As you know, here at Girlie Gossip we are eagerly awaiting the release of PS I Love You on 4th January 2008. Here’s a bit of info, and production notes for you to browse through while we wait! Competitions to come soon!
Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler
Lisa Kudrow, Harry Connick Jr, Gina Gershon,
Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Kathy Bates
PS I LOVE YOU is released in cinemas nationwide on 4th January 2008
Cert: 12A Running time: 123mins
Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank) is beautiful, smart, and married to the love of her life—a passionate, funny and impetuous Irishman named Gerry (Gerard Butler). So when Gerry’s life is taken by an illness, it takes the life out of Holly. The only one who can help her is the person who is no longer there. Nobody knows Holly better than Gerry. So it’s a good thing he planned ahead.
Before he died, Gerry wrote Holly a series of letters that will guide her, not only through her grief but in rediscovering herself. The first message arrives on Holly’s 30th birthday in the form of a cake and, to her utter shock, a tape recording from Gerry, who proceeds to order her to get out and “celebrate herself.” In the weeks and months that follow, more letters from Gerry are delivered in surprising ways, each sending her on a new adventure and each signing off in the same way: P.S. I Love You.
Holly’s mother (Kathy Bates) and best friends, Denise (Lisa Kudrow) and Sharon (Gina Gershon), begin to worry that Gerry’s letters are keeping Holly tied to the past, but, in fact, each letter is pushing her further into a new future.
With Gerry’s words as her guide, Holly embarks on a touching, exciting and often hilarious journey of rediscovery in a story about marriage, friendship and how a love so strong can turn the finality of death into a new beginning for life.
“P.S. I Love You” stars two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Boys Don’t Cry”), Gerard Butler (“300”), Lisa Kudrow (TV’s “Friends”), Harry Connick Jr. (“Bug,” TV’s “Will & Grace”), Gina Gershon (TV’s “Ugly Betty”), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Academy Award® winner Kathy Bates (“Misery”).
The film is directed by Oscar® nominee Richard LaGravenese (screenplay “The Fisher King”) from a screenplay written by LaGravenese and Steven Rogers (“Kate & Leopold”), based on the novel by Cecelia Ahern. Oscar® winner Wendy Finerman (“Forrest Gump,” “The Devil Wears Prada”), Broderick Johnson (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”), Andrew A. Kosove (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) and Molly Smith produced the film, with John H. Starke, Lisa Zupan, James Holland, Donald A. Starr and Daniel J.B. Taylor serving as executive producers.
The behind-the-scenes creative team was led by director of photography Terry Stacey (“The Nanny Diaries”), production designer Shepherd Frankel (“Step Up”), editor David Moritz (“Freedom Writers”), costume designer Cindy Evans (“North Country”) and composer John Powell (“The Bourne Ultimatum”).
Alcon Entertainment presents a Wendy Finerman production in association with Grosvenor Park Films LLP, “P.S. I Love You.”
ABOUT THE CAST
HILARY SWANK (Holly) is a two-time Academy Award® winner in the category of Best Actress. She won her first Oscar® for the role of Brandon Teena in the 1999 drama “Boys Don’t Cry.” She also won the Golden Globe® Award and Critics’ Choice Award, as well as the New York Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics, and National Society of Film Critics Awards in the same category. Additionally, The National Board of Review recognized Swank’s work with the Breakthrough Performance of the Year Award, and she earned BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations.
In 2005, Swank won her second Academy Award® for her starring role in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture, “Million Dollar Baby,” opposite Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. In addition, she won her second Golden Globe® Award and a SAG Award, as well as the National Society of Film Critics and Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Actress. That same year, she earned Golden Globe® Award and SAG Award nominations for her portrayal of suffragette Alice Paul in the HBO movie “Iron Jawed Angels.”
Swank recently collaborated with director Richard LaGravenese when she starred in the true-life drama “Freedom Writers,” playing inspirational schoolteacher Erin Gruwell. Last year, she co-starred with Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett in Brian De Palma’s real-life crime drama “The Black Dahlia.” Swank’s other film credits include Charles Shyer’s “The Affair of the Necklace, opposite Adrien Brody; Sam Raimi’s “The Gift,” with Cate Blanchett and Keanu Reeves; Christopher Nolan’s “Insomnia,” opposite Al Pacino and Robin Williams; and Stephen Hopkins’ horror thriller “The Reaping.”
Swank is next set to star as Amelia Earhart in “Amelia,” the biopic about the legendary aviatrix, to be directed by Phillip Noyce.
GERARD BUTLER (Gerry) has distinguished himself as a leading man on the stage and screen in both the United States and Great Britain. Earlier in 2007, Butler starred as the Spartan king Leonidas in Zack Snyder’s blockbuster actioner “300,” which broke box office records in its opening weekend on its way to earning more than $450 million worldwide.
Butler also stars in a wide range of upcoming projects. He just completed work on two films due out in 2008: Guy Ritchie’s crime comedy “RocknRolla,” with Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Jeremy Piven; and the fantasy adventure “Nim’s Island,” in which he stars with Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin. He is currently filming the thriller “Game,” with Michael C. Hall.
Born in Scotland, Butler made his stage debut at the age of 12 in the musical “Oliver,” at Glasgow’s famous Kings Theatre. As a young man, his dreams of acting were temporarily deterred and he went on to study law for seven years before returning to the stage in London. In 1996, he landed the lead role in the acclaimed stage production of “Trainspotting.” He later starred on the London stage in such plays as “Snatch” and the Donmar Warehouse production of Tennessee Williams’ “Suddenly Last Summer,” opposite Rachel Weisz.
In 1997, Butler made his feature film debut in John Madden’s award-winning drama “Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown,” starring Judi Dench. His early film work also includes “Fast Food,” “One More Kiss,” the 1999 screen adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” and “Harrison’s Flowers.”
In 2004, Butler won the coveted title role in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” He also earned critical acclaim for his work opposite Emily Mortimer in the independent feature “Dear Frankie,” which screened at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Butler’s other film credits include “Beowulf & Grendel,” “The Game of Their Lives,” “Timeline,” “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” and “Reign of Fire.”
LISA KUDROW (Denise) is an Emmy® Award-winning actress who has also been recognized for her work in films. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award from the New York Film Critics and earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her role in Don Roos’ 1998 film “The Opposite of Sex.” The following year, she won a Blockbuster Award and received a nomination for an American Comedy Award for her starring role in Harold Ramis’ hit comedy “Analyze This,” in which she starred with Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro.
Kudrow most recently starred in the independent feature “Kabluey,” which premiered at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival. Her additional film credits include starring roles in Don Roos’ “Happy Endings,” which premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival; “Wonderland,” with Val Kilmer; “Analyze That,” reprising her role from “Analyze This”; “Hanging Up,” opposite Meg Ryan and Diane Keaton, who also directed; Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Numbers,” with John Travolta; the hit comedy “Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion,” opposite Mira Sorvino; “Clockwatchers,” with Toni Collette and Parker Posey; and Albert Brooks’ “Mother.”
On television, Kudrow starred on the smash hit NBC comedy series “Friends,” which, after ten seasons, ended its run while still topping the ratings. For her portrayal of Phoebe Buffay on the show, Kudrow earned numerous acting honors, including an Emmy® Award and five additional Emmy® nominations, a Golden Globe® nomination, an American Comedy Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
In 2003, Kudrow formed the production company Is or Isn’t Entertainment, with writer/producer Dan Bucatinsky. Since its inception, the company has produced a number of television pilots, in addition to the critically acclaimed HBO series “The Comeback,” starring Kudrow. The show garnered three Emmy® Award nominations, including one for Kudrow for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
HARRY CONNICK, JR (Daniel) is among the world’s most successful and multi-talented artists. Connick’s love of music and performing dates back to his childhood in New Orleans, where he studied piano with such luminaries as James Booker and Ellis Marsalis. He first performed publicly at age five, appeared on his first jazz recording at age ten, and released his self-titled major label debut for Columbia Records at 19, only a year after his high school graduation and his move to New York City. In the two decades since, he has released more than 20 albums totaling more than 25 million in sales and has received numerous honors, including three Grammy Awards.
Connick segued to films in 1989 when director Rob Reiner asked him to perform a number of standards for the romantic comedy smash “When Harry Met Sally.” The film’s soundtrack became Connick’s first multi-platinum album and also brought him his first Grammy for Best Jazz Male Vocal Performance. The following year, he made his onscreen debut in the World War II drama “Memphis Belle.” His film acting credits also include Jodie Foster’s “Little Man Tate”; Jon Amiel’s “Copycat”; “Independence Day,” with Will Smith; “Hope Floats,” opposite Sandra Bullock; John McTiernan’s “Basic”; “Mickey,” written by John Grisham; and William Friedkin’s “Bug.” He has also contributed his talents to the soundtracks for such films as “The Godfather: Part III,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “The Mask” and “One Fine Day.”
On the small screen, Connick starred in the ABC presentation of the musical “South Pacific” and played the recurring role of Grace’s love interest, Dr. Leo Markus, on the hit NBC series “Will & Grace.” In addition, he won an Emmy® Award for the PBS Great Performances concert special “Harry Connick, Jr: Only You” and earned an Emmy® nomination for the Great Performances concert special “Swingin’ Out Live.” He also starred in two holiday specials, “When My Heart Finds Christmas” and “Harry for the Holidays,” both built around his best-selling holiday albums.
In 2006, Connick made his Broadway acting debut in the Tony Award-winning revival of “The Pajama Game,” earning nominations for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical. He had earlier received a Tony nomination for Best Original Score for the 2001 musical “Thou Shalt Not.” In 1990, he played to sold-out audiences in “An Evening with Harry Connick, Jr. and His Orchestra – Live on Broadway” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
GINA GERSHON (Sharon) has enjoyed a wide-ranging career encompassing film, television and stage work. She most recently appeared in the independent films “Delirious,” starring Steve Buscemi; “Kettle of Fish” alongside Matthew Modine; and “What Love Is” with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ann Heche. Television audiences have also seen her in the recurring roles of Fabia on the hit ABC series “Ugly Betty,” Anna on the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and Valerie on the FX series “Rescue Me.”
In 2003, Gershon starred in “Prey for Rock and Roll,” the story of a contemporary all-girl punk band, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Gershon also performed all of the songs heard in the film. She had earlier gained attention for her work in Paul Verhoeven’s “Showgirls” and the Wachowski brothers’ film noir “Bound,” which won the Best Film Award at the 1997 GLAAD Media Awards.
Gershon made her film debut in 1981 as a dancer in “Beatlemania” and had her first speaking role in John Hughes’ “Pretty in Pink.” Her additional film credits include “Cocktail,” starring Tom Cruise; “Red Heat,” with Arnold Schwarzenegger; John Sayles’ “City of Hope”; Robert Altman’s “The Player”; John Woo’s “Face/Off,” with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage; “This World, Then the Fireworks,” opposite Billy Zane; “Palmetto,” with Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Shue; Michael Mann’s “The Insider,” with Al Pacino; and Olivier Assayas’ “Demonlover,” with Chloe Sevigny and Connie Nielsen.
On television, Gershon has guest starred on such series as “Psych” and “Crossing Jordan,” and has lent her voice to the animated series “Family Guy,” “American Dad!” and “The Batman” in which she played Catwoman. In addition, she starred in David E. Kelley’s detective drama series “Snoops.” Her longform credits include the telefilms “Legalese” and “Miss Rose White,” and the CBS miniseries “Sinatra.”
An accomplished stage actress, Gershon starred as Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’ revival of “Cabaret.” She has also earned applause for her work in such plays as “Camille,” “The Substance of Fire,” “Nanawatai” and “The Vagina Monologues.” A founding member of the New York-based theater company Naked Angels, Gershon has also appeared in numerous productions with the company.
Gershon has recently written a book with her brother, Dann Gershon, titled Camp Creepy Time, which DreamWorks has bought to adapt for the screen. Currently, she is performing in a one-woman show, “In Search of Cleo,” which she wrote based on her CD of the same title. The CD is now available on iTunes, marking Gershon’s debut as a singer/songwriter.
JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN (William) has, over the past year, emerged as one of the busiest and most sought-after actors in the industry. He is currently in production on writer/director Zack Snyder’s film adaptation of the iconic graphic novel “Watchmen.” Morgan stars as Comedian, a Vietnam vet who is a member of a group of heroes called the Minutemen.
Morgan will next be seen in a cameo role opposite Rachel Weisz in the holiday comedy “Fred Claus,” opening nationwide on November 9. In March 2008, he stars opposite Uma Thurman in the romantic comedy “The Accidental Husband,” directed by Griffin Dunne. Morgan has also starred in a number of independent features, most recently including “Kabluey,” with Lisa Kudrow, which premiered at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival; and “Live!,” with Eva Mendes, which premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.
Morgan first gained the attention of television audiences with his recurring role on ABC’s smash hit drama series “Grey’s Anatomy.” His dramatic arc as heart patient Denny Duquette, who wins the heart of intern Izzie Stevens, made him an unqualified fan favorite. His additional television credits include recurring roles on the CW’s drama series “Supernatural” and Showtime’s award-winning comedy series “Weeds.”
KATHY BATES (Patricia) has been honored numerous times for her work on stage, screen and television. She won an Academy Award® and a Golden Globe® Award for her portrayal of the obsessed fan, Annie Wilkes, in the 1990 thriller “Misery,” directed by Rob Reiner and based on the book by Stephen King. In 1999, she received Oscar®, Golden Globe® and BAFTA Award nominations and won Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Critics’ Choice Awards for her performance in Mike Nichols’ “Primary Colors.” Bates more recently earned her third Oscar® and Golden Globe® Award nominations for her role in Alexander Payne’s “About Schmidt,” for which she also garnered a SAG Award nomination and won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. In addition, she received Golden Globe® and BAFTA Award nominations for her work in Jon Avnet’s “Fried Green Tomatoes,” and shared in a SAG Award nomination as a member of the ensemble cast of James Cameron’s all-time top-grossing blockbuster, “Titanic.”
This fall, Bates can be seen in the holiday comedy “Fred Claus,” with Vince Vaughn, and she also lent her voice to the animated Jerry Seinfeld comedy “Bee Movie.” She recently completed work on Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” in which she stars with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Bates’ long list of film credits also includes “Charlotte’s Web,” “Failure to Launch,” “Little Black Book,” “Dragonfly,” “American Outlaws,” “The Waterboy,” “The War at Home,” “Dolores Claiborne,” “A Home of Our Own,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “Shadows and Fog,” “At Play in the Fields of the Lord,” “Dick Tracy,” “Men Don’t Leave,” “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” “Straight Time” and “Taking Off.”
On the small screen, Bates won Golden Globe® and SAG Awards and earned an Emmy® Award nomination for her portrayal of Helen Kushnick in the 1996 HBO film “The Late Shift.” Her television honors also include Emmy®, Golden Globe® and SAG Award nominations for her performance as Miss Hannigan in the musical “Annie”; another SAG Award nomination for her role in the telefilm “My Sister’s Keeper”; and four additional Emmy® Award nominations for her work on the projects “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Six Feet Under,” “Warm Springs,” and “Ambulance Girl,” which she also directed. She more recently had a recurring role on the acclaimed HBO series “Six Feet Under.”
Bates has also been honored for her work behind the camera as a director. She helmed the A&E telefilm “Dash and Lilly,” starring Sam Shepard and Judy Davis, which earned nine Emmy® nominations, including one for Bates as Best Director. Having directed five episodes of the acclaimed HBO series “Six Feet Under,” she earned a Directors Guild of America Award for the episode entitled “Twilight.” Her credits as a director also include the telefilm “Fargo” and episodes of such series as “Oz,” “NYPD Blue” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.”
Bates first gained the attention of critics and audiences on the New York stage. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of the suicidal daughter in the original Broadway production of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “`night, Mother.” She also won an Obie Award for her performance as Frankie in the original off-Broadway production of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Bates received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1970 from Southern Methodist University, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2002.
JAMES MARSTERS (John) may best be known for the role of Spike, the cult favorite punk-goth vampire he first played for six seasons on the series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and then on the final season of the spin-off show “Angel.”
Currently, Marsters is recurring on three television series: “Without a Trace,” “Smallville” and the UK hit “Torchwood.” Marsters originally joined the cast of “Smallville” in 2005 as Brainiac, and will be returning for another guest arc in the role this season. He was initially hired for just one episode of “Torchwood,” but the creators of the show were so impressed that they immediately signed him up for two more. His storyline on “Without a Trace” will have him appear in a minimum of six episodes.
Born in the remote northern logging town of Greenville, California, and raised in Modesto, Marsters went on to study acting at the prestigious Juilliard School. He began his professional career in the theater, performing in such plays as “The Tempest” and “Red Noses” at Chicago’s renowned Goodman Theater. Marsters later starred on the Los Angeles stage in an original play titled “The Why,” produced by Noah Wyle.
Marsters made his screen debut in guest role on the television series “Northern Exposure.” His other television credits include the VH1 anthology series “Strange Frequency” and Gene Roddenbury’s series “Andromeda.” In addition, he starred in the USA Network’s original movie “Cool Money,” and was also seen in the feature “The House on Haunted Hill.”
In addition to his acting career, Marsters is a successful singer/songwriter. He was the front man of the now defunct band Ghost of the Robot, which sold out tours on an international level. He also completed a triumphant tour of the UK and Australia, in conjunction with the promotion of his solo album, “Civilized Man.” His second solo album, “Like a Waterfall,” will be released November 1, 2007.
NELLIE McKAY (Ciara), best known as a wildly prolific musician and songwriter, makes her feature film debut in “P.S. I Love You.”
On the stage, McKay recently won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of “The Threepenny Opera.”
McKay has released three critically acclaimed albums: “Get Away From Me,” “Pretty Little Head” and her most recent, “Obligatory Villagers.” Her music has been heard on the hit television shows “Weeds” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and she also created original songs for the Rob Reiner-directed film “Rumor Has It.”
McKay has performed on numerous television and radio shows while touring the world. She has opened for Bo Diddley and Sting, dueted with Eartha Kitt, Trey Anastasio and Taj Mahal, interviewed Doris Day, and shared the stage with Gloria Steinem, Odetta, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Cyndi Lauper and others. In addition to her music, McKay is a frequent contributor to The New York Times’ Book Review.
A recipient of the Humane Society’s 2005 Doris Day Music Award for her dedication to animal rights, she has also participated in benefits for groups ranging from Planned Parenthood and Fair Fund, to the ACLU and the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. In addition, Nellie has been active in supporting get-out-the-vote efforts, the campaign to close primate laboratories and working to ban carriage horses throughout the country.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
RICHARD LaGRAVENESE (Writer/Director) recently directed the true-life drama “Freedom Writers,” starring Hilary Swank as inspirational teacher Erin Gruwell. LaGravenese also wrote the screenplay for the film, which was based on the bestselling book by Gruwell and her students. LaGravenese was also one of the 20 international filmmakers who participated in creating the acclaimed film project “Paris je t’aime,” a compilation of 20 short films about Paris, which premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. LaGravenese’s segment, “Pigalle,” starred Fanny Ardent and Bob Hoskins.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, LaGravenese is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theatre Wing. He first garnered acclaim for his screenplay for “The Fisher King,” directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges and Mercedes Ruele, who won an Oscar® for her role. LaGravenese was honored with an Academy Award® nomination, as well as BAFTA and Writers Guild of America Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay.
His subsequent screenwriting credits include “The Ref,” directed by Ted Demme and starring Denis Leary, which LaGravenese also produced; Alfonso Cuaron’s “A Little Princess”; “Unstrung Heroes,” directed by Diane Keaton; Clint Eastwood’s “The Bridges of Madison County,” based on the bestselling novel and starring Eastwood and Meryl Streep; Barbra Streisand’s “The Mirror has Two Faces”; “The Horse Whisperer,” directed by and starring Robert Redford; and Jonathan Demme’s “Beloved.”
LaGravenese made his directorial debut from his own original screenplay for the critically praised “Living Out Loud,” starring Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito and Queen Latifah.
In 2003, LaGravenese partnered with Ted Demme to direct and produce the documentary, “A Decade Under the Influence,” which explored the groundbreaking films and filmmakers of the 1970s. The film earned an Emmy® Award nomination for Outstanding Nonfiction Special and won a National Board of Review Award.
WENDY FINERMAN (Producer) is the first female independent producer in the history of the Academy Awards® to receive a Best Picture Oscar®. The film was the 1994 sensation “Forrest Gump,” which earned a total of six Oscars®, as well as the Golden Globe® for Best Picture Drama and The National Board of Review award for Best Film. “Forrest Gump” is one of the highest grossing films of all time. For her work on “Forrest Gump,” Finerman was also honored with the PGA Golden Laurel Award/Motion Picture Producer of the Year, the Darryl Zanuck Producer of the Year award and the Christopher Award (an award presented to the producers, directors and writers of books, motion pictures and television specials which affirm the highest values of the human spirit).
Most recently, Finerman produced the hit comedy “The Devil Wears Prada,” starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. “The Devil Wears Prada” earned two Oscar® nominations, for Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Costume Design, as well as a Best Actress Golden Globe® Award for Streep. The film, based on the best-selling novel by Lauren Weisberger, earned more than 330 million dollars at the box office worldwide.
Finerman previously produced the 1998 film “Stepmom,” directed by Chris Columbus and starring Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon and Ed Harris. She produced “Drumline,” starring Nick Cannon and Orlando Jones, which received an NAACP Image award in 2002.
Finerman’s production of “FairyTale – A True Story,” was based upon the real life tale of two little girls in England during the First World War who caused a huge controversy with their photographs of alleged fairies. The film, which featured the legendary Peter O’Toole in the role of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, earned a British Academy Award® for Best Children’s Film in 1997. Her other film credits include “The Fan,” starring Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes, and “Sugar and Spice,” starring Marley Shelton, Mena Suvari, Marla Sokoloff and James Marsden.
For television, Finerman has produced “Surrender Dorothy,” a CBS-TV film starring Diane Keaton, and the Showtime original film “In a Class of His Own,” the Rich Donato story, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, which won a “Literacy in Media” award.
In 1994, the same year as the successful “Forrest Gump,” Finerman produced “I Like it Like That,” an independent feature film that earned the New York Film critics Award for Best New Director and an Independent Award Spirit nomination.
Finerman’s upcoming projects include “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,” based on the popular children’s book by Kate DiCamillo, and “Everything Changes,” based on the comic novel by Jonathan Tropper.
Finerman is a graduate of the Wharton School and has served on its executive board for over nine years. She is the mother of four young children.
ANDREW A. KOSOVE and BRODERICK JOHNSON (Producers), Alcon Entertainment Co-Presidents, draw from common professional goals and a shared alma mater, Princeton University, where they were classmates beginning in 1989. Kosove graduated magna cum laude with a joint degree in Politics and Economics. Johnson, who earned his degree in Economics, later worked as a quantitative analyst for Saloman Brothers in New York.
After working together in various capacities in the motion picture industry, Kosove and Johnson founded Alcon Entertainment in January 1997 with financial backing from Frederick W. Smith, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Federal Express Corporation.
As Alcon Entertainment celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year, the company has become one of the most prominent independently financed production companies in the world. Some of the company’s successful films include “My Dog Skip,” “Dude Where’s My Car,” “Insomnia,” “Racing Stripes,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “16 Blocks.”
In January, Alcon will release the remake of the Japanese horror film “One Missed Call,” starring Edward Burns and Shannyn Sossamon. Alcon most recently wrapped production on the sequel to their widely acclaimed 2005 film “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” bringing back all four of its original stars: Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, America Ferrera and Alexis Bledel. The much-anticipated sequel, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Part 2,” will be released in Summer 2008.
MOLLY SMITH (Producer) counts “P.S. I Love You” as her first feature film producing credit, although she has worked on the sets of a number of feature film and television projects.
A native of Memphis, Smith began her career in the film industry when she was still an undergraduate at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She graduated with honors from Tisch in only three years while simultaneously working on the set of such films as “The Affair of The Necklace” and “Insomnia.” During that time, Smith also produced numerous shorts for her fellow NYU students, interned for the President of Production at Walden Media in New York, and worked on such New York-based productions as “Law and Order” and “NYPD Blue.”
Following graduation, Smith moved to Los Angeles to assist the director of “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” Troy Beyer. She then became a physical production executive at Alcon Entertainment, traveling all over the world to work on the productions of “Chasing Liberty,” “Racing Stripes” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” More recently, Smith collaborated with John Starke on the film “Step Up,” as well as an ABC-TV pilot entitled “Traveler.”
CECELIA AHERN (Author) earned a degree in Journalism and Media Communications before embarking on her writing career. At the age of 21, she wrote her first novel, PS, I Love You, which was sold to over forty countries. The book became one of the biggest-selling debut novels of 2004, reaching number one in Ireland and on the UK Sunday Times bestseller list and being selected for the Richard and Judy Summer Read campaign. It was also a bestseller throughout Europe and the USA, staying on the bestseller list in Germany for more than 52 weeks.
In November 2004, her second book, Where Rainbows End (aka Love, Rosie / Rosie Dunne), also reached number one in Ireland and the UK, remaining at the top of the Irish bestsellers list for 12 weeks and becoming a bestseller internationally. One year later, in November 2005, Ahern’s third book, If You Could See Me Now, was published also becoming an international bestseller. It has been optioned by producer Simon Brooks’ SB Films (London) to be made into a movie next year.
Ahern was nominated for Best Newcomer 2004/5 at the British Book Awards for PS, I Love You. She won the 2005 Irish Post Award for Literature and a 2005 Corine Award for Where Rainbows End, which was voted on by German readers. In 2006, she was long-listed for the IMPAC Award for PS, I Love You, and in May 2007, Cosmopolitan honored her with a Fun Fearless Fiction Award for If You Could See Me Now.
Ahern’s fourth novel, international number one bestseller A Place Called Here, is out now in paperback and went straight to number one in the UK and Ireland. It was published in the U.S. under the title There’s No Place Like Here. It has been optioned by Touchstone to be developed as a television drama series. Ahern is currently working on her fifth novel.
In addition, Ahern co-created the new ABC series “Samantha Who?” with screenwriter Don Todd. The show, starring Christina Applegate, has emerged as one of the season’s newest hits and has recently been picked up for a full season by the network.
Ahern has also contributed short stories to several anthologies, from which all of her royalties go to charity. She has also written a number of stories that have been published in various magazines.
JOHN H. STARKE (Executive Producer) has had a distinguished career as a producer and production manager. He was the producer of “I’m Not Rappaport,” executive producer of “Step Up,” “Punisher” and “Made,” co-producer on “Just The Ticket” and “Night Falls on Manhattan,” and associate producer on “Immediate Family,” “Orphans,” “Highlander” and “Winter Kills.”
Among Starke’s credits as production manager are “Bad Boys II,” “Entrapment,” “A Stranger Among Us,” “Q&A,” “Legal Eagles,” “The World According to Garp” and “One Trick Pony.” Starke was nominated for an Emmy® in 1994 as one of the producers of “Tracy Takes on New York.”
LISA ZUPAN (Executive Producer) began her career in production as an assistant director and line producer on a wide range of independent features, including “God Said, ‘Ha!’” and “Judas Kiss.” Despite her love for physical production and being on set, Zupan decided to focus her efforts on creative development and all other producing aspects of the filmmaking process.
Now serving as the Vice President of Wendy Finerman Productions, Zupan works alongside Finerman, the Academy Award®-winning producer of “Forrest Gump” and, more recently, “The Devil Wears Prada.” Working closely with writers, directors, other producers and studio executives, Zupan is responsible for project development, from concept through production. She recently co-produced the CBS telefilm “Surrender Dorothy.” Zupan is currently working on the feature “The Next Thing on My List,” based on the novel by Jill Smolinksi.
DONALD A. STARR (Executive Producer) is the chairman and founder of Grosvenor Park Media. Starr founded Grosvenor Park in 1982 in Canada, where he pioneered tax motivated investment vehicles in film and structured tax-based investments in real estate, nursing homes and energy. Under his guidance, Grosvenor Park expanded rapidly and became instrumental in financing Canadian and Hollywood productions sponsored by various studios, including Walt Disney, Miramax, Buena Vista Television, ABC Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Hearst Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros.
In 1998, Starr established Grosvenor Park’s U.K. operation, which quickly became a leading tax-based film financer and film co-producer in the United Kingdom, and which has raised more than £1 billion in film financing. Over the past 20 years, Starr has been responsible for providing more than $5 billion in finance for more than 400 film and television productions. At present, Grosvenor Park Media manages both debt and equity funds and over the last two years has been responsible for the financing of 30-plus movies.
Starr has also served as an executive producer on a number of films, including “The Libertine,” starring Johnny Depp and John Malkovich; Atom Egoyan’s “Where the Truth Lies,” starring Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth; and “Being Julia,” starring Annette Bening in the title role.
DANIEL J.B. TAYLOR (Executive Producer) is the Chief Executive Officer of Grosvenor Park Media. Taylor was a co-founder of Grosvenor Park’s London operation and is responsible for the Group’s day-to-day management. Since joining Grosvenor Park in 1997, Taylor has overseen the raising of more than £1 billion in film financing for more than 100 motion pictures.
In addition, Taylor has been an executive producer on a broad range of movies. His credits include “Color Me Kubrick,” starring John Malkovich; “Where the Truth Lies,” starring Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth under the direction of Atom Egoyan; “Being Julia,” starring Annette Bening, who earned an Oscar® nomination for her performance in the title role; “The Libertine,” starring Johnny Depp and John Malkovich; and “Things to Do Before You’re 30.”
TERRY STACEY (Director of Photography) has served as cinematographer on the recent film “The Nanny Diaries,” as well as “Friends With Money,” “In Her Shoes,” “The Door In The Floor,” and “American Splendor.” More credits include “Wanderlust,” “Winter Passing,” “Just A Kiss,” “The Laramie Project,” “World Traveler,” “Things Behind The Sun,” “Wendigo,” “Happy Accidents,” “Spring Forward,” “The Dream Catcher,” “Jump,” “Trick,” and “Love God.”
SHEPHERD FRANKEL (Production Designer) attended the LaGuardia School of the Arts in New York, the school on which “Fame” was based. Born and raised in New York City, he was accepted into LaGuardia after a stint as a child actor. There he studied painting and sculpting before going on to get his undergraduate degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and a Masters in Architecture from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA. Almost immediately after receiving his graduate degree, he jumped into commercials and film.
“Step Up” was Frankel’s first feature film credit as production designer. His recent projects as supervising art director include “Fantastic Four,” “Catwoman,” “Scooby Doo 2,” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” and his other credits as Assistant Art Director include “Terminator 3,” “Magnolia,” “Stuart Little” and “Stuart Little 2.”
CINDY EVANS (Costume Designer) was the costume designer on Richard LaGravenese’s film “Freedom Writers.” Her other credits include “North Country,” with Charlize Theron; “Lords of Dogtown” for director Catherine Hardwicke; “Memento” for Christopher Nolan; “How High”; “Laurel Canyon”; “Thirteen”; “Along Came Polly”; and “The Forgotten.”
JOHN POWELL (Composer) most recently composed the score for the blockbuster actioner “The Bourne Ultimatum,” having earlier scored “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy.” Powell also created the musical score for the Oscar®-winning animated hit “Happy Feet.”
Powell was nominated for a BAFTA Award in 2002 for his score for the animated comedy blockbuster “Shrek.” His other animated film credits include “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” “Robots,” “Chicken Run” and “Antz.”
Powell began his career composing music for commercials and television at London’s Air-Edel Music in 1988. Later, he started his own jingle house with longtime collaborator Gavin Greenaway, and worked on many mixed media art installation works with artist Michael Petry, as well as the opera “An Englishman, an Irishman and a Frenchman.”
His score for the Nicolas Cage and John Travolta starrer “Face/Off” marked the beginning of a prolific career. Powell subsequently provided music for such diverse hits as “The Italian Job,” “Drumline,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “United 93,” and “X-Men: The Last Stand,” among others, totaling 33 feature films in the last nine years.
He is currently scoring the animated feature “Horton Hears a Who,” starring the voices of Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.