Bryan Fogel

Academy Award-Winning Director and Writer of ICARUS

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At the Podium

When Academy Award Winning Director Bryan Fogel set out to make ICARUS he had one goal: to examine how easy it is to get away with doping in professional sports. Instead, he was connected to a Russian doctor-turned-whistleblower, Grigory Rodchenkov. Together, they blew the lid off a state-sponsored doping scheme that has been ongoing in Russia for decades and which directly led to Russia being banned from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. In a story that rivals any international spy thriller, Fogel’s program takes audiences through his quixotic adventure making ICARUS. Audiences are captivated by the unprecedent unravelling of an international scandal leading directly to the Kremlin, and the intricacies of Russian covert tampering—not only in the U.S. but on the international playing field.

The story behind the making of ICARUS is as riveting as what was depicted on screen. To make an Academy Award-Winning film requires the work and devotion of hundreds of creative people along with a very carefully planned PR and Marketing campaign. ICARUS was an incredible triumph on many levels—Fogel was able to: oversee the creative process and hiring of hundreds of people, mitigate a real world political crisis that was unfolding in real-time, and still deliver a final product worthy of the most coveted award on the planet, The Oscar. How Fogel excelled in his role of Director and Producer is a lesson in team management, team building, and creative risk taking.

Bryan’s keynote was an incredible success. ICARUS is one of today’s truly remarkable stories—it’s high drama in real life. Bryan’s story is filled with big ideas, heartfelt moments, humor, and incredible ups and downs. He had the audiences on the edge of their seats, laughing, crying, and ultimately thanking him with a standing ovation. I cannot recommend Bryan enough.

- Scott Albro
Founder & CEO, TOPO

About Bryan Fogel

Bryan Fogel is an American film director, producer, author and playwright best known for directing the Oscar-winning 2017 documentary thriller ICARUS. The film follows Fogel and the renegade Russian scientist Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov—a pillar of his country’s “anti-doping” program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program. Fogel helped Rodchenkov navigate the crisis by assisting with legal counsel, immigration advice, coordination with the FBI, CIA, and the DOJ and ultimately, the hopeful political asylum of Dr. Rodchenkov. In exposing a conspiracy that spanned more than four decades, Fogel revealed and intricately documented the biggest international sports scandal in living memory.

In December 2017, the IOC banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics, citing, in addition to sworn testimony and forensic evidence, the revelations set forth in ICARUS. It is the most wide-ranging punishment ever meted out by the IOC on a participating nation, let alone a powerhouse of the Olympic movement. For a nation where sports is a war without weapons, it is a stunning blow to national pride.

ICARUS was named Best Documentary Feature at the 2018 Academy Awards and garnered NETFLIX their first OSCAR.   The film also won the first-ever Special Jury Orwell Award at Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Choice Award at Sundance London.  ICARUS has received many other accolades including the 2018 Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding journalism, a nomination for the British Academy Awards (BAFTA), Three Primetime EMMY Nominations, a Critic’s Choice Award, and Fogel was personally nominated for Best Director by the Directors Guild of America.

Fogel has appeared among others on ABC’s Nightline, Charlie Rose, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Joe Rogan Experience, CNN, ESPN, and The View, and has been featured in publications around the globe.

Fogel began his career in Hollywood pursuing stand-up comedy and acting. Fogel, in partnership with Sam Wolfson, developed, co-wrote, and initially starred in the play Jewtopia, an off-Broadway comedy about the dating lives of two young men seeking Jewish women. It is one of the longest-running and fastest-recouping productions in Off-Broadway history. He also co-authored the book Jewtopia: The Chosen Guide for the Chosen People, and directed, co-wrote and produced the feature film adaptation of Jewtopia which was released in 2013. The film won the audience choice award of the 2012 Malibu International Film Festival.

He is an avid amateur cyclist and has participated in Haute Route. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Speech Topics

  • ICARUS: The True Story Behind the Russian Doping Scandal and Corruption
  • From Jewtopia to ICARUS and Winning the Academy Award: The Incredible and Inspirational True Story of Pursuing your Dreams, your Passions, and Overcoming Adversity Against all Odds and Incredible Risk
  • Team leadership and risk assessment: The Art and Business of Effective Directing

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