Academy Award®-Nominated producer/director Jason Cohen has produced and directed all formats of film and television on projects that cover a broad range of topics over the past 20 years. Cohen’s FACING FEAR, a story of forgiveness between a former Neo-Nazi and the gay victim of his hate crime attack 25 years earlier, was nominated for an Academy Award® for best documentary short subject in 2014.
Cohen's newest project, THE REDEMPTION PROJECT With VAN JONES for CNN, is an 8-part new documentary series that looks at restorative justice and follows stories of victim and offenders on their emotional journey to meet for the first time and have a dialogue with the person who tragically altered their life forever.
Cohen is EP/Creator alongside Kristen Bell & Will Gluck on ENCORE!, which premiered on ABC is now in series at Disney+ with Kristen Bell guiding former classmates along in a reunion like no other, as they are given an opportunity to re-stage their high school musical, 20 years after they originally performed it. The show earned a 2018 DGA Award nomination and the NY Times called it “A show idea we can all get behind.”
The director's last feature film, SILICON COWBOYS, with Academy Award®-winning producer Glen Zipper (Undefeated) and producer Ross Dinerstein (Jiro Dreams of Sushi), premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival where it was acquired by FilmRise for worldwide distribution. The film chronicles the David vs. Goliath story of Compaq Computer and its battle with IBM in the 1980's that changed the course of technology today. Variety calls the film “a vivid and evocative portrait.”
Cohen has an ongoing relationship with Academy Award®-winning director Steven Okazaki for over 20 years. In 2012 he produced the Okazaki-directed APPROXIMATELY NELS CLINE, about the world-renowned lead guitarist of Wilco. He co-produced HBO's Emmy-nominated BLACK TAR HEROIN: DARK END OF THE STREET, with Okazaki, and was a producer on his Emmy Award-winning HBO doc on the dropping of the atomic bomb, WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN, which also screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Cohen's earlier work found him working as a producer/cameraman/sound mixer alongside some of the most respected names in journalism. He has logged time for all the major networks as well as PBS and the BBC and cable outlets including ESPN, NFL Network and HBO. Included in his experience is shooting on projects on all seven continents.
In 2014, Cohen and Facing Fear were selected as representatives for the American Film Showcase, a program sponsored by the US State Dept. which selects films and filmmakers each year to serve as film ambassadors, conducting screenings and workshops in countries across the globe.
Cohen's work has screened and garnered awards at film festivals around the world and he has been featured in TV and radio segments on CBS, CNN, PBS, ESPN, MTV and others.
In 2001, Cohen received recognition for his work when he was honored with the Nafziger Award for distinguished achievement by alumni from the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism, his alma mater.
Cohen was raised in West Caldwell, NJ and began his journey west after high school, graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in journalism and film before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. He now lives in Berkeley, CA with his wife and two sons.