Donna Kanter

Donna Kanter

Donna Kanter is a writer-producer-director of films and television series based on true stories and events. As owner of The Donna Kanter Company, Inc., she has been executive producer, writer, or director of 21 programs on subjects ranging from Pope John Paul II’s Vatican, The White House: Inside the Gates, to The Circus, The Gardner Museum Heist, LUCY: QUEEN OF COMEDY (The DESILU Empire), U.S. missiles, transportation crimes, numerous FBI, cold case, and police procedurals, and pop culture phenomena.

This year, Donna wrote and directed a presentation for A & E on a special unit of the FBI. In 2008, she wrote, produced, and directed F.L.I.P Mysteries: Women on the Case for WE tv, based on female legal and investigative professionals (F.L.I.P.) who solve crimes on the Web with the most formidable police departments in the country.

Donna directed LUNCH, featuring 7 classic comedy writers who lunch together every two weeks while their waitress inevitably appears just in time to step on their punch lines.  The documentary made its theatrical debut in August 2008, and is a WGA Film Society selection. She is currently directing LUNCH 2 with 12 writers and directors.  Her third short film, FRIENDS FOR LIFE, screened at the DGA in September 2009.

In 2006 she wrote and directed Inside The Yellow Line for Court TV (Tru TV), based on the FBI’s elite Evidence Response Teams.  In 2007-2008 her company completed episodes #2 and #3, The Tell-Tale Bomb and Revenge Ride.

Donna also created and directed Cold Case Cops for the Discovery Channel and in 2006 wrote and directed a second episode featuring the same Newark detectives (Case Re-opened: Avenging the Victims).  She has maintained a working relationship with law enforcement for 18 years, enabling her company to produce programs on the most unusual investigative units and cases of our times.

In 2003, Donna Kanter was executive producer and a writer of her third television movie, Long Way to Home, for CBS, and her company produced four seasons of Badge of Courage for Tru TV, with Jerry Orbach and Dennis Franz, and Gordon Clapp hosting.

A team member that has launched 14 series pilots, Donna was creator and supervising producer of the ABC reality-drama hybrid series, FBI: The Untold Stories (ABC).  She created the 2000 comedy pilot Payback (NBC and RTI/Italy), wrote the pilot Injustice For All (NBC), and was Supervising Producer of the NBC syndicated series, Save Our Streets (1999-2003).  Donna also wrote and directed The Bank of America Shoot Out (Discovery), the syndicated pilots Strange Universe and The Crusaders (Buena Vista), and directed the pilot Rescue, 911 (CBS).

Kanter grew up in an atmosphere of comedy writers and publishers and gravitated towards investigative reporting, beginning her career in Seattle as a labor reporter, producer, and Executive Producer of KING TV News. She then became senior producer for David Brinkley, for Newsweek, foreign editor at ABC, and investigative producer for CBS.

A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Donna completed her M.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Florence. Completing her PhD requirements at UCLA, she was to begin her thesis on the Italian Resistance at Yale when she went to work for Ralph Nader’s organizations as a researcher.

Donna is editor of Amici Per La Vita (Friends For Life), the story of renowned feature film still photographer Louis Goldman, and the cardinal of Florence and his priests who risked their lives to save the teenager during the Holocaust. Paulist Press published Friends for Life in December 2008.  Donna wrote the foreword, and is adapting the book into a screenplay.

A two-time Emmy winner, Donna Kanter is a member of the Writers Guild, Directors Guild, is a founding member of New York Women in Film, and Fellow/Recipient of the AFI's Directing Workshop for Women.  She values her working relationships with artists, producers, members of the crafts, and agents.

Donna was Treasurer of the TV Academy from 2006 to January, 2010, after serving five years as Governor of the Writers’ Peer Group and Governors’ Appointee to the Executive Committee (2004-2006).  She was also a member of the design team for the Emmys’ Governors’ Balls for 5 years.

She produced REAL COPS, REAL DOCS for the Television Academy in October 2007, IS THE M.O.W. DOA? in March 2008, and TELEVISION: THE NEW INDEPENDENT FILM in October 2008.  She has conducted numerous interviews on innovative and vintage television, and Warsaw Ghetto and Italian Holocaust survivors for the Shoah Foundation.