SISKEL/JACOBS PRODUCTIONS is a Chicago-based television and documentary production company founded in 2005 by Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs.
Greg and Jon produced and directed the documentary feature Louder Than a Bomb, which follows four Chicago-area high school poetry teams as they prepare to compete in the world’s largest youth slam. The winner of 17 festival prizes, including 10 audience awards, Louder Than a Bomb was hailed as “one of the 10 best documentaries of 2011” by Roger Ebert, and received a perfect 100% rating on rottentomatoes.com. In January of 2012, Louder Than a Bomb had its world television premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network, as an official selection of the “OWN Documentary Club”. The film was also selected for the 2011 American Documentary Showcase, a program created by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs “to cultivate greater understanding among people around the world,” and received the 2011 Humanitas Prize for documentaries.
Prior to Louder Than a Bomb, SJP produced the Emmy-winning History Channel special 102 Minutes That Changed America, which reconstructs—in real time—the events of 9/11 in New York City, using only sound and video from that morning. More than five million viewers tuned in to the premiere, making it the most-watched special in the network’s history, and the program has now been seen by over thirty million viewers worldwide. One of the most acclaimed documentaries of the past decade, 102 Minutes won three Primetime Emmys, including Outstanding Nonfiction Special, as well as the Most Innovative Program Award at the 2009 History Makers International Summit, a CINE Masters Series Award, a Silver Telly, and a FOCAL International Award. The show was also named the Best Nonfiction TV Episode of 2008 by iTunes.
SJP produced six episodes of the groundbreaking “Witness” series for the National Geographic Channel, includingWitness: Katrina, which won the 2011 News and Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Historical Programming. Jon and Greg also wrote, directed and produced Head On, a two-hour special about the obsessive subculture of “team demolition derby” in Joliet, Illinois, which aired on Discovery in December 2006. In March 2009, Siskel/Jacobs Productions was named to Realscreen Magazine’s “Global 100″—its annual list of the world’s most influential factual production companies.
In 2016, SJP produced the documentary Unexpected Justice: The Rise of John Paul Stevens, which premiered on WTTW in Chicago and aired on over 200 PBS stations around the country. Jon and Greg also served as the U.S. Executive Producers of 1916: The Irish Rebellion, a landmark, three-part documentary series, narrated by Liam Neeson, commemorating the centennial of the Easter Rising. The series, which aired around the world in 2016, won the American Public Television Programming Excellence Award, along with the Irish Film and Television Academy’s award for best documentary series.
Most recently, SJP released Grace, a documentary short produced and directed by Rachel Pikelny.
SJP is currently in production on two feature documentaries: No Small Matter, a film about about the power and potential impact of early chidhood education; and The Road Up, about the intersection of poverty, addiction, and employment, seen through the lens of a transformative job training program in Chicago.
In addition to its film and television work, SJP continues to produce high-quality short videos for corporate and non-profit clients, including Eli Lilly, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the University of Illinois-Chicago, and others.