Revolution Studios’ powerful suspense thriller Freedomland is a highly charged
and gritty mystery of a carjacking, a missing child and a neighborhood torn
asunder, based on the best-selling novel by Richard Price.
Late one night in a working class New Jersey suburb, a bloodied woman
staggers mute and dazed into the emergency room at the Dempsy Medical
After treatment for shock and hysteria, Brenda Martin (Julianne Moore) recounts
to Dempsy police detective Lorenzo Council (Samuel L. Jackson) — a horrific
tale of being carjacked on the isolated strip of undeveloped land that divides
Dempsy’s urban housing projects from the blue collar town of Gannon, where
she lives. She claims she was forced out of her car by a black man, but during
the interrogation Council senses he’s not getting the whole story. Only after
hours of questioning does Brenda finally break down and confess that her four-
year-old son, Cody, was asleep in the back seat of the stolen car.
Led by activist Karen Collucci (Edie Falco), members of the communities of
Dempsy and Gannon unite in a search for the missing child, but the criminal
investigation into the alleged kidnapping by a suspect who is presumed to be a
local from the projects soon ignites long-simmering racial tensions between the
Revolution Studios Presents A Scott Rudin Production Freedomland starring
Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne Moore, Edie Falco, Ron Eldard, William Forsythe,
Aunjanue Ellis and Anthony Mackie, a Columbia Pictures release. The director is
Joe Roth. The screenplay is by Richard Price, based upon his novel. The film is
produced by Scott Rudin. Charles Newirth is the executive producer. The director
of photography is Anastas Michos, ASC. The production designer is David
Wasco. The film is edited by Nick Moore. The costume designer is Ann Roth.
The casting is by Margery Simkin. The original score was composed by six-time
Academy Award® nominee James Newton Howard.
Freedomland will be released by Columbia Pictures on December 23, 2005 in
limited engagements and on January 13, 2006 nationally.
Freedomland has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for
Language and Some Violent Content.
THE ROAD TO FREEDOMLAND
Scott Rudin, the prolific producer of such acclaimed films as The Hours, The
Village and Closer, among many others, first met writer Richard Price when he
served as a casting director on The Wanderers, the film adaptation of Price’s first
novel. Later, as a producer, Rudin worked with Price when he called upon him to
write the screenplays for Ron Howard’s film Ransom starring Mel Gibson, and for
John Singleton’s Shaft starring Samuel L. Jackson.
More recently, Scott Rudin optioned the film rights to Freedomland, a novel about
the investigation of a carjacking, when Price was only about halfway through
writing the book.
“One of the things about Scott, which I think makes him so successful, is that he
knows exactly what he wants in a business where most everybody else is
tentative and unsure,” says Price. “Then here comes Scott and he’s completely
Rudin was eager for Price to adapt his novel to the screen because “Richard is
the preeminent writer of social realism working in movies today. This movie is
completely, squarely in his wheelhouse. He wrote a tremendous script and
worked terrifically with (director) Joe Roth in honing it for the screen.
Freedomland takes place in two Northern New Jersey towns: Dempsy, a
predominantly African-American working-class poor inner-city community, and
Gannon, a neighboring, largely white blue-collar suburb. Both towns had served
as the setting for one of Price’s earlier novels, Clockers.
When Gannon’s Brenda Martin (played by Julianne Moore) says that she was
assaulted in a park next to a low-income housing project in Dempsy, and her car
was stolen by a black man with her child asleep in the back, the hostility between
the two disparate communities escalates.
“I created these two towns with very different types of people,” says Price, and in
this story, Gannon’s worst nightmare comes true — the projects snatches one of
When Brenda arrives at the Dempsy hospital with the tale of her terrible ordeal, it
is Detective Lorenzo Council (played by Samuel L. Jackson), big in size and
personality, who handles her case. Price modeled the character of Lorenzo on
Calvin E. Hart, a 21-year veteran of the Jersey City police force whom the author
had first gotten to know while researching Clockers. Hart, a well-respected figure
in Jersey City, not only enforces the law as a police officer, but also works with
young people to help them find jobs and stay off drugs. “Sometimes I’m the only
positive male role model they have,” Hart says. “So I do the things that I do to
show kids that you can do anything that you want to do.”
Like Hart, Price’s Lorenzo is African-American and a pillar of the community.
Lorenzo is especially beloved and respected by the residents of the Armstrong
housing project, which is where the carjacking occurred. With this particular
crime, Lorenzo finds himself under intense pressure to find the perpetrator.
“It’s a simple carjacking that turns into what they call a ‘red ball,’” explains Price,
“which is, all-hands-on-deck crime with tremendous media pressure, a missing
white child and an alleged black abductor.”
As if a ‘red ball’ weren’t enough, Brenda’s brother Danny (portrayed by Ron
Eldard) happens to be a Gannon detective. The racial lines are then clearly
drawn as the Gannon police move onto Lorenzo’s turf, the Armstrong Houses,
arresting any possible suspects and blockading people in their homes.
Price’s research into police procedures in cases of abducted children also led
him to Donna Cutugno, the founder and leader of “Friends of Jennifer for Missing
Children,” a volunteer group that searches for missing persons. In 1987, when a
local child named Jennifer Schweiger was kidnapped in Staten Island, Cutugno
organized neighbors to help police search for the missing child — whose body
was later recovered by Cutugno’s group. “Once we found her, we discovered we
really helped give some closure to Jennifer’s parents,” says Cutugno. “So we
decided to stay together and help other families. We have been doing that ever
Cutugno brought Price to the place where Jennifer had been found, the then
abandoned site of the former Willowbrook State School, an infamous institution
for disabled children that was shuttered not long after an exposé by journalist
Geraldo Rivera exposed the endemic overcrowding and abuse at the facility. She
also took him to the overgrown ruins of the adjacent New York Farm Colony, a
poor farm dating from 1903 and abandoned since 1975. She instructed Price in
the procedures of searching and explained to him how her group teams up with
police to support parents after a child abduction. “Donna is such a compelling
person, like some unblinking kind of hunter,” says Price. “She’s a very warm
person, but there’s also this bar of iron in her.” Inspired by Cutugno, Price
created the character of Karen Collucci (played by Edie Falco), whose group
“Friends of Kent” is enlisted by Lorenzo to help find Brenda’s son.
Price’s research was extensive. But he is quick to dispel any notion that the
characters in the book and the movie are based on real people. “I can
obsessively absorb people’s conversations, and walk in their shoes and learn the
nuts and bolts of their profession. But when I actually start writing the book, it’s all
fiction,” Price explains. “I have to know the parameters of reality so now I can lie
plausibly. All my lies will now sound completely plausible.”
Freedomland became a highly acclaimed national bestseller when it was
published in 1998. Price then spent the next two years adapting the 550-page
book into a screenplay. His first draft totaled 300 pages, he admits, more than
twice the usual length for a film. Then began the painstaking process of whittling
it down to its most cinematic form. “You’ve got to find a visual shorthand,” he
says. “What works in a book has nothing to do with what works in a movie.
They’re two different art forms, two completely different ways of telling stories.”
Characters Price had once considered indispensable to his story were found not
to be essential to the script. “I spent a year stripping away, constantly throwing
things I had thought were priceless overboard in order to make the boat go
For the role of Brenda Martin, the fragile mother whose son has disappeared,
Rudin sent Price’s completed script to Julianne Moore, with whom the producer
had worked on The Hours, a film for which the actress received an Academy
Award® nomination. “Richard is a wonderful novelist and a great screenwriter,”
says Moore about what attracted her to Price’s riveting tale. “It’s beautifully
Moore describes her character as the black sheep in a family of cops. “Brenda
dropped out of school and had a drug problem,” Moore tells it. “She’s a woman
who thinks people won’t notice or care about her unless she does something
wrong. So eventually, she doesn’t know how to do anything right.”
Despite the stigma of having borne a child out of wedlock, in the film, Brenda
confesses to Lorenzo that she felt transformed by the experience of becoming a
mother. “It was always about being the bad one, until she had this child for whom
she had the ultimate responsibility,” Moore explains. “So in a way, he’s the
person who has shaped her, who has created the person that she is today: ‘I am
this child’s mother’ has been her cause for being.” Moore adds that Brenda also
finds some contentment in her job, working at an after-school program in the
Once her son goes missing, Brenda watches helplessly as the community of
Dempsy is thrown into turmoil over the carjacking. “Brenda is a particularly
isolated person, so I think the biggest shock for her is how much she affects
everyone else,” says Moore.
The danger of isolation was just one of many themes in the story that attracted
director Joe Roth to direct Freedomland. At the time Roth read Price’s script —
at Rudin’s urging — he had several successful comedies under his belt as a
director and was in search of a different kind of challenge for his next directorial
“I was looking for a meaty, dramatic property,” says Roth, who hadn’t helmed a
drama in 20 years. “I had read the book and just loved it. It really spoke to me.”
Roth enjoyed a long-standing relationship both with Price and producer Rudin.
Roth’s directorial debut, Streets of Gold, was co-written by Price and he had
greenlit such Rudin projects as Ransom and A Civil Action when he was a studio
“Scott is someone who has great taste in material and who also has been a long-
time supporter of Richard’s,” says Joe Roth. “I think he is one of the two or three
top producers in the business, and certainly the premier producer in New York.”
Another pungent theme that attracted Roth to Price’s script was the persistence
of racism in our society. “When something goes wrong, our prejudices against
others quickly rises to the surface — and that’s been true throughout history,”
Roth observes. “I’ll bet you when cave men were in two different caves and an
animal got lost, they immediately went and blamed the people in the other cave.
So it’s not just about today. Unfortunately, I think it’s in our nature.”
Roth was also fascinated by the story’s inherent mystery. “The idea in the script
which compelled me is that need to find out what really happened,” he says. “It’s
like peeling away the proverbial onion, with many surprises along the way.”
Since Moore was already cast in the role of Brenda, it made Roth’s decision to
commit to the project even easier. “Julianne is as good an actress as is working
today,” he says, “the kind of gifted performer who can bring range and nuance to
a character who, throughout the entire story, is in a state of shock over having
lost her child.”
Once on board, Roth’s first assignment was signing the right actor to portray
Lorenzo Council, the patriarchal Dempsy detective. “As I was reading the script I
already knew that Sam Jackson was the only guy for the part,” he admits. “Like
Lorenzo, he is compassionate and virile and has a lot of charisma. You can
completely understand why he is somebody the community responds to.”
The Academy Award®-nominated Jackson saw Freedomland as an opportunity
to star opposite Julianne Moore and work with Roth, he says. He also responded
to Price’s writing. “Richard has an extremely good ear for cop-speak,” the
theater-trained actor says. “And he writes big speeches for you to do, which is a
lot of fun for an actor.”
In regards to his character, Jackson notes that the intense pressure on Lorenzo
to find the perpetrator is not uncommon in crimes when another police officer is
involved — in this case, the victim’s brother. When Gannon police begin to lay
siege on the Armstrong houses in their manhunt, Lorenzo finds himself in a
difficult position, trying to protect the people of Armstrong and, at the same time,
find the person responsible for the child’s disappearance. “Lorenzo is on a ticking
clock in terms of how long it will be before things explode inside the projects if he
can’t get the crime solved in time,” Jackson explains.
However, Lorenzo’s hands are tied. He is assigned to Brenda and cannot act as
a buffer between the police and those who live in the projects, where he is
affectionately called “Big Daddy” and his personal problems are well known (he
has a son in prison). “Lorenzo is as much a protector as he is an enforcer,” says
Jackson. “The overwhelming police presence at the Armstrong Houses causes a
rift between Lorenzo and the residents. He’s helpless to do anything, even
though he’s always been sort of like a white knight in this particular community.”
Lorenzo also suspects that Brenda is not being completely forthcoming about
what transpired on the night of the carjacking. Lorenzo’s partner Boyle (actor
William Forsythe) reminds him that in the majority of child abductions, the
perpetrator is the person who reported the child missing. “If Lorenzo were to
accuse Brenda of perpetrating a hoax, all she would have to do is say the word
‘lawyer,’ and he could never talk to her again, and no one would ever know what
happened to her son,” explains Price.
So, although he sees havoc breaking out in his community because of Brenda’s
claims, Lorenzo must act like her friend, her confidante, her confessor. “And it’s
ripping him apart,” adds Price.
One of Lorenzo’s tactics for dealing with the bereaved mother is to bring her to
the titular “Freedomland.” “He takes her to an old orphanage, which was a pretty
brutal place in its day,” says Jackson. “It’s abandoned now and legend has it that
when you’re in there you can hear the kids crying.”
Lorenzo and Karen, the head of a volunteer search team, bring Brenda into the
creepy ruins of Freedomland and leave her alone inside, in the hope that she
might reveal more about her son’s fate.
For the role of Karen, Roth immediately thought of Edie Falco, star of the Emmy
award-winning HBO series “The Sopranos.” “When I came to New York and met
with Donna Cutugno (the model for Karen), I just felt Edie was ideal for the part,”
he recalls. Like Cutugno, “Edie has this hypnotic quality to her and great power.”
The Brooklyn-born actress says she was immediately comfortable with her real-
life counterpart. “Meeting Donna Cutugno was great because she reminds me a
lot of my family members,” explains Falco.
Both Karen Collucci and Donna Cutugno are strongly determined mothers who
are expert in finding children and counseling the parents of the missing,
according to Falco. “I think Karen is very effective at what she does. She has a
personal emotional stake in the situation and I think she knows how to get things
done.” (Unlike Cutugno, the character of Colluci in Freedomland is herself the
mother of a missing child).
Roth cast Ron Eldard, the recent star of the series “Blind Justice,” in the role of
Danny Martin, Brenda’s pugnacious brother and a Gannon cop. Even though he
has a troubled relationship with his sister, Danny’s main concern is to defend his
family and his turf — whatever the impact on the town of Dempsy.
“He’s a guy who really believes in protecting his people,” says Eldard. “I picture
Danny as being like a shark who, once he gets in the water, smells blood and
refuses to leave. He’s not gonna quit, he’s not gonna sleep, he’s just going to
keep circling and, eventually, he’s gonna find out who did it.”
For the role of Boyle, Lorenzo’s long-time friend and partner on the police force,
the filmmakers cast William Forsythe, a character actor known equally for his
villainous parts (such as Al Capone in the television series “The Untouchables”),
as for his comedic ability, (such as his classic turn in Raising Arizona). Forsythe
describes Boyle as “one of those people that you meet in life who don’t speak a
lot, but when he does, he has something to say.” When emotions are high and
Armstrong Houses are on the verge of rioting, Boyle is “the voice of reason,”
according to the actor.
For the role of Reverend Longway, a local agitator who leads the protests against
police harassment at Armstrong — and becomes a thorn in Lorenzo’s side — the
filmmakers cast Clarke Peters, a classically trained actor who has made his
name directing and acting in England. LaTanya Richardson Jackson, whose
credits include films such as Losing Isaiah and The Fighting Temptations, is
Marie, a Friends of Kent searcher.
For the crucial roles of Billy and Felicia, a young black couple whose troubles are
a distraction to Lorenzo, the filmmakers cast two up-and-coming stars: Anthony
Mackie, who recently starred Off-Broadway in “McReele,” and was seen in Million
Dollar Baby, assumed the role of Billy. Aunjanue Ellis, who had a leading role in
Ray, opposite Jamie Foxx, portrays Felicia. “Anthony Mackie is a guy who we’ll
be talking about for a long time,” says Roth, who is equally effusive about Ellis,
recently cast to star in “The E-Ring,” a television drama from producer Jerry
Bruckheimer. “They are two truly outstanding New York-based actors.”
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Before principal photography began on Freedomland in late March, 2005,
director Roth, producer Rudin and their production team scouted every low-
income housing project in the New York/New Jersey area to find the right
location for the film’s Armstrong Houses, where much of story takes place.
(Price’s model for Armstrong, the Jersey City housing complex Curry’s Woods,
had been demolished several years previous). They finally settled on Mulford
Gardens in Yonkers, New York state’s fourth largest city just across the Hudson
River from New Jersey. Built in 1939 as one of the nation’s first low-income
housing projects, Mulford Gardens consists of more than 550 apartments in 17
groupings of three and four-story buildings that sprawl over a Yonkers hillside.
Itself scheduled for demolition in the fall of 2005, Mulford Gardens was still 75
percent occupied when the production filmed there for almost four weeks, close
to half the total shooting schedule.
Freedomland production designer David Wasco was born in New Jersey not far
from the location in Richard Price's story. Although it’s a universal story that
could have taken place in any American city, Wasco and director Roth felt it
important to maintain the fictional New Jersey world described in Price's novel
and script. Wasco extensively researched New Jersey neighborhoods, police
stations, hospitals, low-income housing, parks and city streets, as well as the
people who lived in those communities. And that is reflected in the production
design and the costumes in the movie.
Wasco describes Mulford Gardens as "labyrinthine, cascading down a hill with
steps that evoke Escher engravings, unlike many such projects, which are on a
flat landscape with vertical buildings. It had a trapped feeling but wasn't your
cliché ridden, graffiti strewn, drug-riddled world,” he says. “It sort of had a real
sense of family and community that was very strong." (It also mirrored Price's
script in that it had a park across the street as well as other elements that were
pivotal to the action of the story).
Mindful of the fact that hundreds of families lived at Mulford Gardens, the
filmmakers met with the residents early on about how best to avoid any potential
disruptions to their daily lives during filming. “People live here and we had to be
respectful of that,” says Roth.
More than 50 residents worked as extras in the film. Others were hired by the
locations department, or rented out rooms in their apartments to the production
company. At the same time, the film company did some reconstruction work on
several of Mulford’s more decayed sections. Wasco was surprised at the
residents’ response to some of the smallest details. “I remember that as soon as
we had finished putting up one of the backboards with a basketball hoop on it, it
was swamped with kids,” he says.
Mulford Gardens was also happy to have Jackson as a visitor. “The
neighborhood loved him,” says Eldard. “People on the street just dug Sam
The production later hosted a large barbeque for all the Mulford residents to
celebrate the completion of filming and to thank them for their patience and
cooperation. “The community came to feel that the movie was theirs, and rightly
so,” observes Roth.
The city of Yonkers offered the filmmakers several other locations, including
Ashburton Avenue, which stood in for Dempsy’s Martin Luther King Boulevard.
“Yonkers is similar to Northern New Jersey in that it has a kind of small town
feel,” says Roth. Other Yonkers locations included the Yonkers Community
Action Program building on Ashburton, which supplied the setting for several
interiors, as well as the exterior for the Dempsy Police Department.
“Freedomland,” the abandoned children’s home where Lorenzo leads the search
for Brenda’s son, was filmed in the actual location that inspired Price. In his
research for the book, Price visited the desolate remains of Staten Island’s
abandoned New York Farm Colony along with Donna Cutugno. Not only had
Cutugno’s group found the body of an abducted child adjacent to the thickly
forested area, on the grounds of the former Willowbrook State School, but
Cutugno suspects several other missing children are still buried there.
During pre-production, Price brought Roth to the Staten Island locations, which
contain what Price describes as “these giant, overgrown ruins covered with
titanic vines.” Roth made up his mind on the spot, according to Price. “He looked
around, had his hands in his pockets, and said, ‘all right, we’ll shoot here,’” Price
recalls. “’We can’t possibly recreate this.’”
For part of the sequence, the actors go inside the derelict buildings of New York
Farm Colony. In contrast to the inner city activity of the Armstrong Houses, this
location was a desolate and ghostly place. It was another maze, this time in the
ruins of a 19th century work farm. Set decorators, painters, greens and
construction crews worked to heighten the horror of the derelict structures.
Many of the other built sets and practical locations were designed or chosen to
create a monochromatic "real world” vision to support the simplicity of
Freedomland’s powerful story, observes Wasco.
The film’s director of photography, Anastas Michos, ASC, who shot Mona Lisa
Smile and The Forgotten for Roth’s Revolution Studios, also recalls early
discussions with the director about how the film would look. “We wanted to treat it
like a thriller, or a mystery,” says Michos, “since the issues the movie deals with
are very dark and personal.”
One of Michos’ most difficult tasks was to render the beautiful Moore into the
pale cipher that is her character Brenda Martin. “Julianne did come to me in the
hair and make-up test and told me she wanted to let it go on this one,” says
Michos, who also photographed Moore in The Forgotten. “One of the boldest
choices was to take Moore, who’s a stunning woman, and truly let her character
deteriorate during the course of the film,” says Michos, who went so far as to light
the actress with a parabolic light, which is used for rock ‘n’ roll concerts. “It’s so
much easier to make Julianne look stunning, so we had to work at it. I hope we
succeeded, even though it sounds like an odd thing to say.”
Similarly, Academy Award®-winning costume designer Ann Roth (The English
Patient) was attracted to Freedomland specifically because it’s not the type of
project that would normally attract a costume designer. The film’s characters
lives are simple and tough, and their clothes, Roth explains, “are a non-event,
(and) that’s exactly what I wanted them to be.” Moore’s Brenda, for example,
wears pale tones of beige and brown, clothes she purchased at a mall near the
Holland Tunnel, says Roth. “She doesn’t want to be seen, she doesn’t want to be
noticed,” Roth explains. “She basically looks like dust, a ghost, a shadow, a
negative, a feather floating in the air — someone without a center.”
For Jackson’s Lorenzo, Roth researched the Jersey City police department and
also the city’s projects, where, she learned, the mode of dress varies from one
complex to the next. “I wanted Lorenzo to have the respect of the guys and
they’re all into visuals,” she says. “But I also wanted him to be hipper than hip
just by his non-participation in the clothing contest.” For the film, Roth put
Lorenzo in jeans and T-shirts and a jacket with graffiti-inspired, Asian influenced
To maintain accuracy throughout filming, Calvin E. Hart, a detective from Jersey
City, and Cutugno, who aided Price and the filmmakers in their research, were on
the set throughout production and were also given acting roles in the film. Hart
plays Boris, a black cop in Gannon, or as Hart describes him, “basically, Uncle
Tom, as they would call him in the ghetto.”
Cutugno, who plays Elaine, a member of Friends of Kent, especially wanted to
participate in the film because Freedomland would accurately portray how the
searches are done. “People often imitate what they see in the movies, and we
want people to know how you do it and that this is how you support a family,” she
Not having acted before, Cutugno is grateful to Jackson for making her feel at
ease. “He was kind of coaching me through it. We were talking and telling jokes
and kidding around, but he was also guiding us through it,” she remembers.
“Sam’s my hero. I told him he should be an acting coach.”
Moore also relished working with Jackson, describing their collaboration as a
very happy one. “He’s a tremendous actor and a wonderful human being,” she
says. “He’s so funny and smart and makes everything so effortless. Sam’s acting
is like breathing. You don’t even see it.”
Jackson is similarly complimentary about working with Moore, who between
takes, did not remain in the depths of Brenda’s anguish. “Her preparation is such
that when Joe says ‘action,’ she can go right there, and when he says ‘cut,’ she
can come right out of it,” Jackson attests. “And that’s how I work. I don’t live in
that moment all day long.”
Roth was similarly impressed by the breadth of Moore’s preparation. “She’d have
15 minutes of dialogue memorized so that we’d run out of film and she’d still be
speaking,” he says. “She’s able, within the bounds of the movie, to come up with
all different kinds of colors to her performance. It’s fantastic to watch.”
“My favorite part of working with both Sam and Julianne is not just their
personalities,” adds Falco, “but the fact that they’re so good. I really do feel that
you can only be as good as the people you’re working with and both of them
make it so easy.”
Falco adds that the tone of the set came directly from Roth. “He knew what he
wanted, he was prepared, and everything was just stress-free. And that means
the world to me,” she says. “It makes it 50 times easier to do our job.”
“Joe was wonderful,” agrees Jackson. “He gave us a lot of freedom to create
stuff on the inside of the story, and during the rehearsal period we worked out our
relationships in various ways. Also, Joe worked pretty quickly. He believed in
what we were doing and gave us positive encouragement on the set.
Consequently we didn’t have to do a lot of takes.”
Adds Rudin: “Having known Joe for almost 20 years, I was thrilled that he wanted
to direct Freedomland. I thought he had a fantastic take on the material and
brought tremendous specificity and authenticity to it. He was a great collaborator
with Richard and myself and I’m incredibly proud of the job he did on the film.”
Roth believes it was the strength of Price’s script that enabled him to attract the
most talented people in front of and behind the camera. “I’ve learned after all
these years that it’s always all about the material,” he explains. “Freedomland is
terrific both for its sense of story and the fact that it is contrary to the kind of
popcorn films of today. It contains themes that we can all relate to.”
Jackson concurs: “It’s fraught with human drama. There are racial issues, social
issues and mental health issues in this particular film,” he explains. “There are
father/son relationships, mother/son, brother/sister and community relations. ”
Cutugno’s hope for the film is that “audiences see the energy that a community
can generate. There’s a strong message here that people can make it if they help
Agrees Calvin Hart: “I always tell kids, let’s dwell on the things that make us the
same. It’s what makes us the same that’s important, not what makes us
“I’m hoping that the staying power of the film is such that the next day when you
think about it, is not just about who did what and how you found out, or how
compelling the acting was,” concludes Roth. “I hope it can inspire people to think
that it’s never too late to gain insight and to change the course of your life.”
ABOUT THE CAST
SAMUEL L. JACKSON plays Lorenzo Council, a veteran police detective who is
assigned to the case of Brenda Martin, a woman from a neighboring town who
claims to have been carjacked at the Armstrong housing project where Council is
a much beloved and respected figure.
Respectfully labeled as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, he is an
undisputed star as demonstrated by the fact that his films have grossed more
money in box office sales than any other actor in the history of filmmaking.
Jackson made an indelible mark on American cinema with his portrayal of Jules,
the philosophizing hit-man, in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. In addition to
unanimous critical acclaim for his performance, he received Academy Award®
and Golden Globe nominations as Best Supporting Actor as well as a Best
Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Recently, Jackson appeared as Mace Windu in the final episode of the Star Wars
trilogy Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith. To no one’s surprise, the film
made an overwhelming impact at the box office and broke numerous opening
In early 2005, Jackson topped the opening weekend box office charts with the
success of Coach Carter. Jackson portrayed real-life high school basketball
coach, Ken Carter, a dedicated role model and advocate for students succeeding
in the classroom as well as on the basketball court. Coach Carter was screened
as the opening night film of the prestigious Palm Springs Film Festival and
Jackson was honored with a Career Achievement Award for Acting at the closing
Jackson also recently starred in the independent film In My Country based on the
best-selling novel Country of My Skull by South African writer Antije Krog.
Jackson portrayed an American reporter who must cope with the aftermath of
apartheid when his newspaper assigns him to cover the Truth and Reconciliation
Trials — established by Archbishop Desmond Tutu — which expose the worst
cases of torture, abuse and violence. In My Country was directed by John
Boorman and produced by Bob Chartoff and Mike Medavoy. Juliette Binoche co-
starred. Jackson also reprised his role as Agent Augustus Gibbons in XXX: State
of the Union. The film was directed by Lee Tamahori.
Later in 2005, Jackson starred alongside Eugene Levy in the comedy adventure
The Man directed by Les Mayfield, which tells the tale of a clueless traveling
salesman (Levy) who finds himself in the middle of an ATF sting spearheaded by
the unsympathetic Agent Vann (Jackson).
Jackson recently completed production on Pacific Air 121 directed by David R.
Ellis and segued to Black Snake Moan. Directed and written by Craig Brewer
(Hustle and Flow), the film tells the story of a white nymphomaniac (Christina
Ricci) who turns to an older black bluesman (Jackson) to be cured.
In 2004, Jackson voiced the character Frozone in the blockbuster animated
action-adventure film The Incredibles. The film was directed and written by Brad
Bird and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture as well as two
In 2003, Jackson starred in S.W.A.T. for Columbia Pictures. The hit film was
directed by Clark Johnson and co-starred Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez.
In 2002, Jackson starred with Ben Affleck in the box office and critical success,
Changing Lanes. Also in 2002, he starred in and executive produced Formula 51
with Robert Carlyle, co-starred in the hit sci-fi thriller XXX and reprised his role as
Mace Windu in the second installment of George Lucas’ Stars Wars Episode II:
Attack of the Clones.
In 2001, Jackson starred in Caveman’s Valentine directed by Kasi Lemmons, for
whom he had starred previously in Eve’s Bayou, which he also produced.
Jackson also co-starred opposite Bruce Willis in writer/director M. Night
Shyamalan’s suspense drama, Unbreakable, in the title role of John Singleton’s
Shaft opposite Christian Bale and Vanessa Williams, the courtroom drama Rules
of Engagement directed by William Friedkin and co-starring Tommy Lee Jones.
Both Shaft and Rules of Engagement were screened at the 2000 Deauville Film
Festival, where Jackson was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jackson starred in Deep Blue Sea for director Renny Harlin and Francois
Girard’s The Red Violin. He made a cameo appearance in George Lucas’ highly
successful and popular Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace.
Jackson also starred in The Negotiator and Jackie Brown, his second film with
director Quentin Tarantino, which brought him a Golden Globe nomination and
the Silver Bear Award for Best Actor in a Comedy at the Berlin Film Festival.
Jackson also starred opposite Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey and
Kevin Spacey in Joel Schumacher’s 1996 film of the John Grisham novel A Time
to Kill, which earned him another Golden Globe nomination and an NAACP
Image Award. He also starred opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard With a
Vengeance, the top-grossing movie internationally in 1995.
Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of a crack addict in Spike Lee’s
Jungle Fever when he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting
Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival. He
also won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor for that
performance. Other film credits include Twisted, 187, Sphere, The Long Kiss
Goodnight, Hard Eight, Kiss of Death, Losing Isaiah and Amos and Andrew.
Additional film credits include: Ragtime, Sea of Love, Coming to America, Ray,
Do the Right Thing, School Daze, Mo’ Better Blues, Goodfellas, Strictly Business,
White Sands, Patriot Games, Jumpin’ at the Boneyard, Father and Sons, Juice,
Fresh and True Romance.
On television, Jackson starred in John Frankenheimer’s Emmy Award-winning
“Against the Wall” for HBO. His performance earned him a Cable Ace
nomination as Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries, as well as a
Golden Globe nomination.
Jackson’s career began upon his graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta
with a degree in dramatic arts. He went on to perform in numerous stage plays,
including “Home,” “A Soldier’s Play,” “Sally/Prince” and “The District Line.” He
also originated roles in two of August Wilson’s plays at Yale Repertory Theatre.
For the New York Shakespeare Festival, Jackson appeared in “Mother Courage
and Her Children,” “Spell #7” and “The Mighty Gents.”
While still a student at Morehouse, Jackson made his film debut in Together for
JULIANNE MOORE plays Brenda Martin, a young woman who arrives at a
hospital in Dempsy, New Jersey, and tells a terrible story being carjacked, with
her young son also stolen away in the car.
Moore is only the ninth person in the Motion Picture Academy’s history to receive
two acting Oscar® nominations in the same year. In 2002, she was nominated
for Best Actress for Far From Heaven and Best Supporting Actress for The
Hours. Far From Heaven was directed by Todd Haynes and co-starred Dennis
Quaid and Dennis Haysbert. Moore was the recipient of many critics' honors for
her performance in the film including National Board of Review, Independent
Spirit, Los Angeles Film Critics and Broadcast Film Critics among others, and
received a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for
Best Actress. The Hours, directed by Stephen Daldry and based on the Pulitzer
Prize-winning novel of the same name by Michael Cunningham, also starred
Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. In addition to her Oscar® nomination, Moore
received numerous honors for her performance including a Screen Actors Guild
Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress.
Moving effortlessly between box office hits and independent features, Moore
recently starred in Revolution Studios’ The Forgotten, opposite Pierce Brosnan in
Peter Howitt's The Laws of Attraction and in Jane Anderson’s The Prizewinner of
Defiance, Ohio with Woody Harrelson. She will soon star in Trust the Man,
written and directed by Bart Freundlich and co-starring David Duchovny, Billy
Crudup and Maggie Gyllenhaal, opposite John Malkovich in Savage Grace, in
Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There: Suppositions on a Film Concerning Dylan and
Alfonso Cuaron’s The Children of Men with Clive Owen.
She also starred opposite Kevin Spacey, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett in The
Shipping News directed by Lasse Hallström, as well as with Billy Crudup in the
Bart Freundlich-directed film World Traveler. Additionally, she starred with
Anthony Hopkins in the blockbuster hit Hannibal directed by Ridley Scott and
director Ivan Reitman’s sci-fi comedy Evolution opposite David Duchovny.
Among her numerous notable performances are those in director Neil Jordan’s
The End of the Affair with Ralph Fiennes and Boogie Nights directed by Paul
Thomas Anderson, both of which earned her Academy Award® nominations.
She co-starred in Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune with Glenn Close, Charles
Dutton and Liv Tyler, as well as the remake of Psycho directed by Gus Van Sant
and co-starring Anne Heche, Viggo Mortensen, Vince Vaughn and William H.
Macy. Moore’s work in An Ideal Husband with Rupert Everett, Minnie Driver and
Cate Blanchett, earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a
Musical or Comedy. Additionally, Moore starred in A Map of the World opposite
Sigourney Weaver and directed by Scott Elliott, Magnolia directed by Paul
Thomas Anderson, The Lost World: Jurassic Park directed by Steven Spielberg,
The Myth of Fingerprints directed by Bart Freundlich and the Coen Brothers’ The
Moore was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for both Robert Altman’s
Short Cuts and Todd Haynes’s Safe. She also received critical acclaim for her
performance as “Yelena” in Louis Malle’s Vanya on 42nd Street and as “Dora
Maar” in James Ivory’s Surviving Picasso. Her additional film credits include The
Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Benny & Joon, The Fugitive, Nine Months and
Assassins. Other honors include the Excellence in Media Award at the 2004
GLAAD Media Awards, the Actor Award at the 2002 Gotham Awards and the
“Tribute to Independent Vision” at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.
After earning her B.F.A. from Boston University’s School for the Performing Arts,
Moore starred in a number of off-Broadway productions, including Caryl
Churchill’s “Serious Money” and “Ice Cream/Hot Fudge” at the Public Theater.
She appeared in Minneapolis in the Guthrie Theater’s “Hamlet” and participated
in workshop productions of Strindberg’s “The Father” with Al Pacino and Wendy
Wasserstein’s “An American Daughter” with Meryl Streep.
EDIE FALCO plays Karen Collucci, the leader of Friends of Kent, a group that
searches for missing children and who teams up with Lorenzo to find Brenda’s
Falco became the only actress to ever receive the Emmy Award for Outstanding
Lead Actress in a Dramatic Series, the Golden Globe Award for Best
Performance by an Actress in a Dramatic Television Series and the SAG Award
for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama, all in the same year
for her performance as "Carmela Soprano" in the groundbreaking HBO series
“The Sopranos.” Since then, she has been nominated for those awards for each
eligible television season, winning an additional Emmy and Golden Globe, as
well as the American Film Institute's award for Female Television Actor of the
Year. When she received the Television Critics Association Award for Individual
Achievement in Drama, it was the first time in TCS history that the award was
presented to a woman.
For the feature film Cost of Living, Falco received the American Film Institute's
Best Actress Award. Her performance in Laws of Gravity earned her an
Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Female Lead Actor. Falco’s other
film credits include A Price Above Rubies, Cop Land, Trouble on the Corner,
Private Parts, Hurricane, Layin' Low, Breathing Room, The Funeral, The
Addiction, Bullets Over Broadway, Trust, The Unbelievable Truth, Random
Hearts and the title character in the award-winning film Judy Berlin. For her
performance in John Sayles' Sunshine State, Falco received the Los Angeles
Film Critics Association and New York Film Critics Online Awards for Best
Supporting Actress. Most recently she starred in The Great New Wonderful and
Falco is also known to television audiences from her recurring roles in the HBO
dramatic series “Oz” and the acclaimed NBC series’ “Law and Order” and
Falco made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning play “Sideman,”
which she originated in its off-Broadway production. For her performance, she
received a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination for the
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. She went on to
make her London stage debut in the West End premiere of “Sideman” and,
thereafter, opened the London production of the highly successful “The Vagina
Monologues.” When Falco starred opposite Stanley Tucci in the lauded revival of
“Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune,” the play broke four house box office
records at Broadway's Belasco Theatre, making it the most successful play on
Broadway that season. Falco appeared on Broadway last year opposite Brenda
Blethyn in the first revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama 'Night Mother.
RON ELDARD plays Danny Martin, a Gannon cop who is especially determined
to find the carjacker because the kidnapped child is his own nephew.
Eldard recently starred in the ABC television series “Blind Justice,” an innovative
take on the modern police drama. In the acclaimed series Eldard played New
York Detective Jim Dunbar, who returns to the job after being blinded in a
Eldard’s film work includes Ridley Scott's Oscar® nominated Black Hawk Down,
in which he played a helicopter pilot captured by Somalis. Eldard also starred in
the supernatural thriller Ghost Ship, the drama Fathers and Sons and the
comedy Just a Kiss. Other film credits include House of Sand and Fog opposite
Sir Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly, Deep Impact with Morgan Freeman and
Robert Duvall and Mystery, Alaska opposite Russell Crowe. Eldard also
appeared with Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, and Brad Pitt in Barry Levinson's
Sleepers and in Bash: Latter Day Plays, by Neil Labute, opposite Paul Rudd and
Calista Flockhart. He made his film debut starring in True Love opposite
Eldard’s stage work includes the role of Willy Loman's son “Biff” in “Death of a
Salesman” and “Terry Malloy” in the Broadway production of “On the Waterfront.”
A former golden gloves boxer, Eldard also wrote the one-man show, “Standing
Eldard has numerous television credits, including recurring roles on the drama
“ER” and the comedy “Men Behaving Badly.”
WILLIAM FORSYTHE plays Boyle, Dempsy detective and Lorenzo’s long-time
partner on the police force.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Forsythe began acting at the age of 10 appearing in
school and community theater productions. By age 17, he was acting
professionally, appearing in over 40 plays in various dinner theaters, touring
companies, stock and repertory, where he developed his craft before moving to
Los Angles to pursue a movie career.
After a few supporting roles, Forsythe’s breakthrough part was that of “Cockeye,”
a sweet faced, but ruthless gangster in Sergio Leone’s masterpiece Once Upon a
Time in America starring Robert De Niro.
Moving easily from comedy to drama, Forsythe has appeared in over 75 feature
films working with such notable directors as John Frankenheimer (Dead Bang),
Walter Hill (Extreme Prejudice), Paul Schrader (Patty Hearst), Michael Bay (The
Rock), Warren Beatty (Dick Tracy) and Edward James Olmos (American Me).
His other film credits include Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead with
Andy Garcia, The Lightship with Robert Duvall, Virtuosity opposite Denzel
Washington, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo opposite Rob Schneider, Weeds with
Nick Nolte and City By the Sea, again opposite De Niro. Most recently, Forsythe
appeared with critical acclaim as Sheriff Jack Wydell in Rob Zombie’s 2005 box
office success, The Devil’s Rejects.
Forsythe was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his portrayal as
“Bloss” in the memorable and moving The Waterdance, the winner of the
Audience Choice Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992, which also
starred Eric Stoltz and Wesley Snipes.
On television, Forsythe starred as Al Capone in the television series revival of
“The Untouchables.” His other television credits include starring opposite Emilio
Estevez in Gene Quintano’s tribute to Sergio Leone and the spaghetti western “A
Dollar for the Dead,” as well as an unforgettable performance as Sammy the Bull
in HBO’s “Gotti,” with Armand Assante and Anthony Quinn.
AUNJANUE ELLIS portrays Felicia, Brenda’s friend at the Armstrong housing
project, whose entreaties to Lorenzo for help with her troubled boyfriend are
One of Hollywood's most sought-after talents, Ellis’s resume is as versatile as
she is, spanning theater, film and television.
Ellis currently stars in the NBC drama series “The E-Ring” from producers Jerry
Bruckheimer and Taylor Hackford. The television drama set inside the Pentagon
also stars Benjamin Bratt and Dennis Hopper.
Ellis most recently starred in the acclaimed film Ray directed by Taylor Hackford.
The actress portrayed blues singer Mary Ann Fisher, who has a long-term love
affair with legendary performer Ray Charles, played by Oscar® winner Jamie
Foxx. She also starred in Malcolm Lee’s Undercover Brother, a live-action
comedy based on Urban Media's popular website series, and earlier starred
opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Men of Honor.
Ellis made her Broadway debut in George C. Wolfe's “The Tempest,” which
began as a Shakespeare in the Park production. More recently she appeared in
“Drowning Crow,” an update of Chekhov's “The Seagull” with Alfre Woodard at
Broadway's Biltmore Theatre.
Her television credits include star turns on “The Practice,” “Third Watch,” “New
York Undercover” and “The D.A.” Sidney Lumet also had Ellis play several guest
leads on his A&E show “100 Centre Street.”
Ellis studied acting in the graduate drama program at NYU after receiving her BA
in African-American studies from Brown University.
ANTHONY MACKIE plays Billy Williams, Felicia’s troubled boyfriend.
An up-and-coming star, Mackie recently won raves as the title character in the
world premiere of Stephen Belber’s “McReele” in the Roundabout Theatre
Company’s Off-Broadway production. He last appeared on Broadway in Regina
Taylor’s “Drowning Crow” opposite Alfre Woodard and made his Broadway debut
in August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Mackie recently starred in the acclaimed independent feature Brother to Brother,
which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, for which
he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance
and a Gotham Award nomination for Best Breakthrough Performance. Mackie
was also recently seen as the flashy boxer “Shawrelle” in the Academy Award®-
winning Best Picture Million Dollar Baby opposite Clint Eastwood, Morgan
Freeman, and Hilary Swank. Mackie has also appeared in Haven with Orlando
Bloom and the Showtime feature “Sucker Free City” directed by Spike Lee. He
was recently seen in The Man with Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy.
Mackie made his screen debut in the blockbuster film 8 Mile opposite Eminem
and directed by Curtis Hanson. Other film roles include The Manchurian
Candidate for director Jonathan Demme and producer Scott Rudin, Spike Lee’s
She Hate Me and Revolution Studios’ Hollywood Homicide. Other theater roles
include “The Moderator in Talk” at the Public Theater, “Topdog/Underdog” as
understudy for Don Cheadle, “Up Against the Wind” for the New York Theatre
Workshop, and at Juilliard, “Blues for Mister Charlie,” “The Mahabharata” and
“Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me.”
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
JOE ROTH (Director) formed Revolution Studios in May 2000. Revolution
Studios is partnered with three of the premier media companies in the world –
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz Entertainment Group and Fox Entertainment
Group – as both investors and distributors.
In its fifth year of operation, Revolution Studios has released 28 films, including
America’s Sweethearts, which Roth directed, Black Hawk Down, XXX, Anger
Management, Daddy Day Care, Hellboy, 13 Going On 30, White Chicks, The
Forgotten, Christmas with the Kranks, which Roth also directed and was based
on John Grisham’s best-seller Skipping Christmas, and the hit family comedy Are
We There Yet? starring Ice Cube.
Revolution Studios’ slate for 2005 included XXX: State of the Union, starring
Samuel L. Jackson and Ice Cube, a remake of the classic horror film The Fog
and the film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning hit Broadway musical Rent.
In 2004, Roth produced the 76th Annual Academy Awards® telecast, which was
nominated for nine Emmy Awards.
From August 1994 through January 2000, Roth ran Walt Disney Studios, first as
Chairman of the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, then from April 1996 as
Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. He led the studio to worldwide market
dominance over the five years with an industry-leading 18 films grossing over
$100 million domestically, three of which -- The Sixth Sense, Toy Story 2 and
Armageddon -- grossing more than $200 million in the United States alone. Roth
helped build Buena Vista International into the market leader, finishing first in
market share five times in six years, the only company to gross over one billion
dollars in each of those years. The studio’s 1999 Best Picture nominees, The
Insider and The Sixth Sense, led Disney to an industry-leading 17 Academy
From 1992 to 1994, Roth, with Roger Birnbaum, headed Caravan Pictures, which
produced such hits as While You Were Sleeping, Angels in the Outfield and The
Three Musketeers for Disney.
Before establishing Caravan Pictures, Roth served as Chairman of Twentieth
Century Fox from July 1989 until November 1992. During his tenure at the
studio, the company made such successful films as Home Alone, Home Alone 2:
Lost in New York, Die Hard 2, Sleeping with the Enemy, Mrs. Doubtfire, My
Cousin Vinny, White Men Can’t Jump, Edward Scissorhands, The Commitments
and The Last of the Mohicans.
Prior to Twentieth Century Fox, Roth was a highly successful independent
producer/director, co-founding Morgan Creek Pictures, for which he produced
such films as Young Guns, Dead Ringers, Major League and Bachelor Party.
Roth directed both Streets of Gold and Revenge of the Nerds II for Twentieth
Century Fox, and Coupe De Ville for Universal Pictures.
Equally noted for his diverse civic and charitable activities, Roth has received
various awards such as the 1991 Variety Clubs Man of the Year award, the 1996
Humanitarian Award from the NCCJ, the 1997 American Museum of Moving
Image Award and was honored in 1998 by APLA and the National Multiple
Sclerosis Society. Roth was also the recipient of the 2004 Dorothy and Sherrill
C. Corwin Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee, and is
an active supporter of the SIDS Alliance.
Roth is a graduate school instructor on the faculty at UCLA’s independent film
and television program and is a member of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film
and Television Dean’s Executive Board. He also serves on the board of Pixar.
A New York City native, Roth is a 1970 graduate of Boston University.
RICHARD PRICE (Screenplay by, Based upon the novel by) adapts his highly
acclaimed, best-selling novel Freedomland (1998).
One of Hollywood’s most successful screenwriters, Price was nominated for an
Academy Award® for his screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money,
starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. He also wrote the “Life Lessons”
segment of New York Stories for Scorsese. Price’s additional screenwriting
credits include the recent Shaft starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ransom starring
Mel Gibson, both of which were produced by Scott Rudin. He also wrote the
screenplays for Sea of Love, Clockers, Mad Dog and Glory, Night and the City
and Kiss of Death.
Price grew up in the Bronx. He published his first novel, The Wanderers, in 1974,
to critical and popular acclaim. Four other novels followed including
Bloodbrothers and Clockers, which debuted in 1992 to rave reviews and earned
a nomination for the National Book Critics Award. In 1999, he received an Award
in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Price’s most recent
novel is the acclaimed Samaritan, which Entertainment Weekly named as the
Best Book of 2003.
Price’s fiction, articles, and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The
New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, and
Rolling Stone. His piece on New York in the wake of 9/11 for The New York
Times was included in Best American Essays of 2002. Price has taught fiction
writing at Yale, New York University and Columbia University.
SCOTT RUDIN (Producer) Film: The Life Aquatic, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of
Unfortunate Events, Closer, Team America: World Police, I♥ Huckabees, The
Village, The Stepford Wives, School of Rock, The Hours, Changing Lanes,
Orange County, Iris, The Royal Tenenbaums, Zoolander, Shaft, Sleepy Hollow,
Angela’s Ashes, Rules of Engagement, Wonder Boys, Bringing Out the Dead,
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, The Truman Show, A Civil Action, In and
Out, Ransom, Mother, Marvin’s Room, The First Wives Club, Twilight, Clueless,
Sabrina, Nobody’s Fool, The Firm, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Sister Act,
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values,
Little Man Tate, Regarding Henry, Pacific Heights, Flatliners, Jennifer Eight, Mrs.
Soffel and He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing (Academy Award® – Best
Documentary). Theater: “Passion” (Tony Award – Best Musical), “Indiscretions,”
“Hamlet,” “Seven Guitars,” “Skylight,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to
the Forum,” “On the Town,” “The Chairs,” “The Judas Kiss,” “Stupid Kids,” “The
Blue Room,” “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” “Closer” (London and New
York), “Amy’s View,” “The Wild Party,” “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan,”
“Copenhagen” (Tony Award – Best Play), “The Designated Mourner,” “The
Caretaker” (London), “The Goat” (Tony Award – Best Play), “Medea,”
“Beckett/Albee,” “Caroline, or Change,” “The Normal Heart,” “Who’s Afraid of
Virginia Woolf?” and “Doubt” (Tony Award – Best Play, Pulitzer Prize).
CHARLES NEWIRTH (Executive Producer) joined Revolution Studios in May
2000, and is responsible for the physical production of all of Revolution Studios’
Now in its fifth year of operation, Revolution Studios has released 28 films,
including America’s Sweethearts, which was directed by Joe Roth, Black Hawk
Down, XXX, Anger Management, Daddy Day Care, Hellboy, 13 Going On 30,
White Chicks, Are We There Yet? and Christmas with the Kranks (also directed
At Revolution Studios, Newirth served as executive producer on Maid in
Manhattan, The One, America’s Sweethearts and Christmas with the Kranks.
Prior to joining Revolution Studios, Newirth produced 1999’s sleeper hit Galaxy
Quest. He also produced the popular Robin Williams hit Patch Adams and Home
Fries starring Drew Barrymore.
Newirth’s other credits as an executive producer include Brad Silberling’s City of
Angels starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan, Rob Reiner’s true-life drama
Ghosts of Mississippi with Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg and James Woods,
The American President, also for director Rob Reiner, starring Michael Douglas
and Annette Bening and Jon Turteltaub’s Phenomenon starring John Travolta.
In addition, Newirth co-produced Robert Zemeckis’ Academy Award®-winning
blockbuster Forrest Gump. He also served as a co-producer on the Barry
Levinson films Toys and Bugsy, and as an associate producer on Levinson’s
A native New Yorker, Newirth broke into the film industry as a location manager
on such films as Flashdance, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. He later
moved up to production manager on Throw Momma From the Train and
RoboCop before getting his first producing credit as an associate producer on
Andrew Davis’ The Package.
ANASTAS MICHOS, ASC (Director of Photography) most recently served as
cinematographer on The Forgotten, the thriller starring Julianne Moore, for
Revolution Studios. Michos was director of photography on Mona Lisa Smile,
directed by Mike Newell and starring Julia Roberts, also for Revolution.
Michos received his first cinematography assignment from producer Jake Eberts
on The Education of Little Tree. His next film was Man on the Moon directed by
Milos Forman and starring Jim Carrey as the late comedian Andy Kaufman.
Michos followed Man on the Moon with the independent feature The Big Kahuna
starring Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito. He then served as cinematographer on
Edward Norton’s directorial debut, Keeping the Faith starring Norton, Ben Stiller,
and Jenna Elfman.
Michos then photographed What’s the Worst That Could Happen? for director
Sam Weisman starring Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito. His next film as
cinematographer was Death to Smoochy starring Robin Williams and Edward
Norton, and directed by DeVito. Michos again collaborated with DeVito on the
comedy Duplex, starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore.
Michos had worked for more than a decade as one of the industry’s most
respected and sought after camera and Steadicam operators before moving up
to Director of Photography. His Steadicam credits included Robert Redford’s
Quiz Show, Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, and Oliver Stone’s Born on
the Fourth of July, among numerous others. As an “A” camera operator, he
collaborated with cinematographer Philippe Rousselot for six films: Sommersby,
Flesh and Bone, Interview with the Vampire, Mary Reilly, The People vs. Larry
Flynt and Instinct. Michos also operated for Haskell Wexler on Other People’s
Money and for Sven Nykvist on With Honors, Curtain Call and Something to Talk
Michos is an active member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Society of Motion Picture
and Television Engineers.
DAVID WASCO (Production Designer) has served as the production designer on
virtually all of Quentin Tarantino’s films, including the hit features Kill Bill: Vol. 1
(for which he was nominated by the Art Directors Guild for an Excellence in
Production Design award) and last year’s Kill Bill: Vol. 2. He also collaborated
with Tarantino on Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.
Most recently, Wasco designed Michael Mann’s acclaimed Collateral starring
Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. Wasco also served as the production designer on
Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, for which he earned his first
nomination for the Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design award.
Wasco’s work on The Royal Tenenbaums, which starred Gene Hackman,
Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller and Gwyneth Paltrow, was featured in the
Smithsonian’s prestigious National Design Triennial. Wasco also served as
production designer on Anderson’s Rushmore and Bottle Rocket.
Wasco’s other film credits include David Mamet’s Heist and Oleanna, Don Roos’
Bounce, Nick Cassavetes’ She’s So Lovely and Paul Schrader’s Touch, as well
as a number of other independent features.
NICK MOORE (Edited by) received an American Cinema Editors “Eddie”
nomination for his work on Paul and Chris Weitz’s About a Boy starring Hugh
Grant, and a BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) nomination for
The Full Monty, the sleeper hit film starring Robert Carlyle.
Moore began his career as an assistant film editor on such films as Steven
Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade,
Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha, and Brian DePalma’s Mission Impossible.
Moore then edited documentaries for British television before The Full Monty, his
first full credit as editor on a feature film. Moore went on to edit the hit comedies
Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, Love Actually starring Hugh
Grant, Laura Linney, and Liam Neeson, Along Came Polly starring Ben Stiller
and Jennifer Aniston and Christmas with the Kranks starring Tim Allen and Jamie
Lee Curtis, Moore’s previous collaboration with director Joe Roth.
Most recently Moore completed work on the upcoming Nanny McPhee, a family
comedy starring Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, and Angela Lansbury.
ANN ROTH (Costume Designer), who has long been considered one of the most
distinguished designers in the entertainment industry, received an Academy
Award® for her work on The English Patient. She also received Oscar®
nominations for The Hours, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Places in the Heart.
Roth won the British Academy Award for Day of the Locust and was also recently
honored with a Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild.
Roth first began working as a scenery painter for the Pittsburgh Opera, but she
met legendary costume designer Irene Sharaff, who invited Roth to come work
with her in California on such films as A Star is Born and The King and I. Roth’s
first solo costume design credit was on The World of Henry Orient, in 1964.
Among Roth’s numerous film credits are Midnight Cowboy, Klute, Coming Home,
Hair, Jagged Edge, Dressed to Kill, Nine to Five, The World According to Garp,
Bonfire of the Vanities, Nine to Five, The Owl and the Pussycat, Up the Down
Staircase, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being. For director Mike Nichols,
with whom she first worked on the original Broadway production of Neil Simon’s
“The Odd Couple,” Roth designed the costumes for Silkwood, Heartburn, Biloxi
Blues, Postcards from the Edge, Regarding Henry, Wolf, The Birdcage, Primary
Colors, What Planet Are you From?, Closer and HBO’s “Wit” and the miniseries
“Angels in America,” for which Roth was nominated for an Emmy.
Roth’s collaboration with Neil Simon extended to his plays “The Star-Spangled
Girl” and “They’re Playing Our Song,” as well as such films as Murder By Death,
The Goodbye Girl, California Suite, and the remake of The Out-of-Towners.
Some of the prolific designer’s recent film credits include The Village, The
Stepford Wives, Cold Mountain, Signs and Adaptation (Meryl Streep). She also
designed the costumes for the 74th Annual Academy Awards® presentation.
Roth is also a highly regarded designer for Broadway, where her credits include
“Purlie,” “The Women,” “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” “The House of
Blue Leaves,” “Hurlyburly,” and “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.” She received
Tony nominations for her designs for “The Crucifier of Blood,” “The Royal Family”
and “Present Laughter.”
JAMES NEWTON HOWARD (Music by) is one of Hollywood’s most versatile
and prolific composers, with more than 90 films to his credit. He has received six
Academy Award® nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, and one
Grammy nomination. In addition, he has won 24 ASCAP Awards for film and
television shows scored from 1994 to 2002. His credits include films as diverse
as The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Fugitive, Pretty Woman, The Prince of Tides,
Grand Canyon, Dave, Primal Fear, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Devil’s Advocate,
and Dinosaur. His previous collaboration with director Joe Roth was America’s
Sweethearts starring Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Cusack and Billy
Howard’s most recent projects include Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins,
starring Christian Bale, Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter starring Nicole Kidman
and Sean Penn, the live-action Peter Pan, Hidalgo starring Viggo Mortensen, M.
Night Shyamalan’s The Village, for which Howard received his sixth Oscar®
nomination for Best Original Score and Michael Mann’s Collateral. Upcoming
projects include Barry Sonnenfeld’s RV starring Robin Williams and M. Night
Shyamalan's Lady In The Water.
Howard attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California
and the University of Southern California’s Colburn School of Music. He
completed his formal education studying under legendary arranger Marty Paich.
Though his training was classical, he nurtured an interest in rock and pop. His
early work in the pop arena really honed his talents as a songwriter, musician,
arranger, producer and composer.
He spent two years doing session work for a variety of performers, from Carly
Simon to Ringo Starr, and also recorded two solo albums. In 1975, he joined
pop superstar Elton John’s band on the road and in the studio doing
orchestrations and string arrangements. One of the most sought-after musicians
in the industry — as a songwriter, record producer, conductor, keyboardist and
film composer — Howard has racked up a string of studio collaborations with
some of pop’s biggest names, including Barbra Streisand, Randy Newman,
Rickie Lee Jones, Chakha Khan, Olivia Newton-John, Earth Wind and Fire, Bob
Seger, Rod Stewart and Glen Frey, among others.
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