Ilana Trachtman is an Emmy Award-winning documentary and children’s television producer with credits on PBS, HBO Family, ABC-TV, SHOWTIME, SUNDANCE, LIFETIME, DISCOVERY, TRIO, A&E, Thirteen/WNET, The Biography Channel and Sesame Workshop. Ilana recently directed an episode of Henry Louis Gates’ landmark series for PBS, Black in Latin America. She shot throughout Mexico and Peru, investigating the hidden history of slavery in those countries and the legacy of Africa that remains. Ilana served as the Supervising Producer on PBS’ long-running History Detectives, and before that on the Sundance Channel’s critically acclaimed series Big Ideas for a Small Planet.
Other favorite projects include directing Texas Ranch House, the PBS reality/documentary series set in 1867; Our Heroes, Ourselves (Lifetime), an award-winning documentary special about grassroots heroes; Biography: Sylvia Plath; and 24/w a highly stylized “day in the life” series following pop culture icons.
Ilana’s independent feature documentary, Praying with Lior (2008), was released theatrically in over 60 cities in the U.S. and abroad. The film received 6 Audience Awards for Best Documentary, the Grand Prix at the International Disability Film Festival in Moscow and was a critic’s pick of the New York Times, New York Magazine, Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Most importantly, the film has galvanized a sea change in the inclusion of people with disabilities in faith communities.
A member of the Director’s Guild of America, Ilana is based in both Philadelphia and New York.