About Us

Great Projects Media produces documentaries that explore subjects of historical, technological, and cultural significance.  Now based in New Jersey after more than two decades in New York City, Great Projects has become recognized as one of the premier independent production companies in public television. In addition, Great Projects creates programs for educational purposes, awards and banquets, museums and fundraising events.

Ken Mandel of Great Projects Media

Ken has been producing documentaries for more than two decades. He graduated from Rutgers College with degrees in both engineering and liberal arts. He currently lives in West Orange, NJ, with his wife Janet who he met at college.  They have two sons.  He serves on the Boards of the Friends of the Edison National Historical Park; the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York; and created the West Orange Film Society which runs the West Orange Classic Film Festival.  He once played the role of Polonius in Hamlet, (this above all to thine own self be true), and is writing a play.

Click here to learn more about Ken from the Rutgers alumni magazine.

Contact Ken

Collaborators

Paul Martin

Paul Martin

Paul has collaborated with me for more than 20 years on numerous projects.  Paul has written (or co-written) and directed five ethics videos beginning in 1988 with the seminal Gilbane Gold which has educated two generations of engineering students on the ethical dilemmas they face in the workplace.   He produced a program in the NJ2007 series and is working on the Atlanta airport project.

Ed Gray

Ed Gray

Ed has produced and written award-winning programs for PBS over a long, distinguished career, winning multiple Emmy and Writer's Guild awards.  He and I have worked recently on the NJ 2007 series, Building Alaska and the ENR’s Award of Excellence film.


Paul Brown

Paul Brown

Paul is the consulting producer for Alaska, the World and Wally Hickel in development for PBS.  Paul founded the Alaska Repetory Theater in Anchorage and has deep roots in the 49th State.

Joe Cantu

Joe Cantu

Joe has been the director of photography for all of the engineering ethics films since 1988.  He recently shot Henry’s Daughters and Ethicana on location in Dallas and environs, organizing a complicated production efficiently and successfully.


Dan Polin

Dan Polin

Dan and I founded Great Projects Film Company in 1988 and collaborated on numerous documentaries and series including Emmy-winner George Marshall and the American Century and Oscar nominee An Essay on Matisse.

Elyse Steinberg

Elyse Steinberg

Elyse worked at Great Projects for several years and produced PBS documentary The Trial of Saddam Hussein, worked on the NJ2007 series and made a few of the ENR Award of Excellence videos.

Underwriters of GREAT PROJECTS

Alaska University Transportation Center
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation            
American Society of Civil Engineers
Associated General Contractors of Alaska
Association of Equipment Distributors
AT&T
Canadian Association of Equipment Distributors
Caterpillar
Charles Revson Foundation             
CIT Foundation
Coldwell Banker
Construction Industry Manufacturers Association
Construction Industry Progress Foundation
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Deloitte, Haskins & Sells   
DPIC Insurance                      
Engineering Foundation
General Motors
George C. Marshall Home Preservation Fund
German Marshall Fund of the United States

Harriman Foundation
Heinz Family Foundation                                
Jacobs Engineering                                 
Jacobs Family Fund
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation     
Morrison Knudsen
Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers
National Endowment for the Humanities
National Foundation for Jewish Culture          
National Science Foundation
New York State Department of Transportation
Public Broadcasting Service
Righteous Persons Foundation
Smith Richardson Foundation
State of New Jersey/Department of Community Affairs
The Road Information Project
U. S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
U. S. Department of Education
U. S. Bureau of Reclamation
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
William S. Paley Foundation

Awards & Testimonials

An Essay on Matisse (PBS, 1996), nominated for an Academy Award.



George Marshall and the American Century
(PBS, 1993) won the Emmy Award for Outstanding History Program in 1993.



Great Projects: Building of America:

Lynn Elber of the Associated Press said the programs "show the sweep and social impact of engineering, and even the romance."

The Boston Herald said Great Projects "really does instill civic pride…full of vision and daring. Detailed and fascinating…this show allows you to stop and admire the sheer scale of the thing…exciting."

Engineering News-Record wrote, "The films show the great visions of engineers and the spectacle of construction, taking viewers to places where most people usually can't go. We should all be watching."

 

Resistance: Untold Stories of Jewish Partisans: (PBS, 2002) - Emmy Award Nomination

Newsday's Noel Holston called Resistance "remarkable…striking."

The New York Post said, "The past comes alive" (4 stars).

Entertainment Weekly gave it an "A" and called it a "grim, searing documentary. Telling their story rights a long-perpetuated wrong."

The Bergen Record's Virginia Rohan called it an "amazing…powerful story".

 

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann - Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Historical Programming from the National Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences.

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