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Burden of Genius

Burden of Genius is Tjardus’s follow-up to A Shot to Save the World, which documented the creation of the Salk polio vaccine. An early cut of that film came to the attention of Bill Gates, who was interviewed before its premiere on the Smithsonian Network on World Polio Day 2013 for which it won broadcasting’s CINE Golden Eagle. The film also aired on the BBC, was syndicated throughout Europe and Israel, and screened at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the FDR Presidential Library & Museum, the Salk Institute and the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, where it won the jury award for Best Documentary.


Tjardus has written and directed two narrative films, the $5M coming-of-age drama Hellbent and A New York Heartbeat, an Echo Bridge Entertainment release that was named Best Feature 2014 by New Filmmakers Los Angeles. He began his career as a director of photography on PBS’s Wired Science series.