Nick Gaglia believes the power of story defines and unites our humanity.
His first feature, Over the GW, is based on his two-and-a-half-year experience in an abusive, cult-like, drug rehabilitation center as a kid. GW premiered at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival, where it was the first “under-the-radar” narrative feature in the festival’s 13-year history to get a distribution deal after its first screening. The film won critical praise through its nationwide, limited theatrical run:
“THE REHAB DRAMA IS HERE TO STAY"
“OVER THE GW IS AN ASSURED FIRST FEATURE BY 25-YEAR-OLD WRITER-DIRECTOR NICK GAGLIA”
“NOT TO BE MISSED”
“SHOCKING…THE FILM ACCRUES A LEARNED SENSE OF WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE THE VERY FIBERS OF ONE’S SOUL PLACED UNDER A MAGNIFYING GLASS”
“MUST-SEE INDY FILM”
Director Nick Gaglia and cinematographer Jon Fordham, with crew on location in Nevada's Valley of Fire for Aaron Bacon. photo: Boris Cifuentis
Director Nick Gaglia on Dr. Phil.
Director Nick Gaglia, on the set of Altered States of Plaine, with actors Kether Donohue and George Gallagher. photo: Gary Robinson
Over the GW was also cited in a 2008 congressional hearing on Child Abuse and Deceptive Marketing by Residential Programs for Teens, where it was hailed "an incredible story!"
In 2009, Gaglia released the narrative film Aaron Bacon – inspired by the book Help at Any Cost by Maia Szalavitz. This film is based on the true story of a troubled, 16-year-old boy who dies as a result of physical abuse and starvation in a tough-love, wilderness, drug-treatment facility. Aaron Bacon made its world premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival, followed by a US theatrical release where Fox News called the movie a "powerful film!"
WOR Radio lauded the movie as, "A powerful, enthralling, and engrossing film with a superb script, direction, and editing by Nick Gaglia, who is on his way to becoming a master of the film medium!"
In between features, Gaglia directs music videos and commercials, bringing his signature style to short-form work.
Gaglia’s activism includes speaking on the topic of treatment abuse of adolescents. He has spoken at venues such as Capitol Hill, Dr. Phil, NYU, Fox News, Real Talk, WOR Radio, Fordham University, and Cal State. In 2013, Gaglia received two humanitarian awards from the Survivors of Institutional Abuse organization in Washington, DC for the work he has done raising awareness through film.
In 2014, Gaglia released the TV pilot Altered States of Plaine, which was shot in four countries including France, Italy, Switzerland, and the US.
“DISPLAYING CONSIDERABLE STYLISTIC FINESSE…REMINISCENT OF CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S MEMENTO”
“ALTERED STATES OF PLAINE, LIKE INDIES PI AND PRIMER, HARBORS AMBITION THAT TOWERS”
Over the GW, Aaron Bacon, and Altered States of Plaine can all be watched on his official site: www.nickgaglia.com.
In 2017, Gaglia completed principal photography on his latest feature film, PinkCity, shot entirely on location in India.
Gaglia’s next feature, I Will Escape, is the culmination of his life’s work. It’s his defining movie on the topic of institutional child abuse: about a teenager’s struggle to escape from a life-threatening cult, masquerading as an addiction treatment center.