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Cyrus Nowrasteh Poster

Biography

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Overview (1)

Date of Birth 19 September 1956Boulder, Colorado, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Of Iranian descent, he was born in Boulder, Colorado, and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. He graduated from Madison West High School and was a city boys high school tennis champion. Nowrasteh attended New Mexico State University on an athletic scholarship and later transferred to the University of Southern California to attend the School of Cinematic Arts. He is married to wife Elizabeth G. Nowrasteh commonly referred to as "Betsy." Nowrasteh's oldest son, Alex Nowrasteh, is an immigration policy analyst working at the Cato Institute. Nowrasteh's younger son, Mark Nowrasteh, studied in the UCLA Playwriting program. Mark's first play The Emperor & The Apostle will have its theatrical debut in Austin, Texas in Fall, 2013. Mark has also been hired by Rise Entertainment to write his first screenplay for a motion picture, for delivery in early 2014.

Nowrasteh began his career writing on the CBS television series, The Equalizer. He went on to work on other series (Falconcrest, D.E.A.), and wrote the pilot for the USA Network show La Femme Nikita (1996). He also worked on independent films such as the American/Brazilian production The Interview (1997, writer/co-producer), which played at Sundance and on the Showtime network; and Norma Jean, Jack and Me (1998), a film that was not theatrically released but played the festival circuit and aired on HDNet. In 2001 he wrote and directed the highly-rated, award-winning Showtime presentation The Day Reagan Was Shot, which starred Richard Dreyfuss as Alexander Haig and was executive produced by Oliver Stone. The following year he wrote 10,000 Black Men Named George, the story of the Pullman strike of the 1930s, for Showtime.

For both of the above films Nowrasteh received the Pen USA West Literary Award for Best Teleplay-the only writer in the history of the Pen awards to win two years in a row in the same category. The Day Reagan Was Shot also received the Eddie Award and the Golden Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture for Television, 2001, as well as a SAG nomination for Best Actor (Richard Dreyfuss). Nowrasteh also wrote the "Manifest Destiny" episode of the highly regarded (16 Emmy nominations) Steven Spielberg and TNT miniseries presentation, Into the West. Following that Nowrasteh wrote and produced the controversial ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11. He then went on to co-write (with his wife, Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh), and direct the film The Stoning of Soraya M., released in 2009 by Lionsgate Films.

Nowrasteh was attacked by Conservatives for an alleged "liberal bias" in his Showtime film, The Day Reagan Was Shot. Former Reagan National Security Advisor, Richard Allen, led the charge with a piece in the Wall Street Journal (December 14, 2001), accusing Nowrasteh and Executive Producer Oliver Stone of "yet another dubious Oliver Stone production" and referring to it as "The Day They Shot the Truth." Mr. Allen based his piece on tapes he had kept from that day, releasing only six minutes to support his position. Nowrasteh responded in the Los Angeles Times (December 24, 2001) and a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal (January 2, 2002), "the clear solution is to have Allen release the entire unedited tape and allow anyone to make the comparisons and draw whatever conclusions seem warranted." Nowrasteh concluded his Los Angeles Times piece by writing, "The Day Reagan Was Shot provides the first-ever dramatization of a constitutional crisis and government cover up (both amply supported by facts) and the threat they pose to a nation when a president becomes incapacitated. This is important and relevant and raises issues that should be discussed openly."

Nowrasteh was attacked by Liberals for an alleged "conservative bias" in his controversial ABC docudrama The Path to 9/11, which he wrote and co-produced. Nowrasteh describes himself as more libertarian than conservative or liberal.

The Stoning of Soraya M. was condemned and banned by the Iranian government but thousands of copies were bootlegged into the country and it became an underground hit in Iran - forcing the government to put a temporary moratorium on stoning as a punishment, most notably in the Sakineh Ashtiani case.

The Stoning of Soraya M. had its world premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won Runner-up for the Audience Choice Award. It also won Second Runner-up for the Cadillac People's Choice Award, as well as the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival. The film also won the Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award, and the 2009 Ghent Film Festival's Canvas Audience Award. At the 2009 Satellite Awards, it was named one of the year's Top Ten Films and nominated for Best Drama Film, while its star Shohreh Agdashloo won Best Actress in a Drama. In 2010, the film was hailed as one of Movieguide's Ten Best 2009 Movies for Mature Audiences and was the co-winner, with Invictus (film), of Movieguide's Faith and Freedom Award for Promoting Positive American Values for 2009. It also shared, with "Women in Shroud," the Cinema for Peace Award for Justice in conjunction with the Berlin Film Festival and won Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards.

Nowrasteh is developing a film adaptation of The Last Campaign, Thurston Clarke's account of Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign.

Nowrasteh is working on an adaptation of Anne Rice's novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt that he will adapt (with wife Betsy) and direct. The project grew out of a rave review Ms. Rice wrote of the film, The Stoning of Soraya M., on her Facebook page. Through her agent her novel was sent to the Nowrasteh's and they agreed to pursue it, setting the project up with 1492 Pictures and CJ Entertainment.

His most notable other project is a film about Andrew Jackson entitled The Battle of New Orleans. He is partnered with producer/manager Alan Siegel and Gerard Butler has expressed interest in portraying Jackson who led a ragtag army in defeating the British at New Orleans on January 8, 1815.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: rickblaine33

Spouse (1)

Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh (? - ?) (2 children)

Trivia (1)

Friends with Oliver Stone.

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