FESTIVAL GUESTS - FILM SCREENINGS               Panelists & Special Guests


(Wednesday, April 23, 2008, at 7pm)

London-born Timothy Spall has been a familiar face in film, television and on the stage for many years, since his portrayal of Barry in BBC’s long-running “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet”  (1983­-2004).  He has since gone on to star in numerous films, including Mike Leigh’s “Secrets & Lies,” for which he won the Best Actor BAFTA in 1997. Other notable film credits include Rosencrantz in Branagh’s “Hamlet,” Aubrey in Mike Leigh’s “Life Is Sweet,” Thomas Tipp in Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky,” Peter Pettigrew in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” Mr. Poe in “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” and Simon Graham in “The Last Samurai.”

Spall is also highly respected in the world of television drama.  In the early 1980s, he starred in his own drama series, “Frank Stubbs Promotes,” and has played such varied roles as Kevin in “Outside Edge” and Terry in “Cherished.”  Spall received a BAFTA nomination for his portrayal of Mr. Venus in Julian Farino’s “Our Mutual Friend,” for which he also won the Broadcasting Press Guild Television Award for Best Actor in 1998.  Additionally, Spall collected Best Actor awards from both the Prix d’Italie and Cinema Tout Ecran for his role in Stephen Poliakoff’s “Shooting the Past,” as well as nominations for Danny Boyle’s “Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise.”

In addition to his career in film and television, Spall is also a revered stage actor.  After graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1978, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “Nicholas Nickleby.”  He also played Bottom in Robert LePage’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the National Theatre.

Spall also narrated “Jamie’s School Dinners,” which won the National Television Award for Most Popular Factual Programme in 2005, and lent his voice to the scavenger rat Nick in the award-winning film “Chicken Run” in 2000.  Spall was awarded with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) on New Year’s Eve 1999.

Spall was most recently seen in Tim Burton’s film adaptation of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” starring Johnny Depp, as well as the Disney feature “Enchanted” alongside Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey.


(Thursday, April 24, 2008, at 1pm)

TOM DiCILLO (director)
Tom DiCillo received his MA in Directing from NYU’s Graduate Film School in 1979. Upon graduation, DiCillo studied acting for 8 years and performed in numerous off-off Broadway stage productions and several independent films.  In 1984 DiCillo shot (and acted in) “Stranger Than Paradise” for friend and film school classmate Jim Jarmusch.

In 1987, DiCillo wrote and performed a one-man show in NYC called “Johnny Suede.” The success of the show prompted him to reshape the material into his first full-length screenplay.  DiCillo directed “Johnny Suede,” his first feature, in 1990.  The film starred the then-unknown Brad Pitt and began DiCillo’s four-film collaboration with Catherine Keener.  “Johnny Suede” won Best Picture at the 1991 Locarno Film Festival and was distributed domestically by Miramax.

DiCillo followed with “Living In Oblivion” in 1995.  The film starred Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener and Dermot Mulroney and won Best Screenplay at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival.  Other awards include Best Picture at the Deauville Film Festival.

In 1996 DiCillo wrote and directed “Box of Moonlight,” starring John Turturro, Sam Rockwell and, again, Ms. Keener. The film premiered at Sundance and was in the Main Competition at the Venice Film Festival.

DiCillo made “The Real Blonde” in 1998, starring Matthew Modine, Catherine Keener, Darryl Hannah and Christopher Lloyd.  The film opened the Deauville Film Festival and was released in the US by Paramount. 

In 2000, DiCillo wrote and directed “Double Whammy,” starring Denis Leary, Elizabeth Hurley, Steve Buscemi and Chris Noth.

DiCillo’s most recent film, “Delirious,” stars Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon and Elvis Costello.  “Delirious” won Best Director and Best Screenplay at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival as well as numerous other awards, including Special Jury Prize at the Istanbul Film Festival and Best Director at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival.  The film was released in the US by Peace Arch Entertainment.

In addition to his cinematic endeavors, DiCillo has written two works of semi-non fiction detailing his experiences making films: “Eating Crow” (“Living In Oblivion”) and “Notes From Overboard” (“Box of Moonlight”).  He has directed for television and has two features in development.

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(Thursday, April 24, 2008, at 4pm)

JOHN PENOTTI (executive producer)
John Penotti is the president and founding partner of GreeneStreet Films, a leading independent production company based in New York that he co-founded with Fisher Stevens. Recently, GreeneStreet opened an office in Beverly Hills. Since its founding, GreeneStreet has produced twenty films, including the five-time Academy Award® nominee, including Best Picture, "In the Bedroom" (Miramax Films), directed by Todd Field, starring Sissy Spacek, Marisa Tomei, Tom Wilkinson and Nick Stahl; the #1 box office hit "swimfan" (20th Century Fox), directed by John Polson, starring Jesse Bradford and Erika Christensen; and Robert Altman's critically-acclaimed "A Prairie Home Companion" (Picturehouse), starring Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, Lily Tomlin, Maya Rudolph and Garrison Keillor. Most recently, Penotti produced "Tenderness," directed by Polson ("Hide and Seek") and starring Russell Crowe; "Bill," written by Melisa Wallack, co-directed by Wallack and Bernie Goldmann, and starring Jessica Alba and Aaron Eckhart; and "Gary The Tennis Coach," directed by Danny Leiner ("Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle") and starring Seann William Scott.

Penotti began his film career working under Sidney Lumet on features that include "Q+A," "Family Business" and "A Stranger Among Us." He graduated from Tufts University with a dual degree in Biology and Psychology. He was born in Paterson, New Jersey.

Citizen Cohl: The Untold Story, a short film tribute to Dusty

(Thursday, April 24, 2008, at 8:30pm)

BARRY AVRICH (director)
Barry Avrich is an acclaimed documentary director and producer of over 18 films, including “The Last Mogul,” “Satisfaction,” “Bowfire,” and hundreds of television commercials. Barry is also a veteran entertainment marketing specialist responsible for many top campaigns for feature films and Broadway productions. He has written three books on entertainment marketing including the best selling “Selling The Sizzle: The Magic and Logic of Entertainment Marketing.”


(Thursday, April 24, 2008, at 8:30pm)

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Joe Pantoliano landed his first professional role in 1972 when he played “Billy Bibbit” in the national touring company of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”  He worked in regional theater and has appeared in over 40 off-Broadway productions. In 2003, he starred on Broadway opposite Rosie Perez in “Frankie and Johnny.”

After his move to Hollywood, Pantoliano landed the plum role of Angelo Maggio in the NBC miniseries “From Here to Eternity” starring Natalie Wood, Kim Basinger, Peter Boyle and William Devane.  He returned to the stage in Los Angeles, winning a Drama-Logue Award and a Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in “Orphans.”  Pantoliano received his second Drama-Logue Award as Best Actor for “Italian American Reconciliation,” written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, and was nominated for a CableACE Award for Best Actor for his appearance in one of the original episodes of the horror series “Tales From the Crypt,” directed by Richard Donner.  His other television credits include the highly acclaimed CBS drama “EZ Streets,” for which he was nominated for a Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actor, “The Handler” on CBS, and “The Sopranos,” for which he won the 2003 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a drama series.

Pantoliano has appeared in over 100 films, including “Risky Business,” “The Goonies,” “La Bamba,” Steven Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun,” “Midnight Run,” “The Fugitive,” “U.S. Marshals,” “Bad Boys,” “Bad Boys II,” “Bound” and “Daredevil.”  He also notably produced and starred in “Taxman” and “Second Best.”

Following his starring role in “Bound” in 1997, Pantoliano re-teamed with the Wachowski brothers in 1999, co-starring opposite Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne in Warner Bros. Pictures’ smash hit “The Matrix.”  He also starred in Christopher Nolan’s hit film “Memento,” which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Screenplay and won Best Director, Best Feature and Best Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2002.

Pantoliano most recently starred in the CBS drama pilot “Waterfront,” which he also produced with the series’ creator and executive producer, Jack Orman. He starred in “American Standard,” which he also produced with Bobby Schwartz, John S. Schwartz and Ross Dinerstein. He stars opposite Marcia Gay Harden in writer/director Joe Greco’s “Canvas,” which he also produced with Adam and Lucy Hammel, Sharon Lane and Bruce Beresford. He co-stars with Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher in “Wedding Daze.” In “Enchanted” for Walt Disney Pictures, he voiced a clever chipmunk alongside the talents of Patrick Dempsey, Susan Sarandon and Amy Adams.

Joey has also published his first book, “Who’s Sorry Now: The True Story of a Stand-up Guy” (Dutton Publishing), which was a New York Times best seller.  Joey has also just started his own non-for-profit organization, “No Kidding, Me Too!” dedicated to ending the stigma on mental illness.  He currently resides in Connecticut with his wife, 3 daughters and 4 dogs.

ADAM HAMMEL (producer)
Adam Hammel is a DGA director and a producer with over 15 years of industry experience. Adam’s career spans the cities of Los Angeles, where he works in television for studios such as Paramount and 20th Century Fox; New York, where he works as an assistant director of independent films; and Miami, where he launched Russian Florida Television while producing and directing commercials.  Adam founded his production company, Rebellion Pictures, in 1998 and recently co-executive produced, produced and second-unit directed "Canvas.”

Bill Erfurth comes to filmmaking from a non-traditional background.  After 25 years of highly decorated service, Mr. Erfurth is now honorably retired from the Miami-Dade Police Department in Miami, Florida.  He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1997 and appointed Commander of The Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT).  This unit became the most productive in the history of the Miami-Dade PD and is recognized nationally as one of the top units in the country. As leader of TNT, Mr. Erfurth was responsible for 130 officers and a multi-million dollar budget.  Mr. Erfurth was last assigned as Commander of a Multi-Agency Violent Crime Task Force, Street Tactics Intervention Group (STING).

In 1995, Mr. Erfurth was approached by Jefferson Pilot Communications to host a new radio show. The show, “Copnet: the Police Radio Network,” became a nationally syndicated radio program, airing in 100 markets, and was the first syndicated show of its kind to be hosted by active police officers. “Copnet” aired for nine years, winning three Achievements in Radio Awards.  In 2001, while still working on the “Copnet,” Mr. Erfurth was approached by the Discovery Channel and the BBC to do an eight-part miniseries about the TNT police unit entitled “The Real Miami Vice.”  On-location filming with TNT lasted for four months, upon completion of which, Mr. Erfurth traveled to London to work with the editors on the final cut. The show still airs currently on both networks.

In 2002, Mr. Erfurth became a consultant and technical advisor to producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay on “Bad Boys II.” His TNT was featured in the movie. Mr. Erfurth ocontinues to maintain an active and regular association with Bruckheimer Films, Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and Michael Bay Films, serving as a consultant and technical advisor and providing R&D services for major studio productions.

Most recently, Mr. Erfurth has worked as an executive producer on Ron Stone's “Passing Fancy” and as a producer on the critically acclaimed feature film “Canvas,” starring Emmy® Award winner Joseph Pantoliano and Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden.

Mr. Erfurth is the president and a director of the newly formed Modern City Entertainment, where his duties include investor relations, organizational and financial structuring, strategic and production planning, international growth and promotion, and developing the company’s slate of movies.

JOSEPH GRECO (director)
Writing is often called a cathartic exercise, but turning an introspective psychological act into a compelling piece of entertainment is another thing altogether. Somehow, writer/director Joseph Greco has managed to do just this with his feature film debut, “Canvas.” Based on Greco’s experiences growing up with a mentally ill parent in Hollywood, Florida, “Canvas” stars Emmy® Award winner Joe Pantoliano, Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden, and young newcomer Devon Gearhart.

“Canvas” won the Best Feature Film Prize for the Alice in the City section of the Rome Film Feast, and Best Feature Film awards at several film festivals across the country, including Fort Lauderdale, Nantucket, Sedona and Sarasota. It was also an official selection of the NY Film Critics Circle Awards and the AFI-Dallas International Film Festival.  “Canvas,” which premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival, has also been praised by the National Alliance on Mental Illness for its authentic portrayal of schizophrenia, receiving its Outstanding Award for Dramatic Motion Picture.  Greco was recognized by MovieMaker Magazine in their “Screenwriter Spotlight” for “Canvas,” and has been invited to speak about mental health at the United Nations, Tufts University and, most recently, Yale University.  Screen Media Films released “Canvas” into theatres October 12, 2007, and Universal Studios released the film on DVD January 29, 2008. 

Greco is a graduate of Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts.  He learned the business working as an assistant for Oscar® winning director James Cameron during the making of “Titanic” and garnered awards of his own with his shorts, “The Ghost of Drury Lane” and “Lena’s Spaghetti,” which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival’s Filmmakers of Tomorrow Program.  Greco was invited to participate in Fox Searchlight’s Search Lab Lecture series for new directors, and his script “The Big Secret” was a winner in the Script Magazine Open Door Screenplay Competition.  Joseph Greco is currently working on his next project as a writer/director.

Shotgun Stories

(Friday, April 25, 2008, at 11:30am)

JEFF NICHOLS (director)
Jeff Nichols is a writer and director, born, in 1978, and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking in 2001. In addition to “Shotgun Stories,” Nichols has written and directed six short films. Since graduating, Nichols has worked on several feature films including Gary Hawkins's “The Rough South of Larry Brown” and Margaret Brown's “Be Here to Love Me,” a film about Townes Van Zandt. Nichols currently lives in Austin, Texas. “Shotgun Stories” is his feature directorial debut.


(Friday, April 25, 2008, at 2:30pm)

The Alloy Orchestra is a three-man musical ensemble, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films. Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources.

Performing at prestigious film festivals and cultural centers in the US and abroad (The Telluride Film Festival, The Louvre, Lincoln Center, The Academy of Motion Pictures, the National Gallery of Art and others), the Alloy Orchestra has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era.

An unusual combination of found percussion and state-of-the-art electronics gives the Orchestra the ability to create any sound imaginable. Utilizing their famous "rack of junk" and electronic synthesizers, the group generates beautiful music in a spectacular variety of styles. They can conjure up a French symphony or a simple German bar band of the 1920s. The group can make the audience think it is being attacked by tigers, contacted by radio signals from Mars or swept up in the Russian Revolution.

Terry Donahue (junk percussion, accordion, musical saw, banjo), Roger Miller (synthesizer, percussion) and Ken Winokur (director, junk percussion and clarinet).

The Real Dirt on Farmer John

(Friday, April 25, 2008, at 7pm)

Lifelong farmer John Peterson is the subject of Taggart Siegel’s thirty-award winning feature documentary film, “The Real Dirt on Farmer John.” For the last three years, John has been on tour presenting the film in theaters throughout the world. In 2006, John’s first book was published, “Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables.” He co-directed and co-starred in two music videos, “The Bug Song” and “The Farmer John Song” on Lesley Littlefield’s debut album, “Little Songs.” He has written numerous plays and short stories, acted in short fiction films and done numerous performances of his life on stage.  Farmer John runs Angelic Organics, one of the largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the United States. More than 1300 families in the Chicago area receive a weekly delivery of vegetables and herbs from Angelic Organics during the growing season.

For 25 years, Taggart Siegel has been directing award-winning documentaries and dramas that reflect cultural diversity with absorbing style. From spiritual elders struggling to preserve traditions in alien environments to marginalized youth surviving hostile streets, the subjects of his films present vital perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media. “The Real Dirt on Farmer John” won 31 international film festival awards and is currently being released theatrically around the world. Siegel’s films bring compelling voices and visions to a global audience. Siegel is the co-founder of Collective Eye, Inc, a non-profit media organization based in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

(Friday, April 25, 2008, at 10pm)

PAUL SCHRADER (director)
One of America's most highly regarded writer-directors, Paul Schrader began his involvement with film by taking a summer cinema course at Columbia University while he was a student at Grand Rapids' Calvin College.  After graduating in 1968, he attended UCLA's film school, quickly becoming a film critic for the LA Free Press and an editor of Cinema Magazine.  His thesis on Ozu, Bresson and Dreyer was published as “Transcendental Style in Film” by the University of California Press.  Schrader's first success came with his screenplay for The Yakuza, directed by Sydney Pollack in 1974.  This was followed by his classic screenplay for Martin Scorsese's “Taxi Driver” (1976).  In 1977, Schrader began his own directorial career with the working-class drama “Blue Collar” (Harvey Keitel, Richard Pryor).  He has written scripts for such directors as Brian De Palma (“Obsession,” 1976), Joan Tewkesbury (“Old Boyfriends,” 1978), Peter Weir (“The Mosquito Coast,” 1986), Harold Becker (“City Hall,” 1995) and, of course, Scorsese (“Raging Bull,” 1980, “The Last Temptation Of Christ,” 1988, and “Bringing Out The Dead,” 1998).

In 1999, Schrader received the Writers Guild of America Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2002, he was the recipient of the Telluride Film Festival Silver Medallion Tribute, and in June of 2005, was awarded the Franklin Schaffner Alumni Medal by the American Film Institute.  

Schrader's career as a director reflects his vast knowledge and love of different film styles and genres, ranging from the neo-Western hardcore (George C. Scott), to the romantic thriller “American Gigolo” (Richared Gere and Lauren Hutton), the supernatural “Cat People” (Natasia Kinski), the artist's biography “Mishima” (produced by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola), the political docudrama “Patty Hearst” (Natasha Richardson), the erotic thriller “The Comfort Of Strangers” (Natasha Richardson, Rupert Everett, Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren), the haunting “Light Sleeper” (Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon) and the ironic “Touch” (Skeet Ulrich, Christopher Walken and Bridget Fonda).  In 1997 Schrader adapted and directed Russell Banks’ “Affliction” (Nick Nolte and James Coburn), released to critical acclaim in late 1998.  In 2001, he shot his 14th film entitled “Autofocus” (Greg Kinnear and Willem Dafoe). After making film trivia history as one of the two directors of the twice-made prequel to “The Exorcist” (Schrader’s version was titled “Dominion”), he returned to writing/directing with his original screenplay of “The Walker” (Woody Harrelson), which premiered at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival. Schrader will film “Adam Resurrected,” based on the novel by Yoram Kaniuk and featuring Jeff Goldblum, in the spring/summer. Most recently, he oversaw the tele-cine of “Mishima,” which was released by Criterion in the fall of 2007.

He lives in New York with his wife, actress Mary Beth Hurt, and their two children.

EIKO ISHIOKA (costume designer)
See Eiko's bio under "The Cell"


(Saturday, April 26, 2008, at 11am)

ANG LEE (director)
Born and raised in Taiwan, Ang Lee moved to the United States in 1978.  After receiving a BFA in theater from the University of Illinois, he went on to New York University to complete a MFA in film production.  At NYU, his short film “Fine Line” won Best Director and Best Film Awards at the NYU Film Festival. 

Lee’s first feature film, “Pushing Hands,” was screened at the 1992 Berlin Film Festival and won Best Film at the Asian-Pacific Film Festival.  The film was nominated for nine Golden Horse Awards, the Taiwanese equivalent of the Oscar®.  It was also the first film of Lee’s “Father Knows Best” trilogy. 

His next film, “The Wedding Banquet,” premiered at the 1993 Berlin Festival, where it won the festival’s top prize and went on to international acclaim.  The film received Best-Foreign Language Film nominations from the Academy Awards® and the Bolden Globe® Awards and six Independent Spirit Awards.  It was the second film in Lee’s “Father Knows Best” trilogy.

Lee’s third feature film, “Eat Drink Man Woman,” completed the trilogy.  The film was selected as the opening night feature for the Directors Fortnight series at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival and received the Best Foreign Film Award by the National Board of Review.

In 1995, Lee directed “Sense and Sensibility,” starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant.  The film, adapted by Emma Thompson from Jane Austen’s novel of the same name, was nominated for seven Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, and won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.  The film also received Bolden Globe® Awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.  Included in more than 100 critics’ Ten Best lists, the film was named Best Picture by the Boston Film Critics and the National Board of Review.  Lee was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as by the Boston Society of Film Critics.  When it was shown at the 1996 Berlin Film Festival, the film won the festival’s top prize. 

Ang next directed 1997’s “The Ice Storm,” adapted by James Schamus from Rick Moody’s novel.  The film starred Joan Allen, Kevin Klein, Sigourney Weaver, Christina Ricci and Tobey Maguire.  “The Ice Storm” premiered at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, was selected as the opening night film of the 1997 New York Film Festival, and went on to become one of the year’s best reviewed films. He also directed “Ride with the Devil” starring Tobey McGuire.

In 2001, Lee directed the highly acclaimed “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won Best Picture at the Toronto Film Festival.  Ang received the Bolden Globe® Award and DGA Award for Best Director.  “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” won four Academy Awards®, including Best Foreign Film. Lee also directed the smash hit “The Hulk” for Universal Studios, starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly.

In 2005, Lee directed the Focus Features film “Brokeback Mountain,” based on a novella by Annie Proulx. It starred Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, and in 2006, won the Golden Lion Award for Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival. The film went on to win DGA, Bolden Globe® and Academy Awards®, including the Academy Award® for Best Director.

Lee’s most recent film was 2007’s “Lust, Caution”, a WWII-era espionage thriller set in Shanghai, adapted from the short story by Eileen Chang. The film stars Tang Wei, Joan Chen and Tony Leung.  “Lust, Caution” was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Best Picture at the 2007 Venice Film Festival, won seven Golden Horse Awards and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2008 Bolden Globe® Awards.

The Band's Visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret)

(Saturday, April 26, 2008, at 3pm)

ERAN KOLIRIN (director & screenwriter)
Born in 1973, Eran Kolirin’s began his cinematic career writing the screenplay for the film "Zur-Hadassim," for which he won the Lipper Prize for best script at the Jerusalem International Film Festival in 1999. In 2004, Eran Kolirin wrote and directed “The Long Journey,” a made-for-television film.

“The Band’s Visit” is Eran’s first feature film. Currently, Eran is writing his second feature film entitled "Pathways in the Desert".


(Saturday, April 26, 2008, at 7:30pm)

BILL FORSYTH (director)
Bill Forsyth is a true film industry veteran. He started working in the business in 1964 at the age of seventeen in his hometown, Glasgow, Scotland, after responding to an ad in the local newspaper that stated “Lad Required for Film Production Company.” Landing this first job spurred his interest in film. He gained experience as an apprentice in all areas of filmmaking, but finally settled into work in the cutting room. He quickly developed a taste for avant-garde cinema, worshipping, among others, Godard, Bresson, Straub, Marker and Schroeter, and at the same time making his own experimental films. At the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1970, he managed to empty the cinema of its entire audience during the screening of his film “Waterloo” and hasn’t managed to move an audience in quite the same way since.  However, Larry Kardish from the Museum of Modern Art in New York saw and admired Forsyth’s early work and gave encouragement.

Forsyth spent a very brief stint as an inaugural student at the brand new National Film School in London in 1971. Agreeing to part company with the school after just a term, he was finally awarded an honorary diploma ten years later.

He spent the 1970s making a living directing sponsored documentaries all over Scotland, dreaming of better and bigger things. Finally, in 1979 he wrote, directed and produced the first indigenous Scottish feature film ever made, “That Sinking Feeling.” This brought him enough recognition to kick start a healthy output of feature films during the 1980s that he both wrote and produced, including “Gregory’s Girl” and “Local Hero.”

Despite remaining in Scotland throughout his career, Forsyth has had a few skirmishes with Hollywood. “Housekeeping” is probably the most interesting and successful result. His instincts for remaining on the margins becoming more and more pronounced, Forsyth never felt fully at ease as a maker of commercial feature films. He finally, and with great relief, quit directing films in the mid 1990s and now spends his time happily writing scripts, and, since he is now officially a grumpy old man, letters of complaint to all and sundry.

No one would view Christine Lahti’s more than 30-year career with anything less than the utmost esteem. She earned her first Oscar® nomination in 1985’s “Swing Shift,” then took the statue home 10 years later as a first-time director for her short film “Lieberman in Love.” In 1998, after multiple nominations, Lahti won both the Emmy® and her second Bolden Globe® Award -- the TV movie “No Place Like Home” was the first -- for her portrayal of Dr. Kathryn Austin on “Chicago Hope.” Three years later her feature film directorial debut, “My First Mister,” opened the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

Some of her film credits include Sidney Lumet’s “Running on Empty,” for which she received the 1998 LA Film Critics Award and a Bolden Globe® nomination; “Leaving Norma,” directed by Ed Zwick;” “The Doctor,” with William Hurt; Bill Forsyth’s “Housekeeping,” which was voted one of the 20 best films of 1987 by many of America’s film critics; “Whose Life is it Anyway?” and “…And Justice for All.” Lahti will next be seen in the feature “Yonkers Joe” alongside Chaz Palminteri.

Television credits include a starring role on the critically acclaimed series “Jack & Bobby,” for which she received both SAG and Bolden Globe® nominations, and numerous television movies including “Amerika,” (Emmy® and Bolden Globe® nominations), Showtime’s “Out of the Ashes,” “The Pilot’s Wife,” “Open House” and “The Book of Ruth,” among others.

A highly esteemed stage actress, Lahti co-starred with Richard Dreyfuss in “Three Hotels” at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.  This presentation was a reprisal of her successful run in the play, which premiered at New York’s Circle Rep Theater.  She also received a Drama Desk nomination for her role. 

Additional theater credits include Jules Feiffer’s "Little Murders” (for which she received an Obie Award); Michael Weller’s "Loose Ends" and Noel Coward’s "Present Laughter" with George C. Scott (both at the Circle in the Square); the successful off-Broadway revivals of John Guare’s "Landscape of the Body”; Clifford Odet’s "The Country Girl" with Hal Holbrook; David Mamet’s "The Woods" at the Public Theater (for which she received a Theater World Award); Ted Tally’s "Hooters" at Playwrights Horizons; and Steve Tisch’s "Division Street" on Broadway.

Most recently, Lahti starred in the West Coast premiere of Pulitzer Prize winning author Wendy Wasserstein’s final play, “Third,” at the Geffen Playhouse. The play also marked her third collaboration with the late playwright – the first being “The Heidi Chronicles” on Broadway in 1989 and “An American Daughter” for Lifetime in 2000.

The Cell

(Saturday, April 26, 2008, at 11pm)

TARSEM SINGH (director)
Tarsem attended a boarding school in the Himalayas in India before coming to the United States at age 24 to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, of which he is a graduate.

His first major breakthrough work was the music video for REM’s “Losing My Religion,” which won eight MTV awards, including Best Music Video and a Grammy.  The same year, Tarsem caught the attention of advertising’s finest by garnering two Cannes trophies: one for Wieden & Kennedy’s Anne Klein campaign and one for Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s Levi’s campaign.

Known for his attention to detail, stunning art direction, and highly developed story-telling abilities, Tarsem is one of the most highly acclaimed and sought after directors within the advertising community worldwide.

Over the years, Tarsem has garnered numerous awards, including the Grande Prix Award at Cannes, the BAFTA Britannia Award and awards from the D&AD and the DGA, to name but a few. His commercial work is part of a permanent collection on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

His first feature film, “The Cell,” was a psychological thriller starring Jennifer Lopez. He is currently working on a project entitled “The Fall,” which he co-wrote, produced and directed.

Tarsem makes his home in London and Los Angeles.

EIKO ISHIOKA (costume designer)
Eiko Ishioka is a multidisciplinary designer whose internationally acclaimed work for stage, film, advertising and graphic design have made her one of the premiere visual artists in contemporary world culture. Her long list of accolades includes an Academy Award® for costume design for Francis Ford Coppola’s film “Bram Stoker's Dracula,” the Award for Artistic Contribution at the Cannes Film Festival for her production design of the film “Mishima,” Outer Critic Circle Awards and Tony nominations for the sets and costumes of the Broadway play “M. Butterfly,” and a Grammy Award for the artwork of Miles Davis' album “Tutu.”

Ishioka’s creative vision has made its indelible mark on everything from Hollywood to the circus and beyond.  She designed the costumes for the film “The Cell,” directed by Tarsem, directed a music video for the singer Björk, designed the costumes for Pierre Audi’s production of Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” at De Nederlandse Opera, created racing wear for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, and the team identity and uniforms for the Houston Rockets basketball team.  Her costume design for the Cirque du Soleil production “Varekai” earned her a Drama Desk Award nomination. Recently, she designed costumes for the first independent feature film from director Tarsem, “The Fall,” which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on April 16, 2008.  “The Fall” is Ishioka’s second collaboration with director Tarsem.  Ishioka is currently director of costume design for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, China, in collaboration with the film director Zhang Yimou.

Ishioka is a laureate of the New York Art Director's Club Hall of Fame, and her work is included in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among other cultural institutions. Ishioka has published two retrospectives of her work, “Eiko by Eiko”in 1983, and “Eiko on Stage” in 2000, both published by Callaway Editions of New York.  In 2005, she published a behind-the-scenes account of her work on 12 international projects in Japanese (Kodansha), titled “I Design.”  Ishioka was born in Tokyo and resides in New York City.

Nico Soultanakis is a film graduate of the Pasadena Art Center School of Design.  After working in the industry in a variety of positions as a grip, writer and editor, he became a video and commercial director at Palomar Pictures, where he directed music videos for artists such as The Cranberries, Dionne Farris and Rickie Lee Jones.  Nico also worked with Tarsem as a creative consultant on many of his commercials and in 2000 was the associate producer on Tarsem's first feature, “The Cell.”  Nico co-produced and co-wrote “The Fall,” Tarsem's latest film.

Romance & Cigarettes

(Sunday, April 27, 2008, at noon)

Aida Turturro is best known for her Emmy®-nominated role as Janice on HBO’s groundbreaking series, “The Sopranos.”

Her feature film credits include Martin Scorsese’s “Bringing Out the Dead,” Woody Allen’s “Celebrity” and “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” and John Turturro’s “Illuminata” and “Mac.”  Aida also appeared in “Sidewalks of New York,” “Mickey Blue Eyes” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Sleepers,” “Fallen,” and “Denise Call Up,” in which she had a leading role as Angie opposite Geena Davis.

Ms. Turturro made her Broadway debut in “A Streetcar Named Desire” starring Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange and has been seen most recently in the Broadway musical “Chicago.”

TRICIA BROUK (choreographer)
Tricia is originally from St. Louis and is thrilled to be back in the Midwest supporting John Turturro’s “Romance and Cigarettes.” She lives in New York City, where she has danced for and worked with Lucinda Childs, Robert Wilson, Big Dance Theater and various other dance companies. She produced and choreographed a one-woman show called “Dining Alone,” which she performed at Dance Theater Workshop in June 2007. Films she has choreographed include Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Hoax” and “Pamina,” based on “The Magic Flute.” She also choreographed “Drift” and “Love Sucks” for the New York Musical Theater Festival and works with The A-Train Musicals creating choreography in 24 hours.  You can see more of her work in the upcoming Marvin Gaye feature, “Sexual Healing,” and on www.podcastgo.com and