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PANGLOSS FILMS is a Brooklyn-based documentary company founded by multiple Emmy-nominated filmmaker, Peter Yost.  Pangloss’ projects are funded and distributed by top broadcasters and streamers, including PBS, GBH, National Geographic, NBC and Netflix. The company creates films that offer surprising new perspectives and celebrate the diversity of humanity, while also exploring difficult truths -- past and present.



Pangloss' most recent film, Nazi Town, USA, tracks the rise and fall of the German American Bund and explores the fascist threat to America in the 1930's. The film premieres the 2024 season of PBS's AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, the most watched-- and awarded-- history series.  The Wall Street Journal calls it "a fascinating... cautionary tale directed at our current politics" and Rolling Stone says "Nazi Town, USA is a bracing reminder never to take democracy for granted." 

The feature-length Pangloss documentary, Drop Dead City: New York on the Brink in 1975about the near bankruptcy of New York City, won the 2023 Library of Congress Lavine / Ken Burns Prize for Film.  Co-Directed by Peter Yost and Michael Rohatyn, Ken Burns called it: "...just an unbelievable, Tolstoyan novel of a film."  You can read a New York Times article about the film here.

The 2022 Pangloss film for PBS/NOVA, Crypto Decoded, explored the inner workings of cryptocurrency. The Wall Street Journal said: “Crypto Decoded should be the last word in explaining the alternative money’"


In Summer, 2021 Pangloss released the landmark, four-hour PBS series Mysteries of Mental Illness.  The series places the stories of those living with mental illness today in a broader historic, scientific, and social context, tracing how our understanding has evolved from ancient conceptions of spiritual affliction, to the latest 21st century neurobiological breakthroughs. The Chicago Tribune says of the series: “It will break your heart while it enlightens.” 

Other celebrated Pangloss productions include: Inside North Korea which was nominated for an Emmy for Best Long Form Documentary; the Emmy-Nominated environmental film The Color of Oil which looked at the “greening” of Big Oil, and Solitary Confinement, which helped lead to the reform of incarceration policies in Colorado and elsewhere.  


Pangloss has also produced more than a dozen films for National Geographic’s Specials Unit and six films for the PBS science series, NOVA. These include: Rise of the Drones, (click here for an NPR interview about the film), Secrets of the Viking Sword, Dead Sea Scroll Detectives, and a milestone project about the Hubble Space Telescope, Invisible Universe Revealed.


Our films tackle a wide range of subjects. We’ve explored the legacy of Marlon Brando… embedded in Japan with the world’s top-ranked sumo wrestler… followed the discovery of an unknown 2 million year old species of pre-human... and even pulled back the curtain on the secret military base, Area 51, to tell the story in the voices of those who actually worked there. 

Our passion is creating films and series that challenge assumptions about the world around us-- projects that not only entertain, but invite us to question who we are and how we live. 

For more information about Pangloss Films or to inquire about internships please contact

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