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Ilana Trachtman


Director, Ain't No Back to a Merry-Go-Round

Ilana Trachtman has made Emmy award-winning nonfiction programs for over thirty years. For PBS, HBO Family, ABC-TV, Showtime, Lifetime, Discovery, A&E, and the Sundance Channel, she has explored worlds such as the legacy of slavery in Latin America, activism among Gulf Coast shrimpers, glassblowing with at-risk youth, and transgender parents. Prime-time directing credits for PBS include the independent feature Mariachi High (Imagen Award Nomination;) Black in Latin America hosted by Henry Louis Gates and Texas Ranch House. Ilana was a supervising producer on PBS’ History Detectives and the Sundance Channel’s Big Ideas for a Small Planet. Ilana began her career in the documentary unit of PBS’s Reading Rainbow. Ilana’s independent feature documentary Praying with Lior played theatrically in over 60 cities in the US and abroad, garnered six Audience Awards for Best Documentary, the Grand Prix at the International Disability Film Festival, and was a critic’s pick of the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Washington Post. Ilana produced and directed The Pursuit: 50 Years in the Fight for LGBT Rights for WHYY, which won the Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Best Documentary. Most recently, she co-produced Stand Up and Shout: Songs from a Philly High School (HBO.)