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Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, Paul Stekler, And Peter Odabashian

The making of Getting Back to Abnormal featured no less than four creative producer/directors:  LOUIS ALVAREZ, ANDREW KOLKER, PETER ODABASHIAN, and PAUL STEKLER. Luckily, they have worked successfully together on and off for almost three decades, creating thought-provoking, award-winning, and often very funny documentaries about American life, culture, and politics.

Alvarez, Kolker, and Stekler first collaborated on 1992’s Louisiana Boys, Raised on Politics, a hilarious look at the Bayou State’s freewheeling political culture, highlighting such stars as Earl and Huey Long and then-governor Edwin Edwards.  The film was screened on public TV’s POV series and won the team their first DuPont-Columbia Journalism Award.

Four years later, joined by Odabashian, the team made the four-hour Vote for Me: Politics in America, a wide-ranging, eye-opening look at the American way of elections, from Texas to Chicago to the New South.  The series was awarded the George Foster Peabody Award as well as a second DuPont-Columbia baton.

Alvarez, Kolker and Odabashian are known for People Like Us: Social Class in America (2001), a classic examination of American society; MOMS and Sex:Female, candid looks at the lives of American women; and The Anti-Americans, a 2007 film about the way Europeans look at American culture.  They are also the creators of the 3D history game Past/Present.

Paul Stekler’s work includes the Sundance Special Jury Prize winner George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire (directed and produced with Dan McCabe), Last Man Standing: Politics Texas Style, and two of the Eyes on the Prize civil rights series films.

In 2008 he co-produced and wrote Frontline’s The Choice 2008 with director Michael Kirk, about the Obama-McCain election race. Stekler, who has a doctorate in American politics and worked as political pollster in Louisiana, is also the chair of the Radio-Television-Film Dept. at the University of Texas in Austin.

For three of the producers (Odabashian is a lifelong New Yorker), making Getting Back to Abnormal was a return to their Louisiana roots, New Orleans having been the incubator of their filmmaking careers in the 1970s and 1980s.  Kolker and Alvarez made films on New Orleans accents (Yeah You Rite!) and nearby Plaquemines Parish (The Ends of the Earth), while Stekler tackled a historically significant mayor’s race in 1986’s Among Brothers.

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Contact us at nola@cnam.com