Julie Christie, the British movie legend whom Al Pacino called "the most poetic of all actresses", was born in Chukua, Assam, India, on April 14, 1941, the daughter of a tea planter, Frank St. John Christie, and his wife, Rosemary (Ramsden), who was a painter. Her family was of English, and some Scottish, origin. The young Christie grew up on her father's tea plantation before being sent to England for her education. Finishing her studies in Paris, where she had moved to improve her French with an eye to possibly becoming a linguist (she is fluent in French and Italian), the teenager became enamored of the freedom of the Continent. She also was smitten by the bohemian life of artists and planned on becoming an artist before she enrolled in London's Central School of Speech Training. She made her debut as a professional in 1957 as a member of the Frinton Repertory of Essex.
Christie was not fond of the stage, even though it allowed her to travel, including a professional gig in the United States. Her true métier as an actress was film, and she made her screen debut in the science-fiction television serial A for Andromeda in 1961. Her first film role was as the unlikely fiancé of Leslie Phillips in the Ealing-like comedy Crooks Anonymous, which was followed up by an ingénue role in another comedy, The Fast Lady. The producers of the "James Bond" series were sufficiently intrigued by the young actress to consider her for the role that subsequently went to Ursula Andress in Dr. No, but dropped the idea because she was not busty enough.
Christie first worked with the man who would kick her career into high gear, director John Schlesinger, when he choose her as a replacement for the actress originally cast in Billy Liar. Christie's turn in the film as the free-wheeling "Liz" was a stunner, and she had her first taste of becoming a symbol if not icon of the new British cinema. Her screen presence was such that the great John Ford cast her as the Irish prostitute, Daisy Battles, in Young Cassidy. Charlton Heston wanted her for his film The War Lord, but the studio refused her salary demands.
Although Amercan magazines portrayed Christie as a "newcomer" when she made her breakthrough to super-stardom in Schlesinger's seminal Swinging Sixties film Darling, she actually had considerable work under her professional belt and was in the process of a artistic quickening. Schlesinger called on Christie, whom he adored, to play the role of mode "Diana Scott" when the casting of Shirley MacLaine fell through. (MacLaine was the sister of the man who would become Christie's long-time paramour in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Warren Beatty, whom some, like actor Rod Steiger, believe she gave up her career for. Her Doctor Zhivago co-star, Steiger -- a keen student of acting -- regretted that Christie did not give more of herself to her craft).
As played by Christie, Diana is an amoral social butterfly who undergoes a metamorphosis from immature sex kitten to jaded socialite. For her complex performance, Christie won raves, including the Best Actress Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Film Academy. She had arrived, especially as she had followed up Darling with the role of "Lara" in two-time Academy Award-winning director David Lean's adaptation of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, one of the all-time box-office champs.
Christie was now a superstar who commanded a price of $400,000 per picture, a fact ruefully noted in Charlton Heston's diary (his studio had balked at paying her then-fee of $35,000). More interested in film as an art form than in consolidating her movie stardom, Christie followed up Doctor Zhivago with a dual role in Fahrenheit 451 for director François Truffaut, a director she admired. The film was hurt by the director's lack of English and by friction between Truffaut and Christie's male co-star Oskar Werner, who had replaced the more-appropriate-for-the-role Terence Stamp. Stamp and Christie had been lovers before she had become famous, and he was unsure he could act with her, due to his own ego problems. On his part, Werner resented the attention the smitten Truffaut gave Christie.
Stamp overcame those ego problems to sign on as her co-star in John Schlesinger's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, which also featured two great English actors, Peter Finch and Alan Bates. It is a film that is far better remembered now than when it was received in 1967. The film and her performance as the Hardy heroine "Bathsheba Everdene" was lambasted by film critics, many of whom faulted Christie for being too "mod" and thus untrue to one of Hardy's classic tales of fate. Some said that her contemporary, Vanessa Redgrave, would have been a better choice as "Bathsheba", but while it is true that Redgrave is a very fine actress, she lacked the sex appeal and star quality of Christie, which makes the story of three men in love with one woman more plausible, as a film.
Although no one then knew it, the period 1967-68 represented the high-water mark of Christie's career. Fatefully, like the Hardy heroine she had portrayed, she had met the man who transformed her life, undermining her pretensions to a career as a movie star in their seven-year-long love affair, the American actor Warren Beatty. Living his life was always far more important than being a star for Beatty, who viewed the movie star profession as a "treadmill leading to more treadmills" and who was wealthy enough after Bonnie and Clyde to not have to ever work again. Christie and Beatty had visited a working farm during the production of Far from the Madding Crowd and had been appalled by the industrial exploitation of the animals. Thereafter, animal rights became a very important subject to Christie. They were kindred souls who remain friends four decades after their affair ended in 1974.
Christie's last box-office hit in which she was the top-liner was Petulia for Richard Lester, a film that featured one of co-star George C. Scott's greatest performances, perfectly counter-balanced by Christie's portrayal of an "arch-kook" who was emblematic of the '60s. It is one of the major films of the decade, an underrated masterpiece. Despite the presence of the great George C. Scott and the excellent Shirley Knight, the film would not work without Julie Christie. There is frankly no other actress who could have filled the role, bringing that unique presence and the threat of danger that crackled around Christie's electric aura. At this point of her career, she was poised for greatness as a star, greatness as an actress.
And she walked away.
After meeting Beatty, Julie Christie essentially surrendered any aspirations to screen stardom, or at maintaining herself as a top-drawer working actress (success at the box office being a guarantee of the best parts, even in art films). She turned down They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and Anne of the Thousand Days, two parts that garnered Oscar nominations for the second choices, Jane Fonda and Geneviève Bujold. After shooting In Search of Gregory, a critical and box office flop, to fulfill her contractual obligations, she spent her time with Beatty in California, renting a beach house at Malibu. She did return to form in Joseph Losey's The Go-Between, a fine picture with a script by the great Harold Pinter, and she won another Oscar nomination as the whore-house proprietor in Robert Altman's minor classic McCabe & Mrs. Miller that she made with her lover Beatty. However, like Beatty, himself, she did not seek steady work, which can be professional suicide for an actor who wants to maintain a standing in the first rank of movie stars.
At the same time, Julie Christie turned down the role of the Russian Empress in Nicholas and Alexandra, another film that won the second-choice (Janet Suzman) a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Two years later, she appeared in his landmark mystery-horror film Don't Look Now, but that likely was as a favor to the director, Nicolas Roeg, who had been her cinematographer on Fahrenheit 451, Far from the Madding Crowd and Petulia. In the mid-70s, her affair with Beatty came to an end, but the two remained close friends and worked together in Shampoo (which she regretted due to its depiction of women) and Heaven Can Wait.
Christie was still enough of a star, due to sheer magnetism rather than her own pull at the box-office, to be offered $1 million to play the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis character in The Greek Tycoon (a part eventually played by Jacqueline Bisset to no great acclaim). She signed for but was forced to drop out of the lead in Agatha (which was filled by Vanessa Redgrave) after she broke a wrist roller-skating (a particularly southern Californian fate!). She then signed for the female lead in American Gigolo when Richard Gere was originally attached to the picture, but dropped out when John Travolta muscled his way into the lead after making twin box-office killings as disco king "Tony Manero" in Saturday Night Fever and greaser "Danny Zuko" in Grease. Christie could never have co-starred with such a camp figure of dubious talent. When Travolta himself dropped out and Gere was subbed back in, it was too late for Christe to reconsider, as the part already had been filled by model-actress Lauren Hutton.
Finally, the end of the American phase of her movie career was realized when Christie turned down the part of "Louise Bryant" in Reds, a part written by Warren Beatty with her in mind, as she felt an American should play the role. (Beatty's latest lover, Diane Keaton, played the part and won a Best Actress Oscar nomination). Still, she remained a part of the film, Beatty's long-gestated labor of love, as it is dedicated to "Jules".
Julie Christie moved back to the UK and become the UK's answer to Jane Fonda, campaigning for various social and political causes, including animal rights and nuclear disarmament. The parts she did take were primarily driven by her social consciousness, such as appearing in Sally Potter's first feature-length film, The Gold Diggers which was not a remake of the old Avery Hopwood's old warhorse but a feminist parable made entirely by women who all shared the same pay scale. Roles in The Return of the Soldier with Alan Bates and Glenda Jackson and Merchant-Ivory's Heat and Dust seemed to herald a return to form, but Christie -- as befits such a symbol of the freedom and lack of conformity of the '60s -- decided to do it her way. She did not go "careering", even though her unique talent and beauty was still very much in demand by filmmakers.
At this point, Christie's movie career went into eclipse. Once again, she was particularly choosy about her work, so much so that many came to see her, essentially, as retired. A career renaissance came in the mid-1990s with her turn as "Gertrude" in Kenneth Branagh's ambitious if not wholly successful Hamlet. As Christie said at the time, she didn't feel she could turn Branagh down as he was a national treasure. But the best was yet to come: her turn as the faded movie star married to handyman Nick Nolte and romanced by a younger man in Afterglow, which brought her rave notices. She received her third Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, and showed up at the awards as radiant and uniquely beautiful as ever. Ever the iconoclast, she was visibly relieved, upon the announcement of the award, to learn that she had lost!
Christie lived with left-wing investigative journalist Duncan Campbell (a Manchester Guardian columnist) since 1979, first in Wales, then in Ojai, California, and now in London's East End, before marrying in 2008. In addition to her film work, she has narrated many books-on-tape. In 1995, she made a triumphant return to the stage in a London revival of Harold Pinter's "Old Times", which garnered her superb reviews. In the decade since Afterglow, she has worked steadily on film in supporting roles.
Christie -- an actress who eschewed vulgar stardom -- proved to be an inspiration to her co-star Sarah Polley who was in No Such Thing and The Secret Life of Words. Polley says that Christie is uniquely aware of her commodification by the movie industry and the mass media during the 1960s. Not wanting to be reduced to a product, she had rebelled and had assumed control of her life and career. Her attitude makes her one of Polley's heroes, who calls her one of her surrogate mothers. (Polley lost her own mother when she was 11 years old).
Polley wrote the screenplay for her adaptation of Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" with only one actress in mind: Julie Christie. Polley had first read the short story on a flight back from Iceland, where she had made No Such Thing with Christie and, as she read, it was Julie whom she pictured as "Fiona", the wife of a one-time philandering husband, who has become afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and seeks to save her hubby the pain of looking after her by checking herself into a home. After finishing the screenplay, it took months to get Christie to commit to making the film. Polley then found out why Christie is so reticent about making movies: "She gives all of herself to what she does. Once she said yes, she was more committed than anybody".
According to David Germain, a cinema journalist who interviewed Christie for the Associated Press, "Polley and Christie share a desire to do interesting, unusual work, which generally means staying away from Hollywood. The collaboration between the two rebels yielded a small gem of a film. Lions Gate Films was so impressed, it purchased the American distribution rights to the film in 2006, then withheld it until the following year to build up momentum for the awards season. Julie Christie's performance in Away from Her is superb, and already has garnered her the National Board of Review's Best Actress Award.
Actress of both the English and American stage and screen, Lynn Redgrave was born in Marylebone, London, England, into one of the world's most famous acting dynasties. As the daughter of Rachel Kempson and Sir Michael Redgrave, sister of Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, and granddaughter of Roy Redgrave and Margaret Scudamore, all of whom were actors, her early aspirations were surprisingly to become an equestrienne or a chef. It was not until the age of 15 that she became more and more involved in acting and her father's stage performances.
Attending London's Central School of Music and Drama, she made her stage debut in 1962 and began film work a year later. It wasn't until her lovable role as the ugly-duckling in Georgy Girl, that she was taken notice and, as a result, won both the Golden Globe, New York Film Critics Circle Award and a nomination for the coveted Best Actress at the 1967 Academy Awards. Despite this promising performance, Lynn struggled to find promising follow-up work, she played the lead in the fluffy Smashing Time and The Virgin Soldiers, low-key films that were relevant at the time of London's swinging 60s, but very quickly became largely forgotten. She married stage actor/director John Clark and her sister, Vanessa Redgrave, who was also Oscar-nominated the same year for Morgan!, was also gaining exposure and critical success if not surpassing Lynn, on both the British stage and films and was largely considered the leading face of England's breakout actresses of the '60s alongside 'Julie Christie' and other high-profile actresses.
Becoming the label of Vanessa Redgrave's younger and chubbier sister "that did that film a few years ago" didn't sit well with Lynn and, as a result, she lost considerable weight and permanently settled in the U.S. in 1974 to distance herself from this. Primarily based in southern California, she regularly commuted to New York and became notable particularly on the Broadway stage, and had successful runs in "Black Comedy/White Lies" (1967), "My Fat Friend" (1974), "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1976), "Knock Knock" (1976), "Saint Joan" (1977-1978), "Aren't We All" (1985) and "Sweet Sue" (1987). She was prolifically hired by major networks to appear on a variety of TV talk and game shows and held the position of co-host for a few seasons of Not for Women Only, while acting on prime-time TV, whether it was guest spots, mini-series or short-lived TV series. For over 20 years, Redgrave's film career was infrequent and admittedly "terrible" by the actress herself, she notoriously played the title character in the critically-bashed, The Happy Hooker, and the all-star cast misfire, The Big Bus, and, in the 1980s, she focused in a different direction, becoming a spokesperson and commercial actress for "Weight Watches". This coincided with the release of her well- received book: "This Is Living: How I Found Health and Happiness", that detailed her weight issues and eating binges, it was also revealed that for years she suffered bulimia. In the mid-to-late '90s, Redgrave had somewhat of a resurgence in her career, from 1993-1994, she spent over 8 months on Broadway, as well as touring across the world, performing her own personally written show of "Shakespeare for My Father", that explored the bisexuality, aloof persona and intimidating resume of her father. In 1996, Scott Hicks reignited her film career after many years of inactivity by casting her in the Australian Oscar-winning hit, Shine, in which she gave a short yet tender performance as "Gillian", the woman Geoffrey Rush's character falls in love with. Another Golden Globe win/Oscar nomination followed (this time in the supporting category) for her role as the Hungarian housekeeper in Gods and Monsters. Her marriage abruptly ended in 1999, when infidelity was discovered on her husband's behalf and a nasty divorced followed, they produced three children Benjamin, Kelly Clark and Annabel Clark.
Continually working her way through film, television and stage performances in the '00s, recently awarded the OBE, Lynn Redgrave was shocked to discover lumps on her body and was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a result, she took time to write "Journal: A Mother and Daughter's Recovery from Breast Cancer" with her youngest daughter, Annabel Clark, in 2003 and tragically lost her 7-year battle on 2 May 2010 (aged 67) in her family home, surrounded by her loved ones. Her diagnosis led her to realize the beauty and simplicities of life, and she was quoted as saying: "there isn't any such thing as a bad day. Yes, bad things happen. But any day that I'm still here, able to feel and think and share things with people, then how could that possibly be a bad day?".
Although a prolific television character actress for almost half a century, Hilary Mason will be best remembered on screen as the blind, psychic Heather in the macabre supernatural thriller "Don't Look Now". The 1973 film starred Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland as John and Laura Baxter, a grieving couple holidaying in a wintry Venice after the death of their daughter, Christine, who was drowned in the garden pond while wearing a shiny, red mackintosh. When Laura meets the two spinster sisters in a restaurant toilet, she is shocked to be told that Heather has seen her daughter. "I've seen her and she wants you to know that she's happy," says the old woman:
I've seen your little girl, sitting between you and your husband, and she was laughing. Yes, oh, yes, she's with you, my dear, and she's laughing. She's wearing a shiny little mac. She's laughing, she's laughing - she's happy as can be.
Later, Laura attends a seance with the sisters and - when Heather gets what she claims to be a message from Christine - is disturbed to be told that her husband, John (Sutherland), is in danger. A sceptical John fails to heed the warning and in the final scenes of the film is murdered by a female dwarf in a red, hooded coat. Throughout this eerie film, based on a Daphne du Maurier short story, the director, Nicolas Roeg, leaves us unsure whether Mason's chilling character really is a psychic or a con artist, particularly in a scene showing the sisters laughing after convincing Laura that they have contacted her daughter.
Born in Birmingham in 1917, Mason won a scholarship to the London School of Dramatic Art before gaining repertory theatre experience in Preston, Southport, York and Guildford. During the Second World War she performed with the troops entertainment organisation Ensa.
Mason made her television debut as Mrs Drummond in the drama series Thunder in the West (1957), and played Mrs Yapp in the Midlands-based local council serial Swizzlewick (1964) and Mrs Timothy in the soccer soap United! (1965-67), as well as taking two roles in Coronation Street. Following a bit-part as Mrs Ainsworth (1965), she was Derek Wilton's mother (1976), who disapproved of her son's relationship with the dithering Mavis Riley and insisted it must end - to no avail.
Adept at character roles, Mason took eight different parts in Z Cars (1962-71) and another three in Dixon of Dock Green (1965, 1966, 1967), before playing Lady Boleyn in the acclaimed, six-part drama The Six Wives of Henry VIII (starring Keith Michell in the title role, 1970), Mrs Nickleby in Nicholas Nickleby (1977), Mrs Gummidge in David Copperfield (1986) and Mrs Fagge in Great Expectations (1989).
In comedy, she acted Mrs Booth, exasperated mother to the chalk-and-cheese twin brothers, in My Brother's Keeper (1975-76) and Gladys (1990-94) in Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, the children's series written by Tony Robinson - with Mason's real-life husband, the actor Roger Ostime, taking the role of Gladys's father in one episode. She also played Michael Palin's mother in the Ripping Yarns episode "The Curse of the Claw" (1977).
After her part in "Don't Look Now", Mason was cast in the horror films I Don't Want To Be Born (acting Mrs Hyde, alongside Joan Collins as a stripper who gives birth to a "possessed" baby, 1975), Dolls (1987), Afraid of the Dark (1991) and Haunted (1995).
Mason also appeared twice in One Foot In The Grave during the 1990s.
She died in 2006 in Milton Keynes, England and left a husband of 50 years Roger Ostime, they had married in 1955 in Surrey.
|Hailey Dawn Birnie
Actress Hailey Dawn Birnie, known for shows Supernatural, Smallville and for playing the young Julie Christie in Red Riding Hood: The Tale Begins, was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.
Growing up with the outdoors at her fingertips, Hailey took advantage of her surroundings and spent much of her time outside. Winter camping in snow houses and wall tents, biking through Alaska, canoeing through the Five Finger Rapids in the Yukon River, white water rafting the Tatshenshini River - she even skinned a bear on one of her adventures. When she wasn't in nature she was often training, as she competed on a national level in not one, but two sports: soccer and curling.
Around the age of 8, Hailey saw a production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at a local Junior High School. She couldn't wait to get to Junior High so she could be on stage and be part of a production like that one. By the time she got to Junior High, the very same school, the drama program had changed and productions were no longer being put on.
It wasn't until much later when she was attending University that she began acting. She has since appeared in the Indy film The Idiot, the 2014 series Mr. Sumbody, as well as shows for the CW, the Cartoon Network, and Warner Bros'. She's had the pleasure of working with great actors including Vera Farmiga, Sam Rockwell and Anna Gunn, and is looking forward to working with many more.
Michael McClendon is an actor, director, and writer, known for Stand Your Ground (2013), Blue Sky (1994), and Inseparable (2016). His directorial credits include the films Stand Your Ground, Inseparable, and The Remember Box. Michael's screenplays have been honored with over 30 international awards. He is an accomplished actor with over forty years experience, appearing on stage and film with Tommy Lee Jones, Carroll O'Connor, Lily Tomlin, Julie Christie, Charles Durning, Patrick Swayze and Jessica Lange. Michael has been teaching, directing, and casting actors since the early 1970's, and he prefers to share his time with both film and theatre. After Inseparable, Michael will begin filming a leading role in the TV series Force. In 2013, he was named one of the five People To Watch in the Georgia Entertainment Industry.
Martin Pope has produced three Oscar nominated films - animated feature 'Chico & Rita' and animated shorts 'The Gruffalo' and most recently 'Room on the Broom'.
Martin is (2015) currently producing both 'Stick Man', a short animated film based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler; and two animated shorts based on Roald Dahl's 'Revolting Rhymes', which are being directed by Academy Award nominees Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer.
'Room on the Broom' won a Bafta award as well as a Crystal at Annecy; while 'The Gruffalo' and 'The Gruffalo's Child' were both nominated for a Bafta award, and won Crystals at Annecy along with many other awards. All three films were part of Shorts International's programme touring cinemas in the United States, and each film had more than 250,000 admissions on their release in French cinemas.
'Chico & Rita', the animated musical feature directed by Fernando Trueba with star designer Xavier Mariscal and Tono Errando won the European Film Award for Best Animated Feature as well as Spain's Goya for Best Animated Feature.
Martin has produced ten feature films, including documentary 'One Life', narrated by Daniel Craig; the comedy 'Wild Target' with Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, and Martin Freeman; and 'Glorious 39' with Romola Garai, Julie Christie, Christopher Lee and Eddie Redmayne.
Previously Martin produced two films with writer/director team Neil Hunter and Tom Hunsinger - 'Lawless Heart' and 'Sparkle'; as well as feature films 'The Cottage' (with Andy Serkis); 'Touch Of Pink' (starring Kyle Maclachlan); 'The Heart of Me' (starring Helena Bonham Carter, Paul Bettany and Olivia Williams); and 'Alive & Kicking'. For tv he produced 'The Turn of the Screw' (starring Colin Firth).
Prior to co-founding and running Magic Light Pictures, Martin ran his own independent company and before that was a producer at BBC Films. While there producing credits included director John Madden's 'Meat' and director John Schlesinger's Bafta award winning film of Alan Bennett's 'A Question of Attribution'.
|Lawrence B. Marcus
Born in Beaver, Utah, during World War I, it was not until the next World War that Lawrence Marcus found his niche as a writer. Serving in the Army Air Force, he found that he had a knack for writing and began scripting radio shows. The irony of discovering himself applying skills that are usually honed and developed only after one receives the traditional high school diploma and a degree or two from a reputable university, of course, lay in the fact that while growing up in Chicago, Marcus had gone only as far as the eighth grade in school. In his fifty-year writing career, he also found that he had a knack for award-winning scripts. He received an Academy Award nomination for his work on the 1980 "Stunt Man." His writing also garnered the Writers Guild of America Award, the Golden Globe, a Christopher Award, and an Alfred Sloan Award. One of his best remembered works is his 1968 adaptation for Richard Lester of the John Hasse novel "Me and the Arch Kook Petulia." "Petulia," the title of the resulting movie, starred George C. Scott and Julie Christie and is consider by many one of the ten best movies of the decade. Interestingly, Marcus attempted to bow out of working on the script. He became frustrated and disappointed with his efforts and, after the first thirty-five pages, sent what he had to Richard Lester with a letter of resignation. Lester immediately wired Marcus: "Love the pages; hated the letter, work." He also experienced disappointments in his writing when he collaborated on a screenplay with Jim Morrison of The Doors fame. But this time, unlike the reaction Richard Lester supplied, Morrison destroyed the script and the project. Throughout his career he collaborated with Douglas Fairbanks III, Rosalind Russell, lived in Rome, where he developed feature films, traveled to South Africa for a story on diamond mining. His final project was work on a early 1990s project for Universal Studios and Paul Newman, tentatively entitled "Homesman." In the 1980s, helping others achieve heights (i.e. degrees) that had eluded him, he taught screenwriting at New York University. Not bad for a man with only an eighth grade education.
Lindy Davies took up the post of Dean of the School of Drama at the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne in 1995. She left that position in February 2007, after a period of eleven years, during this time, she instigated an integrated Theatre Training Course for Actors, Directors and Writers.She has resumed her career as a freelance artist: working as a theatre director, actress, script consultant and performance consultant. Her most recent project as a Performance Consultant was with Julie Christie on Sarah Polley's 'Away From Her'.
|Brendan J. Byrne
Brendan J Byrne, Producer/Director, Executive Producer, Hotshot Films Brendan began his filmmaking career in 1992 with an award-winning debut film The Kickhams (1993, C4), an exploration of political identity told through the story of his Gaelic Football team which he played for. This was followed by How Far Home (1998 C4), the story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four for Channel 4's prestigious 'Films of Fire' season. This documentary united individuals from The Birmingham Six, The Bridgewater Three and The Guildford Four for the first time on television and received 'Pick of The Day' in 7 national newspapers.
In 2000 Brendan produced and directed the critically acclaimed Lines of Fire, a film celebrating the poetry of the Northern Ireland Troubles featuring poets Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin and Michael Longley together with actors Stephen Rea, Adrian Dunbar, Brid Brennan and Ian McElhinney.
Brendan has been a long time collaborator with international auteur John T Davis (Shellshock Rock, Hobo, Dust on the Bible, Power in the Blood) and produced his feature length autobiographical film The Uncle Jack in 1996. Brendan has executive produced over 50 hours of television for BBC Television. In 2005 Brendan was the Irish Producer on The Secret Life of Words, the Pedro Almodovar produced film starring Tim Robbins, Sarah Polley and Julie Christie.
Recent credits include;
Calvet (Co-Executive Producer) - explosive documentary charting the miraculous life story of Jean Marc Calvet, whose transformation from French Foreign Legion soldier to successful artist will be launched this year at a major international film festival.
Men of Arlington (Producer), an intimate portrait of London's Arlington House whose residents are mainly Irish alcoholics who left Ireland in the 1950's in search of work. Winner of the Best Irish documentary award at the 2011 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.
Other recent credits as Producer/Director include
Breaking the Silence (BBC 2010), a harrowing account of the trauma faced by families in the aftermath of suicide. Winner of RTS award for Best Regional Programme 2010.
Ballybrando (RTE Dec 2009), the story of the greatest Marlon Brando never seen, featuring the only unseen movie footage of Marlon Brando. Other significant credits include;
Breakout (BBC Sep 2008) the gripping story of the 1983 Maze Prison escape.
Blind Vision (BBC April 2007) the remarkable story of Richard Moore and his attempts to get his eyesight back and to meet the soldier who shot and blinded him 30 years ago.
Sons of Ulster (April 2008) charts 8 inmates from Hydebank Prison as they stage Frank McGuinness's emotive play about the 1st World War 'Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme'.
Television through his production company Hotshot Films. These include Hear My Prayer, nominated by the BBC for the prestigious Royal Television Society 'Best Regional Documentary' award, A Tale of Two Cities (narrated by Kenneth Branagh) and SSecond Chance School (BBC 2008) Brendan is producing a feature film called JUMP! in early 2011. Jump! is written by Lisa McGee (Raw, Being Human) and will be directed by Kieron J Walsh (When Brendan Met Trudy, Kitchen)
Born in Philadelphia, he attended Temple University and received a B.S in Business. George Litto's career as a highly successful film producer, talent agent, and film executive began at the William Morris Agency in New York City.
In 1965, Mr. Litto formed his own literary agency representing screenwriters, producers, and directors. In over ten years, Mr. Litto brought together or "packaged" the creative elements for films including M*A*S*H, Planet of the Apes, Nashville, Midnight Cowboy, Fiddler on the Roof, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here starring Robert Redford, Hang 'Em High starring Clint Eastwood, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, and Papillon starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
Mr. Litto negotiated distribution deals for films financed by independent producers. Those films include Robert Altman's Images and That Cold Day in the Park starring Sandy Dennis, Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback's Baadassssss Song, Brian De Palma's Sisters, Marty Davidson and Stephen Verona's The Lords of Flatbush, and Rodney Amateau's Where Does It Hurt? starring Peter Sellers.
Mr. Litto's clients have also included directors Robert Altman, Joe Losey (The Go Between) and Brian De Palma and writers Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy), Dalton Trumbo (Papillon), Ring Lardner, Jr. (M*A*S*H), Michael Wilson (Planet of the Apes), Abraham Polonsky (Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here) and Arnold Perl (Cotton Comes to Harlem and Malcolm X). In addition, Mr. Litto represented Leonard Freeman, who created and produced the long-running series Hawaii Five-0 and wrote and produced the Clint Eastwood western Hang 'Em High.
In 1973, while still managing his agency, Mr. Litto began his producing career as the Executive Producer of Thieves Like Us, the critically acclaimed Robert Altman film. In 1975, Mr. Litto began to devote his full attention to producing feature films. He financed and produced Obsession, distributed by Columbia Pictures and starring Cliff Robertson, Genevieve Bujold, and John Lithgow. This film established director Brian De Palma as a distinguished filmmaker. In 1976, Mr. Litto financed and produced Drive-In, a successful comedy for Rod Amateau for Columbia Pictures. In 1977, he financed and produced Over the Edge, distributed by Warner Brothers. This critically acclaimed youth film, directed by Jonathan Kaplan, introduced Matt Dillon.
In 1979, Mr. Litto produced his most successful and well-known film, Dressed to Kill, directed by Brian De Palma and starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, and Dennis Franz. In 1980, Mr. Litto again collaborated with De Palma to produce Blowout starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, and John Lithgow. While producing Blowout, Mr. Litto was recruited by Filmways to become Chairman of the Board and to help restructure the company. Mr. Litto successfully reorganized Filmways and made it an attractive company to acquire. In 1982, Filmways was acquired by Orion Pictures.
After leaving Filmways, Mr. Litto entered into a contract with Twentieth Century Fox as an independent producer. In 1988, Mr. Litto produced Kansas starring Matt Dillon and Andrew McCarthy, and Night Game starring Roy Scheider, directed by Peter Masterson.
After being married 20 years and raising two daughters, Mr. Litto took some time off to spend with his family, travel the world, and pursue other areas of personal interest.
In January 1998, Mr. Litto formed George Litto Pictures, Inc. and negotiated a $100 million line of credit with JP Morgan Chase Bank to finance and produce pictures. The first film, The Crew, in partnership with Barry Sonnenfeld was released by Buena Vista (Disney) in August 2000. The Crew starred Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Carrie Ann Moss, Jeremy Piven and Jennifer Tilly.
George Litto Productions, Inc. has an extensive development program, some of which are Vanished, a prison escape and love story based on true events by Eric Adams, The Blizzard, an action suspense thriller, by Marco Mannone, How Little We Know, a romantic comedy with international cast and appeal, and Unplanned Parenthood, a screenplay based on the novel by Liz Carpenter. Both screenplays are written by Andria Litto. Andria is George's daughter, partner and President of George Litto Productions, Inc.
|Michael Feeney Callan
Michael Feeney Callan is a novelist, filmmaker and painter. An award winner for his short fiction, he joined BBC Drama as a story editor, and wrote screenplays for The Professionals and for American television. He wrote the template Irish police drama series, The Burke Enigma, starring Donal McCann, and Love Is, starring Gabriel Byrne, and went on to direct a number of television programmes, among them the celebrated bio-documentary Luke Kelly: The Performer. Callan has published several novels and has written biographies of Sean Connery, Julie Christie and Richard Harris. Forthcoming is his major biography of Robert Redford. He divides his time between France and Dublin, where he lives with his wife Ree and two children.
Kirstn Hawson's parents are both Scottish and she has dual citizenship between Canada and the UK. She was born in Canada but grew up in many different cities across the world. She lived in London for many years and considers it her home. She speaks with a British accent.
Born to Herbert and Anne Hawson and has one sister Fiona. She is the niece of renowned footballer Jimmy Gabriel.
Her first job was a Signal toothpaste commercial in Cairo, Egypt (aged 11). Kirstn is also a professional trained singer and works as a vocal instructor at the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach in Vancouver, Canada.
Kirstin trained at the prestigious London drama school Central School Of Speech & Drama, whose alumni include Judi Dench, Julie Christie, Christopher Eccleston, Gael Garcia Bernal, Jennifer Saunders, Carrie Fisher, Laurence Olivier etc.
Paul Moses began his career as a child actor narrowly missing out on a major part in Alan Parker's 'Bugsy Malone'. While at the University of Essex he played lead roles in theatre productions of 'Harvey', 'Streetcar Named Desire', 'Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolfe' and original productions such as Dario Fo's 'The Mystery Plays' at the Hammersmith Riverside Studios and 'Banjaxed' in Colchester. After University he worked as a musician playing in largely unsuccessful 'Indie Rock' bands such as The Last Taxi Home, The Mamalukes, Run To Earth, The Blue Mosque and supporting artists such as singer-songwriter Simon Dobbs and acid jazz band The Emperor's New Clothes. Despite extensive touring in Europe and the U.S. lack of success forced him into returning to his childhood career of acting; appearing in low budget independent/student movies and theatre productions such as 'Jacob's Ladder'. Eventually this in turn led him into video production working and appearing on pop promos such as Killing Joke's 'Millennium' and ultimately into teaching video production as pert of the North Kensington Video Drama Project (a charity started up by sixties British movie star Julie Christie. He can now be found teaching in South London and performing psychedelic pop rock in the excellent indie band 'Acid Joke'.
|Sveinn M. Sveinsson
Sveinn studied film and television at the University of California and has worked in the industry since the 1980's. He founded one of the first independent film production companies in Iceland in 1986 and has produced leading material for Icelandic television, nature films and documentaries, as well as promotional and television commercials. Besides the film industry in Iceland he has worked on numerous foreign productions such as the film "No Such Thing" directed by Hal Hartley, starring Julie Christy amongst other things.