Alan Poul ’75
Producer and Director
Alan Poul is a distinguished producer and director of film and television who over the course of his career has received an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Producers Guild Award, three Peabody Awards and five GLAAD Awards, among others.
Poul is currently Executive Producing and Directing the Max drama series Tokyo Vice, written by Tony Award-winning playwright J.T. Rogers and starring Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe, as an American journalist in Japan and his police detective mentor.
He is probably best known for producing all five seasons of HBO's groundbreaking series Six Feet Under (2001-2005), for which he was nominated for both an Emmy and a DGA Award for his directing work. In addition, he produced and directed Netflix’s The Eddy (2020), which he developed with director Damien Chazelle, with whom he shared the French Television Critics Association award for Best Director. Poul also produced all four of the Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City miniseries, based on Maupin's celebrated novels, including the recent 2019 Netflix version. He also executive produced and directed Aaron Sorkin's HBO series The Newsroom (2012-2014), and the CBS series Swingtown (2008). Other credits include producing the beloved ABC series My So-Called Life (1994), the Peabody Award-winning Rock the Vote Special (1992), and the Emmy-winning PBS documentary series The Pacific Century (1990).
His feature film producing credits include Paul Schrader's Mishima and Light of Day, Ridley Scott's Black Rain, Bernard Rose's Candyman, Scott Winant's Til There Was You, Jean-Marc Vallee's Los Locos, Skip Woods' Thursday, and Fina Torres' Woman on Top. He directed The Back-up Plan starring Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Laughlin.
Poul began his filmmaking career in Japan, as Associate Producer on Paul Schrader’s Mishima (1985) and Ridley Scott’s Black Rain (1989).
He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale University with a degree in Japanese Language and Literature. He has taught courses on Japanese cinema at Yale and The New School, and has had his writing published in The New York Times Book Review and Film Comment magazine. He is a member of the board of directors of Film Independent and Playwrights Horizons, and of the Directors Guild of America's LGBTQ+ Representative Committee. He also serves as the Tourism Ambassador for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.