Joel Gilbert

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Joel Gilbert (born April 15, 1964) is an American filmmaker based in Los Angeles and President of Highway 61 Entertainment. He is known for political documentaries on Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Islamism as well as music history films on Bob Dylan and comedies featuring Paul McCartney and Elvis Presley. According to Hollywood Reporter, Gilbert is also a political commentator[1] and foreign policy analyst. He appears frequently on conservative talk radio shows promoting his films and commenting on current events in politics and the Middle East.[2]


Gilbert's full name is Joel Sion Gilbert. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1964, he later moved with his family to Oak Ridge, Tennessee as a child. Gilbert earned a BA (1986) from the University of London in Economics and Politics where he studied at both the London School of Economics and Politics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Gilbert earned an MBA (1991) from George Washington University in finance before moving to Los Angeles in 1992 where he worked at Paramount Pictures as a financial analyst.[3]


Gilbert founded and performs as lead singer of the band "Highway 61 Revisited", in tribute to Bob Dylan. His inspiration to become a professional musician can be attributed to a Bob Dylan album he received in high school in the mid-1980s. His foray into music began and his passion took hold as he taught himself to play Bob Dylan songs.[4] Gilbert sings and plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and harmonica in the band.[5] Gilbert advertises his group as "The World's Only Bob Dylan' Tribute Show", and it features four of Bob Dylan's original band members.[6] These include Scarlet Rivera on violin, Rob Stoner on bass, Winston Watson on drums, and John Jackson on guitar. The group has toured in England [7] and Ireland[8] as well as throughout the United States. The "Take No Prisoners Tour" consisted of performances at California State Prisons, including Folsom Prison,[9] San Quentin State Prison, Norco, Chino, Delano, and Kern Valley State Prison.[10] The Band is highly acclaimed, Pete Howard wrote in Ice Magazine, "approached the Highway 61 Revisited show with a bit of skepticism, but was soon converted into a believer. Simply put, Joel Gilbert and his band absolutely nail it."[11]


Bob Dylan

Gilbert's first film on the famous singer, Bob Dylan 1966 World Tour, The Home Movies, featured Bob Dylan's first electric tour drummer Mickey Jones recounting the seminal Bob Dylan tour through his home movie footage. Scott Baur of the Associated Press wrote "Home movies aren't supposed to be this cool." [12] Rolling Stone Magazine writer David Fricke wrote that drummer Mickey Jones "had his Kodak rolling the entire time from the corner of the stage."[13] Ice Magazine wrote "The project is so unique in nature" and "must viewing for any self-respecting music historian"[14]

In a review of Joel Gilbert's 2004 film, "Bob Dylan World Tours 1966–1974", Glide Magazine commented that Dylan's career during the nine years relevant to the film was "significant for any Bob Dylan fan." According to the same review, Gilbert is commended for his choice to portray the life of Dylan with greater authenticity through the lens of Dylan's chief photographer at the time, Barry Feinstein. It commended Gilbert saying "one must applaud Gilbert’s efforts and his love for music history. His passion for music in general is displayed in every scene." [15] Scott Bauer of the Associated Press wrote, "Because he is such a Dylan fan, Gilbert is able to ferret out good information from his interview subjects." [16] Relix magazine noted "Gilbert's handiwork is extremely homespun, but entertaining and passionate."[17]

Gilbert's next film, Bob Dylan – 1975–1981 Rolling Thunder and The Gospel Years (2006), was received well by DVD Talk, who states the film "clock(s) in at a staggering four hours" and "questions an array of music biz types -- singers, studio musicians, record producers, critics, etc. -- about Bob Dylan's career from 1975 to 1981, a period in which he went from the ballyhooed Rolling Thunder concert tour to born-again Christianity." [18] Pete Howard of Ice Magazine wrote "an exciting, fun and educational experience for anyone who appreciates Dylan's music." [19]

"Inside Bob Dylan's Jesus Years: Busy Being Born Again", the next documentary in chronological order, directed by Gilbert in 2008, was credited by DVD Talk as an "examination of the period from 1978 to 1981 where Dylan shook off his Jewish heritage and became a born-again, Evangelical Christian."[20] The Washington Times wrote in "Taking Bob Dylan at Faith Value" noted this film "mines a period in Mr. Dylan’s career that is puzzled over, ignored or disdained by many fans: the three years, from 1979 to 1981, during which the rock icon devoted his recording and performing career to evangelical Christianity." [21] Christianity Today wrote that the film "goes to great lengths to recreate that seminal period of Dylan's career and find some answers in it."[22]

Gilbert's final Dylan documentary, Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour Diaries, featured Dylan's drummer Winston Watson and was called "the harsh world of rock reality" by They also wrote, "the presentation quality here is outstanding" referring to Gilbert's Dylan films they wrote, "Each successive release has been more revealing and more satisfying." [23] DVDfile wrote "Its appeal can't be underestimated." [24] Modern Drummer enthusiastically stated, "when a film draws you in, you know it works." [25] Blogcritics described this film as "one of the better tour diary releases of its kind."[26]

Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam

Gilbert's 2007 film, Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam is a history film "depicting the confrontation between Islam and the Jews that began in the Prophet Muhammad's time, and continues to this day".[27] The original music track features Bob Dylan band alumni Scarlet Rivera, Bruce Langhorne, and Rob Stoner.[28] Historian Rael Jean Issac, writing in Mideast Outpost, wrote "Joel Gilbert has pulled off a remarkable tour de force: in “Farewell Israel” he has produced a technically sophisticated, visually imaginative, scholarly documentary. The film’s enormous achievement is showing incontrovertibly the total misunderstanding of Islam that shapes the policy follies of the West in general and the U.S. and Israel in particular."[29] Dave Eberhard of Newsmax wrote "Farewell Israel reveals the full story of Israel and the West’s misunderstanding of Islam - and the coming tragic consequences of misunderstanding. If you are lucky enough to view the film, your mouth will drop open more than once.[30] All Movie Guide wrote "Filmmaker Joel Gilbert explores the conflict that has raged between the Arabs and the Jews since the time of the Prophet Muhammad. The grim truth about "Islamic Peace" finally comes into focus.[31] The Jewish Advocate wrote "Farewell Israel will frighten you."[32]

Paul McCartney Really Is Dead

Metro New York quoted Paul McCartney Really is Dead (2010), director Joel Gilbert, "this is a way to revisit the mystery and fun of the 'Paul is dead' urban legend". [33] Q Magazine called it a "Daft documentary about The Fabs' infamous cover-up."[34] The Boston Herald wrote "the fun, if ghoulish element, about watching the DVD is Gilbert's rat-a-at assemblage of clues...Is it tongue in cheek?"[35] The Houston Press said Director Joel Gilbert does a laudable and expert job of melding creative fan fantasy with the real aspects of Beatles albums, photography, and history - including a good chunk of rare footage - to make it all seem plausible. A bizarre little effort, but one absolutely worth seeing.[36]

Elvis Found Alive

The next film directed by gilber, Elvis Found Alive (2012), was lauded by who said "Joel Gilbert's Elvis Found Alive is a sensational, evidence revealing 'mockumentary' supplemented by stunning new recordings by Elvis".[37] Popshifter wrote, "For Elvis fans, Elvis Found Alive is a fun journey down memory lane and an entertaining 'what if' story. For conspiracy buffs, it’s a treasure trove of clues and secrets. Joel Gilbert has a knack for peering into the shadowy corners of celebrity history and bringing mind-boggling alternatives out into the light…"[38] TV Tropes wrote "the fake Elvis does a damn good imitation" and "it's still cheesy as hell, though, and not to be taken seriously."[39] wrote "Elvis Found Alive! is a hoot and a half. If it doesn't become a cult item, it'll only be because the times are forcing Americans to lose their sense of irony…"[40] Movie City News exclaimed, "Elvis Found Alive is a profoundly strange and surprising well-made mockumentary about one man's search for truth in the death of Elvis Presley…"[41]

Dreams from My Real Father

Gilbert's Dreams from My Real Father (2012) was presented as an alternative history to Barack Obama's autobiography, Dreams from My Father (1995).[42] The film presents evidence that Chicago Communist Party USA activist and former Soviet agent Frank Marshall Davis, Obama's admitted mentor during his formative years in Hawaii, was also Obama's real biological father.[43] The film went on to chronicle Davis' influence on Obama and how Obama's polices as president mirrored Davis' pro-communist world view. Initially, so called "birthers" who believed Obama was born in Kenya were shocked by the film but came to embrace it.[44] Gilbert's presentation at the National Press Club in Washington DC[45] in August 2012 caused a media frenzy.[46] Dreams from My Real Father was screened at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida[47] to much acclaim. In the Autumn of 2012, Gilbert distributed 2 million free copies by mail[48] in mostly swing states during September-October 2012 to gain attention for the film.[49] Leftist activists complained to the Federal Election Commission[50] that Gilbert was violating election laws by distributing his film about Barack Obama, as well as by advertising the film in the New York Post.[51] However, Gilbert fought back[52] and won a landmark media ruling when the FEC ruled in Gilbert's favor that Gilbert was in fact a media entity with a press exemption as regards production and distribution of his documentary film. David Weigel wrote of Gilbert's victory in the Washington Post in a piece titled, "How a Film About Obama’s Communist ‘Real Father’ Won at the FEC"[53] The FEC wrote "we voted to find no reason to believe that the filmmaker violated 52USC 30104c or 30120a by producing and distributing a documentary film".[54] and Leftist media attacked Gilbert and the film. The Daily Beast wrote, " With ‘Dreams From My Real Father,’ Have Obama Haters Hit Rock Bottom?"[55] and Slate Magazine wrote about "Birtherism and Frank Marshall Davis in Wisconsin".[56] However, The Boston Globe covered Gilbert's 2015 interview with Barack Obama's half-brother, Malik Obama, where Malik agreed that Barack Obama looked like Frank Marshall Davis and requested a DNA test.[57]

There's No Place Like Utopia

Gilberts 2014 film, There's No Place Like Utopia, opened in theaters in Denver and Houston. [58] Radio personality Rusty Humphries wrote “There’s No Place Like Utopia is a fresh, fast-paced, insightful look at the folly that is socialism. Joel Gilbert's gutsy style is apparent throughout the film.[59] The film also features interviews[60] with Jack Cashill, David Horowitz, Dr. Jerome Corsi and KGB defector Konstantin Preobrazhensky. He describes socialism by saying, “It’s a fairy tale for illiterate people." [61] American Thinker describes There’s No Place Like Utopia as "a film that gets to the heart of the progressive/communist project for America and where it is leading us" and regarding filmmaker Gilbert wrote "He’s the thinking man’s conservative Michael Moore."[62] Newsmax's review focused on Peggy Joseph's appearance,[63] the young lady who famously said Obama would pay her mortgage and gas bills, whom Gilbert discovers is now anti-Obama conservative.[64]

Trump: The Art of the Insult

Trump: The Art of the Insult is a hilarious revisit of the 2016 Presidential race where Trump "with a master plan of political incorrectness, used The Art of the Insult to brand political opponents and bash the media all the way to the White House".[65] Critics have raved about this film. Roger Stone wrote, "Literally, you can't stop laughing! I recommend The Art of the Insult, an incredible film by an extraordinary documentarian."[66] Jack Cashill wrote " Gilbert shows how Trump slices his way through the Republicans then outwits the deep state to beat Hillary." [67] Frank Hawkins wrote "America badly needed a fighter. This film is immensely satisfying. It can be enjoyed over and over again." [68] Lloyd Billingsley wrote, Cinéma vérité at its finest, endlessly entertaining, and for all but the willfully blind, hugely instructive.[69] The Zenger News wrote "Five stars because it is entertaining as well as educational. Gilbert does it again!"[70]

The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America

On September 16, 2019, Gilbert released both a book and a film called "The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking The Witness Fraud That Divided America. He debuted the film at The National Press Club[71] in Washington, DC. The Trayvon Hoax alleges that the key witness for the prosecution, Rachel Jeantel, who claimed to have been on the phone with Trayvon Martin just before he was shot, was an imposter. [72]The real girlfriend of Trayvon Martin is identified as Brittany Diamond Eugene, whose signature was determined by a handwriting expert to have been on the letter signed "Diamond Eugene" that was given to Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton. [73]The film alleges the witness fraud was pushed the by media and politicians for their agendas. [74] In "Exposing the Trayvon Hoax" on, Bill Marshall of Judicial Watch wrote that Gilbert "exposes the much larger fraud on the American people that the Trayvon Martin hoax ignited."[75] Karl Notturno wrote in "The Trayvon Martin Hoax Comes Crashing Down" that "the only way we can make the future better is by learning from the past".[76] Jack Cashill in "Time to Un-tell the Trayvon lies" wrote "We still have the power to rewrite history, and Gilbert has proven as much." In American Thinker, former AP foreign correspondent Frank Hawkins wrote "Filmmaker Joel Gilbert’s new book and film The Trayvon Hoax brilliantly exposes one of the most fraudulent and shameful trials in the history of the United States...It’s a masterpiece of reporting."[77]

2016 Presidential Election

Joel Gilbert was a video producer, media advisor, and writer for the Cruz for President campaign.[78] Gilbert also designed the Cruz for President official campaign poster[79] and produced the animated short film, The Cruzade: The Constitution Strikes Back[80] as well as a campaign event warm up video "Imagine President Cruz."[81] When Ted Cruz ended his campaign, Gilbert became a Trump supporter, envisioning and producing the now famous digital billboard "Super Trump"[82] that was displayed in Times Square.[83] The Super Trump billboard attracted CNN[84] and Fox News coverage as well as hundreds of articles. Gilbert's brainchild idea was featured on Adweek and called it "a masterpiece of unintentional camp."[85] Gilbert then directed and produced a documentary short film called Banished: The Untold Story of Danney Williams. The film told the story of Bill Clinton's alleged black son, Danney Williams, and detailed Danney's quest to gain the recognition of his father and stepmother Hillary Clinton. [86]



  • Bob Dylan: 1966 World Tour (The Home Movies) (2003)*
  • Bob Dylan: World Tours 1966–1974 (Through The Camera Of Barry Feinstein) (2004)*
  • Bob Dylan: 1975–1981 (Rolling Thunder and The Gospel Years) (2006)*
  • Bob Dylan: The Unauthorized Documentaries (2006) [A repackaging of Gilbert's first three films]*
  • Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran, and The Revolt of Islam (2007)**
  • Inside Bob Dylan's Jesus Years: Busy Being Born... Again! (2008)*
  • Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour Diaries: Drummer Winston Watson's Incredible Journey (2009)*
  • Atomic Jihad: Ahmadinejad's Coming War For Islamic Revival And Obama's Politics of Defeat (2010)**
  • Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison (2010)***
  • Bob Dylan Revealed (2011)*
  • Elvis Found Alive (2012)***
  • Dreams from My Real Father|Dreams from My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception (2012)**
  • There's No Place Like Utopia (2014)**
  • The Constitution Strikes Back: Episode VIII - The Cruzade (2016)****
  • Banished: The Untold Story of Danney Williams (2016)***
  • Trump: The Art of the Insult (2017)*
  • The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America (2019)**

(*) Music History Films (**) Political Documentaries (***) Spoofs/Mockumentaries (****) Animated Short (as classified by Gilbert)


  1. Gilbert, Joel. "Did Christopher Steele Write His Dossier, or Did a Russian Associate?", January 19, 2018. 
  2. Bond, Paul. "How Conservative Hollywood Worked to Elect Donald Trump", November 14, 2016. 
  3. Gilbert, Joel. "Biography", June 1, 2016. 
  4. Schlansky, Evan. "An Extended Interview With Joel Gilbert", August 1, 2005. 
  5. Barker, Derek. "How Does it Feel?", August 1, 2005. 
  6. Montgomery, Colin. "On Highway 61", October 20, 2006. 
  7. Barker, Derek. "Playing Tribute", October 26, 2006. 
  8. "Dreams of Dylan's Disciple", August 1, 2005. 
  9. Melley=Brian. "Musicians Sing for Folsom Prison", September 19, 2004. 
  10. Lake=Heather. "Tribute Band Gives Prisoners Show", September 19, 2004. 
  11. Howard, Pete. "Highway 61 Re-Creates Dylan", August 1, 2005. 
  12. Bauer, Scott. "Docu-Dylan", September 30, 2002. 
  13. Fricke, David. "Bob Dylan's Home Movies", January 10, 2002. 
  14. Howard, Pete. "1966 Home Movies DVD", October 3, 2001. 
  15. Gonulsen, Jason. "Bob Dylan World Tours 1966-1974", December 23, 2004. 
  16. Bauer, Scott. "Dylan DVD Deserves a Spot on the Shelf", December 20, 2004. 
  17. Jarnow, Jesse. "Legends Bob Dylan World Tours 1966-1974", April 2005. 
  18. Bacharach, Phil. "DVD review", April 3, 2006. Retrieved on December 23, 2012. 
  19. Howard, Pete. "Here Comes the Story of 1975-1981", August 21, 2006. 
  20. Bailey, Jason. "DVD review: Inside Bob Dylan's Jesus Years: Busy Being Born Again", October 18, 2008. Retrieved on December 23, 2012. 
  21. "Taking Bob Dylan at Faith Value", October 24, 2008. 
  22. Hurst, John. "Inside Bob Dylan's Jesus Years", January 1, 2008. 
  23. Anderson, Matt. "Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour Diaries", April 8, 2009. 
  24. Restaino, Mike. "Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour Diaries", March 12, 2009. 
  25. "Winston Watson", June 2009. 
  26. Perkins, Jeff. "Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour Diaries", August 1, 2005. 
  27. "Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam", December 2007. 
  28. "Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam", December 2007. 
  29. Issac, Rael. "Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam", December 2007. 
  30. Eberhard, Dave. "Joel Gilbert's Farewell Israel Stuns", January 2008. 
  31. Buchanan, Jason. "Farewell Israel", December 2007. 
  32. Ritvo, Molly. "Farewell Israel Will Frighten You", June 13, 2007. 
  33. Healy, Pat. "Is McCartney not half hte man he used to be?", September 29, 2010. 
  34. Fyfe, Andy. "'Paul McCartney Really is Dead", December 2010. 
  35. Sullivan, Jim. "Dead Ringer", July 15, 2010. 
  36. Ruggiero, Bob. "Beatles Mockumentary Revisits "Paul Is Dead" Myth", August 1, 2005. 
  37. Patterson, Nigel. "Elvis Found Alive", January 2012. 
  38. Lipski, Christian. "The King and FBI: Elvis Found Alive", January 30, 2012. 
  39. "Elvis Found Alive", August 1, 2005. 
  40. Tucker, Mark. "Elvis Found Alive!", January 2012. 
  41. Dretzka, Gary. "Elvis Found Alive", February 2012. 
  42. Lipkes, Jeff. "Frank Marshall Davis Jr?", September 20, 2012. 
  43. Corsi, Jerome. "FILM: PRESIDENT'S FATHER NOT BARACK OBAMA", April 25, 2012. 
  44. Tapson, Mark. "DREAMS FROM MY REAL FATHER", August 13, 2012. 
  45. {{cite news|last=Unruh|first=Bob|title=See the man who challenges Obama's family story|url=[[]|date=July 30, 2012}}
  46. "Now it's getting REALLY dirty", September 28, 2012. 
  47. "OBAMA'S PAST READY TO ROCK RNC", August 26, 2012. 
  48. Corsi, Jerome. "Swing-state stunner: 'Dreams' mailed to 2.7 million", October 7, 2012. 
  49. Peters, Jeremy. "Strident Anti-Obama Messages Flood Key States", October 23, 2012. 
  50. "Before the Federal Election Commission", April 14, 2016. 
  51. Corsi, Jerome. "New York Post ad exposes Obama's 'real father", February 10, 2014. 
  52. "Before the Federal Election Commission", March 26, 2014. 
  53. Weigel, David. "How a film about Obama’s communist ‘real father’ won at the FEC", April 8, 2016. 
  54. "Before the Federal Election Commission", April 14, 2016. 
  55. Goldberg, Michelle. "With ‘Dreams From My Real Father,’ Have Obama Haters Hit Rock Bottom?", September 28, 2012. 
  56. Weigel, David. "Birtherism and Frank Marshall Davis in Wisconsin", October 15, 2012. 
  57. Stockman, Farah. "With Brothers like Malik Obama, Who Needs Enemies?", July 4, 2015. 
  58. "There's No Place Like Utopia", August 25, 2014. 
  59. Humphries, Rusty. "Humphries: There's No Place Like Utopia", July 29, 2014. 
  60. "Official Website", August 1, 2014. 
  61. Kincaid, Cliff. "New Film Exposes and Mocks “Progressives”", July 17, 2014. 
  62. Lifson, Thomas. "Joel Gilbert's There’s No Place Like Utopia", July 19, 2014. 
  63. Corsi, Jerome. "HEY, OBAMA! WHERE'S MY MORTGAGE PAYMENT?", July 14, 2014. 
  64. Billups, Andrea. "Documentary Revisits Voters Disenchanted by Obama's 'Utopia'", July 15, 2014. 
  65. "Trump: The Art of the Insult", January 1, 2018. 
  66. Stone, Roger. "You Can't Stop Laughing", August 1, 2005. 
  67. Cashill, Jack. "Trump and the art of the insult", January 17, 2018. 
  68. Hawkins, Frank. "Trump: The Art of the Insult", August 1, 2005. 
  69. Billingsley, Lloyd. "The Insults Will Be Televised", November 11, 2017. 
  70. Zenber, John. "DONALD TRUMP IN”THE ART OF THE INSULT”", December 13, 2007. 
  71. Powers, Patty. "Press Conference and Film Screening: The Trayvon Hoax", September 16, 2019. 
  72. Isaac, Rael Jean. "Did the Media Force a False Narrative on the Trayvon Martin Case?", January 8, 2020. 
  73. Barnett, Matthew. "Documentary Claims Trayvon Martin Prosecution Hoaxed America", February 26, 2020. 
  74. Zorn, Eric. "Here’s why, eight years later, the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman story won’t go away", February 21, 2020. 
  75. Marshall, William. "Exposing the Trayvon Hoax", September 13, 2019. 
  76. Notturno, Karl. "The Trayvon Martin Hoax Comes Crashing Down", September 13, 2019. 
  77. Hawkins, Frank. "The Trayvon Hoax – a Fraud on America", September 17, 2019. 
  78. Gilbert, Joel. "CRUZ’S COURAGEOUS RIGHT MOVE", September 26, 2016. 
  79. Gibbens, Sarah. "The Most Unusual 2016 Presidential Candidate Swag", July 15, 2015. 
  80. Gilbert, Joel. "The Constitution Strikes Back – The Cruzade", December 17, 2015. 
  81. Gilbert, Joel. "Imagine President Cruz", April 2016. 
  82. Campanile, Carl. "‘Super Trump’ ad in Times Square", September 9, 2016. 
  83. Vladimirov, Nikita. "PAC buys 55-foot 'Super Trump' ad in Times Square", September 9, 2016. 
  84. Moos, Jeanne. "Supter Trumpa and Naked Trump both Halting Traffic", September 15, 2016. 
  85. Nudd, Tim. "Ridiculous ‘Super Trump’ Billboard in Times Square Leaps Into Infamy in a Single Bound", September 15, 2016. 
  86. "Is this man Bill Clinton's love child?", October 3, 2016. 
  87. Joel Gilbert filmography. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on December 31, 2012.

External links