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Some people use their eyes to see. Others, to speak. Gunther Maier uses his as a microphone for the soul. Photographer. Filmmaker. Champion of characters and Harlistas, not necessarily in that order. The easiest way to comprehend his talent is to absorb it for what it is: raw truth. Intense. Funny. Humble. His rich German accent, clothed with his free-spirited American attitude, hint at his uncanny ability to transcend boundaries and origin. His work proves it.
Gunther started taking pictures in Germany with nothing more than a Kodak Instamatic camera and curiosity. He completed a three-year photography apprenticeship and later earned a bachelor degree in marketing communication and design. He then headed to the US to join an elusive club of mad men. Working as an art director/creative director in large and small boutique New York City agencies served him well and gave him the mojo he needed to eventually co-found his own advertising agency in Philadelphia, named SFGT Advertising.
His work for clients like Mercedes-Benz, IBM, Dow Jones Global Indexes, Hitachi, Sanoz, Jägermeister and the 76ers Basketball Club introduced him to photographers like Jeff Zwart, John Paul Endress, Clint Clemens, Tony Gaye and Dietmar Hennka.He worked with them to bring his creative vision to life, building numerous brands over the course of his agency career, and winning his fair share of awards before finally having his fill, packing his bags, and heading west to Santa Fe. It’s here where the dots of Gunther's life started connecting at light speed. That’s what happens when you stop running the race and, instead, start racing with a passion. With nothing but the open road before him, he started a Harley-Davidson tour company, Ride the Dream, rediscovered his love of photography and entered the world of filmmaking.
Photographers have a way of seeing the world inside out. That’s the only way to describe One Among Thousands — a 77-minute documentary that follows Victor Alvarez’s first visit back to his homeland, Havana, Cuba. The film played to sold-out crowds at the Santa Fe Film Festival and the DOCUTAH Film Festival. A fitting result for a tireless effort to capture the power of human spirit, individually and collectively.
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