Davis Guggenheim

Davis Guggenheim Headshot

Writer • Director • Producer

Birth Date: November 3, 1963

Age: 60 years old

Birth Place: St. Louis, Missouri

Spouses: Elisabeth Shue

Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim first gained attention for the eye-opening global warming documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth" (2006), and for directing the biopic, "A Mother's Promise: Barack Obama Bio Film," shown during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Touted by critics as the next Ken Burns with a style slightly reminiscent of another controversial documentarian, Michael Moore, Guggenheim made searing documentaries that simultaneously shed light on complicated national issues while keeping the stories of his subjects real and deeply personal. He raised consciousness about the plight of less-privileged children trying to get into better schools in the widely acclaimed documentary, "Waiting for 'Superman'" (2010). With his impressive storytelling skills, and a combination of clever animation and innovative filmmaking techniques, Guggenheim elevated "Waiting for 'Superman'" from just a factual tell-all into a touching yet tragic tale of bright kids whose educational fates depended on a school lottery system - a feat accomplished by an undeniably passionate and influential filmmaker.

Philip Davis Guggenheim was born on Nov. 3, 1963 in St. Louis, MO to award-winning documentary filmmaker, Charles Guggenheim, and actress Marion Guggenheim. After graduating from Brown University in 1986, Guggenheim started working in television, simultaneously taking on the roles of director and producer. Some of his earliest directing credits included a number of hit shows such as "NYPD Blue" (Fox, 1993-2005), "24" (Fox, 2001-2010), and "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06). In 2004, he was tapped to direct and produce the HBO Western drama series, "Deadwood" (2004-06), about the evolution of a small South Dakota town from a camp to a capitalist community. Guggenheim also directed and produced the pilot episode of the new "Melrose Place" (The CW, 2009-2010), a remake of the popular 1990s series that had originally starred Andrew Shue. Shue's sister was, coincidentally, actress Elisabeth Shue, whom Guggenheim married in 1994.

Guggenheim received critical acclaim for directing the 2006 documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," chronicling former vice-president Al Gore's campaign to educate the world about global warming using his slideshow presentations. He initially turned down the offer to make the documentary because he did not consider himself an environmentalist and he had doubts whether Gore was the right person to deliver the film's message, considering his political baggage. Only after watching over a thousand slideshow presentations did Guggenheim finally relent to doing the film. He then spent six months traveling the country in 2005 to chronicle the areas affected by drought, famine, and storms. Guggenheim won an Oscar in 2007 for Best Documentary, Features for his work in the controversial film that was both a commercial and critical success. The following year, he directed the biopic, "A Mother's Promise: Barack Obama Bio Film," which aired during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

After winning praise for his previous works of a more political nature, Guggenheim went on to direct the documentary, "It Might Get Loud" (2009), a thoughtful tribute to the electric guitar as seen through the eyes of rock musicians The Edge, Jimmy Page, and Jack White. In 2010, Guggenheim directed another thought-provoking piece, "Waiting for 'Superman'," a documentary about America's failing school system. When he set out to make the film, Guggenheim realized he wanted to do more than just shed light on America's flawed public education system - he wanted the film to start a national debate. So he started the "Take the Pledge" campaign, which he hoped inspired those who saw the film to come up with innovative solutions to help the nation's schoolchildren. Over the course of a year, Guggenheim and the film's producer, Lesley Chilcott, followed five families from Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Washington D.C. who were trying to get their children enrolled in better schools. Considerable buzz surrounded the movie shortly after it premiered, and the reviews were nothing short of brilliant. The documentary switched back and forth between two storylines; "The Folly of the Adults," which centered on how schools fail the children, and "The Kids," which focused on real-life children who are seeking a better education and have participated in a charter-school lottery.

Credits

Girls StateStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2024
95%

Eternal You

Executive Producer
Movie
2024

The Enfield PoltergeistStream

Executive Producer
Series
2023
92%

Navajo Police: Class 57Stream

Executive Producer
Docuseries
2023

Burden of ProofStream

Executive Producer
Docuseries
2023
86%

Working: What We Do All DayStream

Executive Producer
Docuseries
2023

Still: A Michael J. Fox MovieStream

Director
Movie
2023
99%

Still: A Michael J. Fox MovieStream

Producer
Movie
2023
99%

AftershockStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2022
100%

Bitterbrush

Executive Producer
Movie
2022

Mija

Executive Producer
Movie
2022
88%

HomeroomStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2021
85%

All These Sons

Executive Producer
Movie
2021

ProcessionStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2021
98%

Accepted

Executive Producer
Movie
2021

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

Executive Producer
Movie
2020

Boys State

Executive Producer
Movie
2020

Time

Executive Producer
Movie
2020

The Best of Tavis Smiley

Guest
Show
2018

Bisbee '17

Executive Producer
Movie
2018

Kailash

Producer
Movie
2018

Kailash

Screenwriter
Movie
2018

Sweetheart Dancers

Executive Producer
Movie
2018

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to PowerStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2017
80%

En ubehagelig oppfølger

Actor
Other
Movie
2017

U2 Innocence + Experience: Live in ParisStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2015

U2 Finding Home

Director
Show
2015

U2 Finding Home

Producer
Show
2015

He Named Me Malala

Director
Movie
2015

Spent: Looking for Change

Executive Producer
Movie
2014

Teach

Director
Show
2013

Take Part Live

Guest Star
Show
2013

The Dream Is Now

Director
Movie
2013

The Dream Is Now

Screenwriter
Movie
2013

From the Sky Down

Director
Movie
2011

From the Sky Down

Producer
Movie
2011

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

The DefendersStream

Director
Series
2010
74%

The DefendersStream

Executive Producer
Series
2010
74%

George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

Guest
Show
2010

Waiting for Superman

Director
Movie
2010

Waiting for Superman

Screenwriter
Movie
2010

スーパーマンを待ちながら

Writer
Movie
2010

Melrose Place

Director
Show
2009

It Might Get Loud

Director
Movie
2008

It Might Get Loud

Producer
Movie
2008

Gracie

Director
Movie
2007

Gracie

Producer
Movie
2007

3 Lbs.

Director
Show
2006

3 Lbs.

Executive Producer
Show
2006

The UnitStream

Director
Series
2006
84%

An Inconvenient TruthStream

Cinematography
Movie
2006
93%

An Inconvenient TruthStream

Director
Movie
2006
93%

An Inconvenient TruthStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2006
93%

The Colbert Report

Guest
Talk
2005

Made in Hollywood

Guest
Series
2005

NUMB3RSStream

Director
Series
2005

DeadwoodStream

Director
Series
2004
92%

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

Push, Nevada

Director
Show
2002

Last Call With Carson Daly

Guest
Talk
2002

24Stream

Director
Series
2001
87%

AliasStream

Director
Series
2001
86%

Training DayStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2001
74%

Gossip

Director
Movie
2000

NYPD BlueStream

Director
Series
1993
83%

Charlie RoseStream

Guest
Talk
1991

The Oprah Winfrey ShowStream

Guest
Talk
1986

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

Canada AM

Guest
Show
1972

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutDavis Guggenheim