_____ Practice Areas
Entertainment and Technology
_____ Lectures, Panels, and Workshops
Sundance Institute, SXSW, Tribeca Film Institute, University of Oxford (upcoming), NYU Tisch, DocNYC, Documentary Association of Europe,
Camden International Film Festival,
and many others.
_____ Media Appearances
CNN, CBS News Prime Time, KCRW
The Hon. Mariana R. Pfaelzer, Central District of California
Yale Law School, Columbia University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
paul [at] filmlawgroup.com, +1 415 663 5153
Paul Szynol (/ˈSHinôl/)
In the last two decades, I've worked extensively with award-winning filmmakers, artists, tech start ups, and tech
I specialize in media (especially film, tv, music, photography, and art) and tech (especially software and
I'm particularly interested in fair use and free speech.
I teach Film Law at the University of Michigan. I've written for the Atlantic about fair use, and I've
appeared on CNN and
CBS News Prime Time to discuss the doctrine's importance. I'm very committed to empowering filmmakers and
and regularly lecture on legal issues related to film production, including talks and panels at the Sundance
SXSW, Tribeca Film Institute, NYU Tisch, DocNYC, Documentary Association of Europe,
Camden International Film Festival, and many others.
Before starting my own firm, I worked in the New York City and San
Francisco offices of two international law firms, and I was in-house counsel at a major media
I'm also a filmmaker and photographer. I've filmed in the US, Uganda, Poland, and England,
and my documentaries have been featured on the New York Times (Op-Docs), the Atlantic, and the New Yorker,
and have been shown at festivals internationally, including AFI Docs,
Big Sky, Clermont-Ferrand, Doc NYC, Palm Springs, Slamdance, and Toronto Int’l Film Festival (Kids).
My short doc "A Peaceful Place" was a Tribeca If/Then finalist. Some of my photos have been exhibited in the
US and Europe,
including ICP in New York City and the Leica Gallery in Warsaw. In addition to shooting my own films, I also
work as a cinematographer for other projects (e.g., Nanfu Wang's In the Same Breath) and occasionally
help with production
(e.g., Susan Sandler's Julia Scotti: Funny That Way).
A more personal bio: I was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to NYC at the age of 12, the year that the
city’s transit fare rose from 75 cents to 90 cents;
33 previously unknown Bach pieces were found in an academic library; and Canon demoed its first digital
Besides New York City and Warsaw, I’ve lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Ann Arbor, Alexandria
(VA), New Haven,
Philadelphia, NJ, DC, and, for shorter periods, Kampala and Berlin. I’ve driven across the US six
and I’ve visited the vast majority of the contiguous states, and, by train, plane or automobile, I’ve also
visited some 45 50 55
countries. I like stray
all dogs, old jazz LPs and old
trains, Greene and Kundera, open source software,
the Oxford comma, and occasionally translating Polish poetry to English.
In the past, I played loud drums with loud bands in a bunch of loud places, including CBGBs. I also started
coding in 7th grade, and I'm still a huge nerd
an occasional software developer
My personal website is at Itchy Dog Films
_____ Films (Director, Cinematographer, Editor, and Producer)
(New York Times)
After serving time in a New Hampshire jail, a freed inmate faces the pull of addiction.
Donald Hall, America’s Poet Laureate and winner of the National Medal of Arts, lives in the fragile
space between loneliness and solitude.
A Ugandan couple struggle to get pregnant and save their marriage.
A short documentary about a quirky Brooklyn bookstore that has been an enigmatic but beloved
neighborhood fixture for the last three decades.
I Want Everything
After a lifetime of writing about famous rock stars, Larry “Ratso” Sloman releases his own album and
records a tribute to Nick Cave’s son.
(Vimeo Staff Pick)
A handful of inmates weather the slow passage of time with candid reflections on drug addiction.
_____ Festival Programmer
Slamdance Film Festival (Doc Features and Narrative Shorts)