R.J. Cutler is an award-winning director and producer who has made some of the most significant documentary films and television series of the past quarter century and a visionary in realizing the commercial potential of premium non-fiction film and television. In 2020 Cutler launched This Machine, a production company focused on developing and producing both scripted and non-scripted projects for film and television.
Cutler’s feature documentaries include the Oscar-nominated The War Room, the Emmy- nominated A Perfect Candidate, the Sundance Award-winning The September Issue, the Peabody Award-winning Listen to Me Marlon, The World According to Dick Cheney and Thin. He has also been a pioneer in the area of non-fiction television, having created such landmark programs as “American High,” (winner of the first Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Television Series), “Freshman Diaries,” and “30 Days.”
His scripted work includes conceiving and directing “Nashville,” directing the feature film If I Stay starring Chloe Grace Moretz, and creating, writing, directing and producing the Webby Award-winning podcast The Oval Office Tapes.
Cutler’s most recent work includes the Academy Award shortlisted Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, the critically acclaimed, four time Emmy nominated, cinema verite coming of age story of the singer-songwriter and her rise to global superstardom, now streaming on AppleTV+, the critically acclaimed feature documentary BELUSHI, about the too-short life of once in a generation talent John Belushi told through previously unheard audio tapes by those closest to him recorded after his death for Showtime and the documentary series “Dear…”, also streaming on AppleTV+. “Dear…” which profiled subjects ranging from Spike Lee and Lin Manuel Miranda to Gloria Steinem and Misty Copeland, telling their stories through the eyes of those who have been impacted most by their work, was recently renewed for a second season, which will include Viola Davis, Selena Gomez, Jane Fonda, Billy Porter and Ava DuVernay, among others. Cutler is also the executive producer behind the recently released “Supreme Models” (Black Voices Fund/Youtube Originals) a series that pays tribute to the Black women who broke down barriers and transformed the fashion and beauty industries.
Upcoming feature projects for Cutler include documentaries Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances And the Years That Made His Legend (Disney+) and an Untitled Martha Stewart Documentary (Netflix), both of which Cutler is directing and producing. He is also executive producing The Devil You Know (HBO) inspired by New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s book.
On the television side, Cutler is working on “Big Vape” (Netflix), a series that will chronicle the rise of E-cigarette company Juul based on TIME reporter Jamie Ducharme’s upcoming non-fiction book that This Machine is partnering with Amblin to produce, with Cutler set to direct. In addition, the company has other yet to be announced projects for Amazon, Showtime, and CNN.
Cutler has been nominated for an Academy Award and numerous other awards, and he is the recipient of The Critic’s Choice Documentary Pennebaker Award, two Emmys, two Peabody Awards, a GLAAD Award, two Cinema Eye Awards, and two Television Academy Honor Awards. In 2009, the Museum of Television and Radio held a four-day retrospective of his work.