Richard Lanni is a historical filmmaker – producing, writing and directing for cinema, television and home media – and is the founder of Fun Academy Media Group, Ltd. (formerly Labyrinth Media & Publishing), operating from his homes in Cork, Ireland, and Normandy, France, with production and distribution offices headquartered in Columbus, Ga.
Following a successful career in business, Lanni pursued his passion at film school with a goal of making fun, engaging, educational media for mass markets. Prior to Fun Academy, Lanni found success in documentary production. His series The American Road to Victory tells the story of three key engagements in the European theater of World War II – D-Day, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge – from the perspective of the G.I.s who fought to end Nazi tyranny.
Conscious that many documentaries were too dry and academic, he was determined to find a style that crossed over to general family audiences. Through a clever mixture of live-action narration, special effects, and on-location reenactment, he found a way to engage audiences who had turned their back on the genre. To date, The American Road to Victory is the most aired WWII series of all time on American public television with over 6,000 broadcasts since 2012. It has been licensed to 20 foreign territories and was recently acquired for VOD by Netflix.
Lanni is also an accomplished battlefield tour guide as well as a media production partner with the National Infantry Museum Foundation at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was during research for a WWI series that Lanni discovered Sgt. Stubby. Shifting away from his documentary instincts, he realized that the best way to reach families with this incredible true story would be through animation.