In 2006, GJ Echternkamp made Frank & Cindy, a documentary about his own dysfunctional family, which won the Best Documentary award at Raindance, Seattle, and Calgary film festivals. The film garnered rave reviews from critics, most notably from Ira Glass of “This American Life” fame, who declared, “Every single thing about ‘Frank & Cindy’ seems new and fresh and alive. It’s rare to see a documentary that’s so raw and funny and infuriating too.” The Emmy-nominated Showtime series went on to dedicate an entire episode to the making of Frank & Cindy.
Little wonder then that Hollywood was keen to take the story and turn it into a feature film. And so ‘Frank and Cindy’ starring Rene Russo and Oliver Platt – also directed by GJ – opened in 2015 to more effusive reviews.
GJ’s filmmaking journey started at Bard College where he studied experimental and narrative film Upon graduating he immediately began directing music videos for major label bands, including the Mates of State (Polyvinyl) and Giant Drag (Interscope). In 2003 GJ launched bionicfilms.com to showcase a growing and varied body of work that featured the videos, narrative shorts, documentaries and pre-YouTube viral videos.
In 2008, GJ produced, wrote, and acted in the controversial film A NECESSARY DEATH, which won the Audience Award at the AFI Film Festival. That same year he also competed in VH1′s reality show “Shoot to Kill”, in which music video directors remake popular videos from the 80′s and 90′s. GJ’s video for “Walk Like an Egyptian” by the Bangles took home the grand prize.