This year, people across our hemisphere will celebrate the “Year of the Bicentennial.” Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico are marking 200 years of independence. All of us across the Americas are joining together to honor our shared history and the values of democracy, diversity, and tolerance that form our common heritage.
In the last year, our hemisphere has been challenged — from Honduras to Haiti to Chile. And our ability to respond to these crises as a community has been tested. But we have met these challenges together, with faith in our institutions, confidence in our values, and compassion for our friends and neighbors.
We must strive to carry that same spirit of cooperation beyond times of crisis in order to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities facing the people of the Americas. There is so much we can learn from each other and so much we can accomplish together. We can encourage broad-based prosperity, champion democracy and human rights, and ensure that every child born in the Americas has the opportunity to fulfill his or her God-given potential.
This “Year of the Bicentennial” is a time to honor our past while we look to the future — as we continue on our common journey to create better lives for our citizens and even stronger ties between our nations. On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, congratulations and best wishes.
Mark Boal (Writer/Producer)
He is a journalist, screenwriter and producer. Born and raised in New York City, he graduated with honors in philosophy from Oberlin College before beginning a career as an investigative reporter and writer of long form non-fiction. An acclaimed series for the Village Voice on the rise of surveillance in America led to a position at the alternative weekly writing a weekly column, “The Monitor,” when he was 25. Boal subsequently covered politics, technology, crime, youth culture and drug culture in stories for national publications including Rolling Stone, Brill’s Content, Mother Jones, The New York Observer and Playboy. He is currently a writer-at-large for Playboy.
In 2003, Boal’s article “Jailbait,” about an undercover drug agent, was adapted for FOX television’s “The Inside.” In 2003, he wrote “Death and Dishonor,” the true story of a military veteran who goes searching for his missing son, which later became the basis for Paul Haggis’ follow up to Crash, In the Valley of Elah. Boal collaborated with Haggis on the script and shares a co-story credit on the film, deemed “a deeply reflective, highly powerful work” by the Hollywood Reporter.
Click here for complete coverage of The Hurt Locker, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Peter Docter (Director/Screenplay/Story)
He has carved out an illustrious career as one of Pixar Animation Studios’ most prodigious talents. Joining the studio in 1990, he began by animating and directing a variety of Pixar-produced commercials for Tropicana Fruit Juice, Tetra-Pak drink box recycling and Lifesavers.
Along with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, Docter developed the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar’s first full-length feature film, for which he also served as supervising animator. He was a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life,” and wrote the initial story treatment for “Toy Story 2.”
Docter made his debut as a director on “Monsters, Inc.,” which received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. As one of Pixar Animation Studios’ key creative contributors, Docter garnered another Academy Award nomination for his original story credit on Disney•Pixar’s Oscar“-winning “WALL•E.”
Prior to joining Pixar, Docter worked as an animator for The Walt Disney Company, Bob Rogers and Company, Bajus-Jones Film Corporation and Reelworks in Minneapolis. Docter’s interest in animation began at the age of 8 when he created his first flipbook. He studied character animation at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in Valencia, California, where he produced a variety of films, including “Winter,” “Palm Springs” and the Student Academy Award“-winning “Next Door.”
Docter currently resides in Piedmont, California with his wife and their two children.
Bob Peterson (Co-Director/Screenplay/Story/voice of Dug/Alpha)
He has been a key player at Pixar Animation Studios since 1994. His first assignment was that of layout artist and animator on “Toy Story.” He later served as story artist on “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story 2,” story supervisor on “Monsters, Inc.,” and was also one of the screenwriters on the Academy Award“-winning feature “Finding Nemo.”
In addition to his story work, Peterson has voiced several of the company’s memorable animated characters: the aged chess-playing hero of “Geri’s Game,” paperwork-obsessed slugwoman Roz in “Monsters, Inc.,” and the tuneful teacher Mr. Ray in “Finding Nemo.” He also lends his voice talents to “Up” for the character of Dug the dog.
While studying for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Indiana’s Purdue University, Peterson had his first experience working in a computer graphics lab. It was there that he also received his first cartooning experience, writing and drawing “Loco-Motives,” a daily four-panel strip for Purdue University’s Exponent newspaper.
Following graduation, Peterson moved to Santa Barbara, California, to work for Maya creator, Wavefront Technologies, and then to Hollywood-based Rezn8 Productions, before joining Pixar in 1994.
Born in Wooster, Ohio, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and Dover, Ohio, Peterson earned his undergrad degree from Ohio Northern University. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife, three children and two non-talking dogs.
Tom McCarthy (Screenplay)
THE VISITIOR was Tom McCarthy’s follow up film to the critically acclaimed THE STATION AGENT. Released by Overture Films, it went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the 34th Deauville Film Festival for American Films, received many nominations including the IFP Gotham Awards and was on countless top critic lists including The National Board of Review Top Ten Independent Films of the Year. McCarthy won Best Director Award at the Independent Spirit Awards for 2009 and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Writers Guild of America. The Station Agent was released by Miramax in 2003, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it was bestowed The Audience Award, and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. It garnered a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and two Independent Spirit Awards including the John Cassavetes Award. Additionally, it was named the third best film by the National Board of Review in their list of Top Ten Best Films of the Year, three SAG nominations and a Writers Guild nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The film won awards at many film festivals including San Sebastian, Stockholm, Mexico City and Aspen. Tom recently finished GAME OF THRONES for HBO and has story credit on UP, the new Pixar release.
As an actor, some of McCarthy’s feature credits include; FLAGS OF OUR FATHER, SYRIANA, GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK,THE YEAR OF THE DOG, and MEET THE PARENT. He was a series regular in the final season of HBO’s critically acclaimed show THE WIRE. Tom was recently seen in DUPLICITY opposite Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, in Peter Jackson’s THE LOVELY BONES, Lukas Moodysson’s MAMMOTH and 2012 directed by Roland Emmerich. Tom has a part in the film JACK GOES BOATING the directorial debut of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and he recently finished FAIR GAME and MEET THE FOCKERS.
Click here for complete coverage of Up, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Ethan Coen (Writer/Director)
Ethan Coen has produced and co-written such critically acclaimed films as Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, which won the Palme d’Or [Best Picture], Best Director, and Best Actor (John Turturro) Awards at the 1991 Cannes International Film Festival; and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which was nominated for two Academy Awards, five BAFTA Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards (winning one).
One of 1996’s most honored films, Fargo, which he produced and co-wrote, received seven Academy Award nominations and won two, including Best Original Screenplay for Ethan and his brother Joel. Among the other films that he has co-written and produced are Blood Simple; Raising Arizona; The Hudsucker Proxy; The Big Lebowski; The Man Who Wasn’t There; and Intolerable Cruelty.
He co-directed and co-wrote the 2004 comedy The Ladykillers with Joel. Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2007 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men brought them the Directors Guild of America, BAFTA, and Academy and Awards; the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay; Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay from the New York Film Critics Circle; Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay from the Oscars and the National Board of Review; The film’s cast was voted the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and Javier Bardem won the Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, among other accolades.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s most recent film, Burn After Reading, was nominated for the BAFTA Award and the WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Almost an Evening, comprising three short plays by Ethan Coen, was staged in 2008 off-Broadway by Neil Pepe at the Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2 and then at the Bleecker Street Theater; in 2009, the same director and company staged his three new short plays under the title Offices.
Joel Coen (Writer/Director)
Joel Coen was honored by the Cannes International Film Festival in 2001, as Best Director for The Man Who Wasn’t There, and in 1991, as Best Director for Barton Fink. He was honored as Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, and the BAFTA Awards for 1996’s Fargo; and also won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Fargo, which he co-wrote with his brother Ethan.
The screenplay for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, also co-written with Ethan, was nominated for a BAFTA Award and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Other films that he has directed and co-written are Intolerable Cruelty; The Big Lebowski; The Hudsucker Proxy; Miller’s Crossing; Raising Arizona; and Blood Simple.
He co-directed and co-wrote the 2004 comedy The Ladykillers with Ethan. Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2007 adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men brought them the Directors Guild of America, BAFTA, and Academy Awards; the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay; Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay from the New York Film Critics Circle; and Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay from the Oscars and the National Board of Review. The film’s cast was voted the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and Javier Bardem won the Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, among other accolades.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s most recent film, Burn After Reading, was nominated for the BAFTA Award and the WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Click here for complete coverage of A Serious Man, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Quentin Tarantino (Writer/Director)
With his vibrant imagination and his trademark dedication to richly detailed storytelling, Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his generation. Tarantino continues to infuse his distinct, innovative films with appreciative nods to classic moviemaking styles, genres and motifs.
Most recently collaborated with Robert Rodriquez on GRINDHOUSE, an unprecedented project from the longtime collaborators (FROM DUSK TO DAWN, FOUR ROOMS and SIN CITY) which presented two original, complete films as a double feature. Tarantino’s DEATH PROOF, one half of the double feature, is a white knuckle ride behind the wheel of a psycho serial killer’s roving death machine.
Tarantino guided audiences on a whirlwind tour of the globe in KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2, in which Uma Thurman, as “the bride,” enacted a “roaring rampage of revenge” on her former lover and boss. KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2 also star David Carradine as the doomed title character, and Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and Michael Madsen as his equally moribund team of assassins.
Following the worldwide success of KILL BILL VOL. 1 and KILL BILL VOL. 2, Tarantino seized another opportunity to collaborate with longtime friend and colleague Robert Rodriguez as a special guest director on the thriller SIN CITY. Based on three of co-director Frank Miller’s graphic novels, SIN CITY was released in 2005. The ensemble cast included Jessica Alba, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Madsen, Brittany Murphy, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Elijah Wood.
Tarantino then turned his attention to the small screen, directing the season five finale of CSI. In the episode, entitled “Grave Danger,” Tarantino took the show’s fans on a chilling, claustrophobic journey six feet underground into a torturous coffin that contained CSI team member Nick Stokes (George Eads). The episode garnered Tarantino an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. Tarantino made his television directorial debut in 1995 with an episode of the long-running drama ER entitled “Motherhood.”
Tarantino wrote and directed JACKIE BROWN, a comic crime caper loosely based on Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch, starring Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton. JACKIE BROWN was released in 1997. Grier garnered both Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her performance in the title role. Forster was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor. Jackson won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1998 for his performance as Ordell Robbie.
Tarantino co-wrote, directed and starred in PULP FICTION, which won the Palme D’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, numerous critics’ awards, and a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. Tarantino made a return visit to Cannes in 2004 to take on the prestigious role of jury president. PULP FICTION was nominated for seven Academy Awards® including Best Picture and Best Director, and Tarantino received an Academy Award® for Best Screenplay. The time-bending, crime fiction collage stars John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Eric Stoltz, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Maria de Medeiros, Amanda Plummer and Christopher Walken.
He made a bold debut with RESERVOIR DOGS, a cops and robbers tale that Tarantino wrote, directed and produced on a shoe-string budget. The film boasts an impressive cast that includes Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen.
Following the success of RESERVOIR DOGS, the screenplays that Tarantino wrote during his tenure as a video store clerk became hot properties: Tony Scott directed Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette in TRUE ROMANCE and Robert Rodriguez directed George Clooney and Salma Hayek in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN.
Tarantino joined Allison Anders, Robert Rodriguez and Alexandre Rockwell by directing, writing and executive producing a segment of the omnibus feature FOUR ROOMS.
Tarantino’s diverse work as a producer exemplifies both his dedication to first-time filmmakers and his enthusiastic support for his experienced peers and colleagues. Tarantino served as an executive producer on Eli Roth’s HOSTEL, a chilling horror film about vacationers who fall victim to a service that allows its patrons to live out sadistic fantasies of murder. In 2005, Tarantino also produced first-time director Katrina Bronson’s DALTRY CALHOUN, starring Johnny Knoxville and Juliette Lewis. Tarantino’s additional executive producer credits include Robert Rodriguez’s FROM DUSK TILL DAWN and Roger Avary’s KILLING ZOE. The longtime fan of Asian cinema presented Yuen Wo Ping’s IRON MONKEY to American audiences in 2001 and Zhang Yimou’s HERO in 2004.
Click here for complete coverage of Inglourious Basterds, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Oren Moverman (Writer/Director)
Born in Israel, Oren moved to New York to work in film in 1988 after completing four years of military service as an infantry soldier.
He co-wrote Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan biopic I’M NOT THERE, starring Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Charlotte Gainsbourg, a Weinstein Company release.
Oren also collaborated with Ira Sachs on MARRIED LIFE, a 2008 Sony Pictures Classics release, starring Rachel McAdams, Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnen and Patricia Clarkson, and on THE GOODBYE PEOPLE, currently casting.
Oren penned INTERRUPTED about legendary director Nicholas Ray, for City Lights Pictures with Phillip Kaufman directing, and WILLIAM BURROUGHS’ QUEER for actor/director Steve Buscemi. Both films are currently casting for a 2009 shoot.
Oren served as screenwriter of FACE, an Indican release, starring Bai Ling, Treach and Kristy Wu. Directed by Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, FACE premiered in competition at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.
Oren was also a screenwriter and associate producer of JESUS’ SON, a 2000 Lion’s Gate/Alliance Release. Directed by Alison Maclean, the film stars Billy Crudup, Samantha Morton, Jack Black, Holly Hunter & Dennis Hopper. THE MESSENGER is his first film as a director.
Alessandro Camon (Writer)
He was born in Padua, Italy, and currently lives in Los Angeles. He started his career in Italy as a film critic, and has published several books and essays, both in English and Italian. After graduating in philosophy at the University of Padua he obtained an MA in Film from UCLA and started working in production.
His producing credits include “Owning Mahowny”, “Thank You For Smoking”, “The Cooler”, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”, and “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps”. “The Messenger” is his first produced screenplay in the US.
Alessandro has also adapted “The Chancellor Manuscript”, with Leonardo Di Caprio attached to star, “The Killer”, with David Fincher attached to direct, and “Land of the Living” , to be directed by Alex Holmes (currently casting.) Current projects include an adaptation of French graphic novel “Headshots” for Warner Brothers and a historical drama for HBO, with James Gandolfini producing.
Alessandro is married to film producer Suzanne Warren.
Click here for complete coverage of The Messenger, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Jason Reitman (Director/Screenplay/Producer)
He is an Oscar®-nominated director who has established himself as an original, smart and funny storyteller known for his pitch-perfect commentaries on society. Reitman recently produced the horror comedy Jennifers Body for Fox. The Diablo Cody-scripted film was directed by Karyn Kusama and stars Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. In addition, Reitman executive-produced Atom Egoyan’s Chloe starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, which debuted at this year’s Toronto Film Festival and has been picked up for release by Sony and is set for release in 2010. Reitman is also set to executive-produce Max Winkler’s directing debut Ceremony and is currently at work on an adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s novel Labor Day.
Through his company, Right of Way Films, Reitman is developing new scripts by Jenny Lumet and the Duplass brothers. He is also developing a feature film based on the cult children’s television show Yo Gabba Gabba.
He made his feature film directing debut with the 2006 hit Thank You for Smoking, based on the acclaimed novel by Christopher Buckley, which Reitman adapted for the screen. The film had its world premiere at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, where it was acquired by Fox Searchlight. Thank You for Smoking went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay and a WGA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2006, Reitman was named Best Debut Director by the National Board of Review.
In December 2007, Fox Searchlight released Reitmans second feature, Juno, which follows the story of a pregnant teenager. Juno has earned widespread praise since its debut at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, and has grossed over $230 million worldwide.
Reitman was nominated for an Academy Award® for directing Juno. The film earned one win for Diablo Cody’s screenplay and additional nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress (Ellen Page). Juno won three Independent Spirit Awards and a Grammy Award. Reitman was born in Montreal on October 19, 1977. At age 19, his first short film, Operation, premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Reitman’s short films have played in over a hundred film festivals worldwide.
Reitman is half of the mash-up turntable band “Bad Meaning Bad.”
Sheldon Turner (Screenplay)
A screenwriter and producer, he graduated from Cornell University before enrolling in NYU Law School. Turner passed the bar in New York City and Los Angeles, but decided not to practice law and instead pursued screenwriting.
Turner wrote Paramount’s remake of The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. This was followed by his second produced screenplay The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. He currently has a number of projects in development in both film and television at several studios, including Enron: Conspiracy of Fools at Warner Bros. with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to star and Robert Schwentke directing; Down River, an actionadventure film, at New Regency; Orbit at Fox 2000 with Tom Bezucha directing; the XMen spinoff, Magneto, at Fox with David Goyer attached to direct; The Nice Guy at Universal with Ed Zwick attached to direct; The Arizona Project at Miramax with Ben Affleck set to direct; and he has recently set up Paths of Glory, based on the book by Jeffrey Archer, and the video game adaptation of Infamous, both at Sony. He is also writing Broken for F/X, a drama set in postKatrina New Orleans.
In addition to being a prolific screenwriter, Turner is also producing several projects that he is not writing: Man Camp at Sony, Split at ABC, Kiss & Tell with Isla Fisher attached, and the rock & roll vampire tale Nightlife.
Click here for complete coverage of Up in the Air, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Jesse Armstrong (Screenplay)
He is a writer on Armando Iannucci’s THE THICK OF IT and IN THE LOOP. He is also co-creator and writer of 5 series of Channel 4’s award-winning PEEP SHOW. Jesse was born and educated in Oswestry, Shropshire and attended Manchester University. He now lives in Brixton with his family. After University, Jesse worked for a Labour MP and member of the Home Affairs team before beginning to write comedy full-time in 1997. Since then he has written for SMACK THE PONY, THAT MITCHELL & WEBB LOOK and many other TV shows. He is also an associate editor of the New Statesman magazine, for whom he writes the weekly ‘Tactical Briefing’ column. Jesse also co-wrote the film MAGICIANS for Universal Films, released in 2007 and is currently working on a feature film with Chris Morris, and a sitcom for BBC1.
Simon Blackwell (Screenplay)
He started his career with BBC radio, writing for a wide variety of shows, including DEAD RINGERS and THE SUNDAY FORMAT, which won the Sony Radio Academy Gold and Silver awards respectively in the comedy category. His TV work has involved BAFTA-winning programmes like HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU, THE SKETCH SHOW (later remade for U.S. TV with Kelsey Grammer) and ALISTAIR McGOWAN’S BIG IMPRESSION, sitcoms (MOVING WALLPAPER, MUMBAI CALLING). He writes the street-talking WWII RAF pilots for BBC1’s ARMSTRONG & MILLER SHOW, as well as their overly frank, divorced dad. Simon has co-written (with Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche and Jesse Armstrong) THE THICK OF IT since its first series in 2005. The show won the BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy that year, as well as being voted Best New Comedy in the British Comedy Awards and winning awards from the Royal Television Society, Broadcast Magazine and The Writers’ Guild. Other work with Armando has included Channel 4’s GASH, and 2004: THE STUPID VERSION and TIME TRUMPET for the BBC. Simon wrote an episode of the most recent series of the multi-award winning PEEP SHOW, and THE OLD GUYS, the studio sitcom he has written with PEEP SHOW creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, will air on BBC1 in February 2009.
Armando Iannucci (Screenplay)
He is acclaimed as one of the most influential comedy writers and show runners in Britain. He wrote and directed the BAFTA-winning shows I’M ALAN PARTRIDGE (starring Steve Coogan) and the political comedy THE THICK OF IT as well as fronting his own satirical shows THE FRIDAY NIGHT ARMISTICE for BBC 2 and THE ARMANDO IANNUCCI SHOWS for Channel 4. His spoof news show THE DAY TODAY (with Chris Morris) led to him winning a unique Special Jury British Comedy Award, in recognition of his distinctive contribution to radio and television comedy.
Armando started his career in radio, as a music and comedy presenter on Radio Scotland, before moving in 1989 to national radio as a Comedy Producer for BBC Radio. His hit shows THE MARY WHITEHOUSE EXPERIENCE and ON THE HOUR transferred to television. In particular, ON THE HOUR became THE DAY TODAY on BBC 2 in 1994, and brought Chris Morris to TV, as well as introducing the world to Steve Coogan’s terrible TV personality Alan Partridge. THE DAY TODAY has been widely acclaimed as one of the most influential shows in British TV comedy.
The Alan Partridge character soon got his own chat show, KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU…WITH ALAN PARTRIDGE and a sit-com I’M ALAN PARTRIDGE, both of which Armando show-ran and co-wrote.
Armando has also fronted his own satirical shows, including THE FRIDAY NIGHT ARMISTICE on BBC Two, which climaxed in a three-hour live Election Night edition on election night, 1997. It was the longest live comedy show ever on British Television, and matched the same ratings are the serious election coverage on the opposing channel ITV. Among the highlights of the TV series was a feature in which Armando tricked O J Simpson into signing a piece of paper that said “I did it”.
THE THICK OF IT, winner of the Best New TV Comedy at the 2005 British Comedy Awards about a beleaguered Minister trying to cope with the pressure imposed by his army of spin doctors, and the spoof clip show TIME TRUMPET, were both written/directed and co-produced by Armando.
THE THICK OF IT has received numerous awards and was recently criticised by the British Government for portraying politicians as terrible people. THE THICK OF IT’s plotlines are regularly inspired by anonymous contributions from former members of the British Government.
Armando has his radio show, ARMANDO IANNUCCI’S CHARM OFFENSIVE on BBC Radio 4, and has been a regular columnist for The Observer. A book of his earlier newspaper work for the Telegraph and the Guardian was published in a 1997 collection, FACTS AND FANCIES which was also adapted for a Radio 4 series.
He is also heavily involved in classical music, and writes a monthly column for Gramophone magazine. His opera SKIN DEEP for which he wrote the libretto, to music by David Sawer, premieres with Opera North and Royal Danish Opera in 2009.
He has just completed filming IN THE LOOP, a feature film comedy set in the world of Whitehall and Washington, and starring Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee and James Gandolfini. Location filming included unprecedented filming at 10 Downing Street.
Tony Roche (Screenplay)
He began his writing career in BBC radio working for Alan Davies (star of JONATHAN CREEK) and Bill Bailey (SPACED, HOT FUZZ). Since then he’s written for numerous shows including THE SUNDAY FORMAT (British Comedy Award winner) DEAD RINGERS (Sony Gold Award winner) and ARMANDO IANNUCCI’S CHARM OFFENSIVE (another Sony award winner). He wrote his own sitcom, WORLD OF PUB, which transferred from radio to TV where it starred (among others) Peter Serafinowicz, Phil Cornwell, Kevin Eldon, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig and David Walliams. He then co-created and co-wrote BROKEN NEWS with John Morton (PEOPLE LIKE US) for BBC 2; and 7 DAYS WITH ANDREW MARLATT (the man behind the US website satirewire) for BBC 3. Other TV credits include writing for ALISTAIR McGOWAN’S BIG IMPRESSION and THE ALL NEW HARRY HILL SHOW (winner, Silver Rose of Montreux). As well as Dom Joly and David Frost. Tony has written and directed his own short film, the multi-award winning HOW TO TELL WHEN A RELATIONSHIP IS OVER starring Julian Barratt (THE MIGHTY BOOSH) and Susan Earl (HARDWARE). IN THE LOOP is Tony’s first feature film. Forthcoming projects include a romantic comedy drama series for Kudos productions and the BBC developed with Andy Tenant and Wink Mordaunt (HITCH).
Click here for complete coverage of In The Loop, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Neill Blomkamp (Director/Screenplay)
A South African-born director, Blomkamp moved to Canada at the age of 18, beginning his career as a visual effects artist in the world of film and television. Garnering much recognition as one of the brightest young talents in the industry, Blomkamp was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding visual effects at the age of 21. Shortly afterwards, he made the move into directing, serving first as a music video director and then transitioning into the world of commercials. Blomkamp quickly drew attention as a director with a unique talent for seamlessly blending computer generated imagery with live action, while infusing elements of emotion, humor, and mood.
Helming million-dollar commercials for Nike, Citroen, Gatorade, Panasonic, and Namco, Blomkamp also directed many celebrated short films, including the Wieden and Kennedy-financed short, Tempbot, which garnered the coveted No Spot Short Film Festival Best Overall Film.
In 2004, Blomkamp was recognized as one of the Top 5 Directors to Watch at the First Boards Awards, featured in the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase at Cannes, and short-listed at the Shark Awards. In 2005, Blomkamp received the award for Outstanding VFX in a commercial for Citroen – Alive with Technology at the VES Awards in California. He has since been featured in Shots, Shoot, Campaign, and Creativity magazines, and won three awards in London, England at the BTAA award show.
Most recently, Blomkamp directed three Halo live action commercials for Microsoft.
Terri Tatchell (Screenplay)
District 9 is the first produced feature-length screenplay from the Canadian writer TERRI TATCHELL (Screenplay by). Writing partner to Neill Blomkamp, she has co-written much of his past work. Tatchell’s other writing credits span the mediums including a 90-minute one-act multimedia stage play, news and magazine print, commercials and short films.
Click here for complete coverage of District 9, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Nick Hornby (Writer/Screenplay)
He is the award-winning author of five international best-selling books that have served as a rich seam of inspiration for film-makers: Fever Pitch (two adaptations; the first from a screenplay by Hornby starring Colin Firth, the second directed by the Farrelly brothers and starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon), High Fidelity (directed by Stephen Frears with John Cusack and Jack Black), About A Boy (directed by the Weitz brothers, starring Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette), How to Be Good (in development at Miramax, produced by Laura Ziskin) and A Long Way Down (in development with An Education’s producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey). In 2007 Slam was published, his first novel for teenagers, and his latest novel Juliet, Naked was published in September this year.
Click here for complete coverage of An Education, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Geoffrey Fletcher (Writer/Screenplay)
He is a writer-director who has penned numerous screenplays and directed many short films. Initially working with a video camera and cast of toys and action figures, he began making films as a child. Those films in part led to his acceptance to NYU’s Tisch Graduate Film Program, which he attended after his graduation from Harvard University. He has also apprenticed under Martin Scorsese and studied with Spike Lee. Magic Markers, a short film Geoffrey wrote, directed, shot and edited, received accolades from numerous organizations including the Directors Guild of America and the Sundance Film Festival. The film has since been instituted as part of New York University’s curriculum for its Graduate and Undergraduate Film Programs.
His latest work is the new feature film Precious: Based on the Novel ‘PUSH’ By Sapphire, for which he wrote the screenplay. The film was presented by executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry and released by Lionsgate in November of 2009. Precious won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It is only the third film to do so in the Festival’s twenty-five-year history. Precious also won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, making it the only film to win the top prizes at both Sundance and Toronto.
Geoffrey was recently heralded by Variety as one of its “10 Screenwriters to Watch.” He has since been nominated for a WGA Award, a USC Libraries Scripter Award, a BAFTA Award, a Critic’s Choice Award, an NAACP Image Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. He is the recipient of the Best Adapted Screenplay award from the AAFCA and the Satellite Awards.
Geoffrey is also an adjunct professor of film at Columbia University and New York University. He is currently at work on his feature directorial debut from an original script.
Click here for complete coverage of Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
French Roast In a fancy Parisian Café, an uptight businessman discovers he forgot to bring his wallet and bides his time by ordering more coffee.
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Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty Granny O’Grimm, a seemingly sweet old lady, loses the plot as she tells her version of Sleeping Beauty to her terrified Granddaughter
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The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte) A sweet old lady is living alone in her farm, waiting for the arrival of death to meet her beloved husband again. One night, while sleeping, her life fades out and she is invited to cross death’s door. Bue when she is about to do so, the old lady wakes up inside a hospital’s ward: and arrogant doctor has taken her back to life and he will fight hard against death to recover the old lady’s life at any cost.
Click here for complete coverage of The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte), that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
Logorama Police chase an armed criminal in a version of Los Angeles comprised entirely of corporate logos.
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A Matter of Loaf and Death Wallace and his dog, Gromit, open a bakery and get tied up with a murder mystery. But, when Wallace falls in love Gromit is left to solve the case.
Click here for complete coverage of A Matter of Loaf and Death, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…
The Door A father desperately attempts to come to terms with the devastating effects of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
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Instead of Abracadabra A man who still lives with his parents tries to realize his dream of becoming a magician.
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Kavi The story of a young boy who attempts to escape from the brick kiln where he is forced to work as a bonded labor slave in India.
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Miracle Fish Eight year old Joe has a Birthday he will never forget. After friends bully him, he sneaks off to the sick bay, wishing everyone in the world would go away. He wakes up to find his dream may have become a reality.
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The New Tenants A prying neighbor, a glassy-eyed drug dealer, and a husband brandishing both a weapon and a vendetta, make up the welcome wagon. Amidst the as-yet-unopened boxes and the hopes for a fresh start of two men on what might just be the worst moving day ever, their new apartment reveals its terrifying history.
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On Tuesday, February 9th, CNN’s Larry King Live! will have a primetime exclusive with First Lady Michelle Obama at 8pm CST. The First Lady will be discussing the Obama’s first year in the White House. Plus, she’ll be elaborating on her new childhood obesity initiative.
We’ll keep you posted on the interview, and provide the video from the show when it becomes available.
It’s been a little over a year since First Lady Michelle Obama stepped into her role at the White House, and she sat down today with Matt Lauer from the Today Show on Wednesday, February 3, and reflected on her time so far and her future goals.
She noted that she would like to look back and feel like she affected somebody’s life because she was here, which brings on her new initiative on childhood obesity, an increasing problem in the nation, since statistics show that one in three kids is obese. “The most shocking sort of reality that really hits you is that the young generation is on track for the first time in this nation’s history of being less healthy, having a shorter life span than their parents.” The First Lady said the problem is solvable, and they will be striving for attainable goals, but the broad vision is to “change the health status of an entire generation.”
On balancing her work with being a mother: “I find a level of comfort in that role.” She acknowledged that there are challenges, but that she remains the same person she was before she entered the White House. “What people have seen over the course of the year is really Michelle.” She maintained the same for the President, who she says despite challenges that face the nation, “handled the pressure with that same level of grace that he came here with.”