts at Columbia University in New York City. His short film, based on a William Carlos Williams story, "The Force of Will," premiered at the 2012 Polish national film festival in Gdynia.

As a child, he worked in Polish theater productions in Chicago. His poetry has been published in The Chicago Tribune, Andre Codrescu's Exquisite Corpse and in the online journal, Vert. He founded The Seattle Slam in 1992, a weekly showcase of performance poetry that continues its mission of promoting diverse voices to be heard and affect our society.

His work as a journalist has included writing for The Stranger, and creating long form content for New York Times Television and Legal TV in the UK. He has just completed a documentary project about the Warsaw Uprising with the Polish Museum of America and is starting to work on a film about the Polish Navy in WWII with Epoka TV in Poland.

He's worked for various human rights organizations including the Illinois Coalition to End the Death Penalty, with whom he successfully lobbied the Illinois State legislature to stop capital punishment in his home state. During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he traveled to the besieged Bosniac city of Tuzla and instructed human rights workers there in video production methods to facilitate documentation of victim testimony for use at the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague.

He was a quarterfinalist in the 2007 Academy Nicholl Fellowships competition. His writing has also been recognized by the State of Illinois Humanities Council, The Sloan Foundation and Columbia University's Film Division, by whom he was awarded a Frank Daniel Memorial Award for screenwriting.