Tod Lending is an Academy Award®-nominated and national Emmy-winning producer/ director/ writer/ cinematographer whose work has aired nationally on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and HBO; has been screened and awarded at national and international festivals; and has been televised internationally in Europe and Asia. He is the president and founder of Nomadic Pictures, a Chicago-based documentary film and television production company, and director of Ethno Pictures, a not-for-profit documentary film company.
Lending’s feature-length documentary, Legacy, which he produced, directed and wrote, was nominated for an Academy Award® in 2001. Legacy tells the inspiring story of how members of one family, filmed over a five-year period, recovered from the loss of their child, broke free of welfare, overcame addiction, and escaped the specter of violence in their community. The film aired on Cinemax/HBO in the summer of 2000, was a critical success at the Sundance Film Festival 2000, and received a prime-time national PBS release in the fall of 2002. The film was awarded the Reel Screen Innovation in Documentary Award, was nominated for a national Emmy and two International Documentary Association (IDA) awards, and was broadcast throughout Europe and Asia. Significantly, Legacy inspired federal legislation through its national outreach campaign.
Lending also series produced, directed, wrote, and produced the international award winning series No Time to be a Child, a $1.4 million, three-part documentary series that aired nationally on PBS and was a co-production with Detroit Public Television. This series covers children overcoming the effects and consequences of violence in war-zone communities, their homes, and in situations of poverty. Documentaries in the No Time to be a Child series (Growin’ Up Not A Child, Breaking Ties, and Time to Speak) have garnered numerous awards including a national Emmy nomination for Outstanding Documentary, Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, New York Festival World Medals, and CINE Eagles, among others. In addition to its national and international television release, programs in the series have been widely distributed educationally to high schools, universities, community groups, and professional organizations throughout the country.
Lending also was awarded a national Emmy for the ABC Afterschool Special Shades of a Single Protein. Lending produced, directed, and wrote the national Emmy-nominated and Henry Hampton award-winning feature documentary, Omar & Pete. This project follows two men for a few months before their release from prison, and then two years thereafter. The film examines the social and economic barriers that these men confront as they work at reintegrating into their communities and families. The project aired nationally on PBS through the P.O.V. series and garnered major support from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Foundation for Child Development provided support through a Journalism Fellowship in Child and Family Policy.
Lending is also producing, directing, writing and shooting Aimee’s Crossing, an ITVS co-production film that follows a juvenile offender through her therapy inside prison, and her parole on the outside. He also completed the award-winning short, Rosevelt’s America, shot over two years, an inspiring story of a Liberian refugee who survived torture and brought his family to the U.S. to rebuild their lives. Co-produced and co-directed by Roger Weisberg, Rosevelt’s America was broadcast on PBS in May 2007.
Lending was a University of Maryland Journalism Fellow in Child and Family Policy. His work has garnered major grants from the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Child and Family Foundation, Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Houlsby Foundation, U.S. Office of Education, Chicago Community Trust, and the Continental Bank Foundation.