"Stephen Olsson, President of CEM Productions, (and former VP of Original Programming at Link TV) has produced and directed documentary films, television series and feature news reports throughout the world for US and European broadcasters. Stephen's work has won numerous national and international awards, including the National Emmy Award for Outstanding Director, the Du-Pont Columbia Award for Excellence in broadcast journalism and the George Foster Peabody Award. He is currently producing & directing Global Spirit - the first “internal travel” series on national television and the internet, - an inquiry into humankind's belief systems, wisdom traditions and states of consciousness. Other current projects include: Healing A Soldier's Heart, on PTSD and the traumatic impact of war on the human soul, and One Through Love, on the life and teachings of the sufi mystical poet Hz. Jalaluddin Rumi.
"Previous films include:Sound of the Soul, a portrait of The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, has been broadcast on national television networks in the US, Europe and Australia, and has screened in dozens of international film festivals including Tribeca, Tehran, Mill Valley, Dubai, Sarajevo, Jerusalem, Vancouver and others.
"Our House in Havana, broadcast nationally on PBS and throughout Europe, Japan, Canada and Latin America, Last Images of War, for the BBC, photographed in eight countries, narrated by actor Ben Kingsley, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, before receiving the National Emmy Award for Outstanding Director, and two additional National Emmy nominations. After September 11th, Olsson wrote and co-produced a re-release of the film for National Geographic Explorer. He also produced & directed: Afghanistan: The Fight For a Way of Life, which was broadcast throughout the world and cited by The New York Times as one of the best documentary films of the year. To Find the Baruya Story and Her Name Came on Arrows are two award-winning ethnographic films featuring the work of French anthropologist Maurice Godelier. John Collier: A Visual Journey, highlights the life's work of visual anthropologist, educator and photographer John Collier Jr.
"Olsson was writer and Senior Producer of School Colors a feature-length documentary produced for the PBS “Frontline” series, which received the Dupont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, and was cited by The Boston Globe (and others) as one of the best television programs of the year.
"Stephen was a co-founder of the national satellite channel Link TV, where he produced and directed programs in all factual genres with a wide-range of personalities including journalist Walter Cronkite, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, actor Sean Penn, entertainer and social activist Harry Belafonte, linguist Noam Chomsky, singer and songwriter Willy Nelson, actor Ben Kingsley, writer and comedian John Cleese and others.
"During his nine year tenure as Link TV's VP of Original Programming, Stephen created a number of original television series, including the Peabody Award-winning: Mosaic: World News from the Middle East - the first regional news digest, broadcast daily for over eight years, The Active Opposition - a live, 90-minute current-affairs series hosted by actor Peter Coyote Global Spirit - the first “internal travel series” which brings together teachers from different wisdom, faith and scientific traditions to explore consciousness and spirituality in the 21st century (also broadcast on PBS), Bridge to Iran - a bi-lingual film/discussion series hosted by filmmaker Parisa Soultani, celebrating Iranian cinema and filmmakers, Spotlight, an international investigative series hosted by journalist/author Mark Hertsgaard, Lunch with Bokara, a 13-part series hosted by artist/performer Bokara Legendre exploring the intersection of philosophy, metaphysics, science and religion (also broadcast on PBS) and Explore China, the original pilot one-hour documentary which launched the “Explore” series, hosted by Charles Annenberg.
"Olsson has also worked as a senior media consultant and project director for a number of media projects in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and South America. He has directed large television projects in Ukraine and Pakistan and holds a Master's degree in Anthropology and Communications. "
Resources and articles
- CEM Productions About, organizational web page, accessed August 20, 2018.