Writers' Biographies

ANDREW BIENEN is the co-writer of the Academy Award winning movie, Boys Don't Cry. He teaches screenwriting at the Columbia University Graduate Film Division and he has also taught at La Femis (Paris), the New School, and the University of Virginia. He has an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from Columbia where his thesis screenplay Wankers won the award for Best Student Screenplay in 1996. He has written screenplays for New Line Cinema and Dreamworks, and has served as a story consultant at Miramax Films. He is currently at work on a fictional screenplay set on the night of John Lennon's death.

PAULA BRANCATO is an award-winning filmmaker, published poet and produced playwright. Brancato executive produced the feature film Somewhere in the City, starring Sandra Bernhard and Bai Ling which won the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Brancato has written 11 screenplays, including 5 works for hire and or option. Her film, Her Fathers Daughter won the Houston International Remi Award and Women of Color Film Festivals. The feature film script won the People’s Pilot TV award and was a finalist at SUNDANCE. She has most recently published excerpts from her first novel, Never Iron Naked and her second book of poems, The World of the Married Woman. She is the founder and president of the Brancato-Fritsch Company and Brancato Productions, has over twenty years’ experience in global capital raising, corporate finance, filmmaking and music production. A former music industry CFO and Wall Street derivatives expert, Brancato has structured over $300 million in complex financial transactions, raising over $50 million for entertainment projects including the sale of Concerts West to Anschutz Entertainment, development funds for Pretty Dangerous Films and private equity capital for new media companies and independent films. Brancato earned her M.B.A. at Harvard Business School, where she was a Godfrey-Cabot fellow. A graduate of Hunter College and the Los Angeles Film School, she also serves as full-time faculty for screenwriting, poetry and The Business of the Business at the University of Southern California. 

CHRISTINA LAZARIDI was nominated for an Academy Award for her screenplay of One Day Crossing. Christina currently teaches screenwriting at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Division and works as a screenwriter and consultant. Recent projects include the screenplays for When the Bough Breaks with Lisa Albright, two adaptations for Argonauts Productions and producer Panos Papahatzis, slated for production in 2008, and the adaptation of Elias Kulukundis’ memoir My Taste of Illusion. Lazaridi, has also written and produced documentaries including the feature length Varian and Putzi: a 20th Century Tale directed by Academy Award® winner Richard Kaplan and Assignment: Rescue a documentary for Richard Kaplan Productions narrated by Meryl Streep. She holds an M.F.A. (Honors) in Screenwriting from Columbia University and a B.A (Honors) in Comparative Literature & Creative Writing from Princeton University.

STEPHEN MOLTON is an artist with thirty years experience as an author, screenwriter, painter, professor and film executive. Harper/Collins published his first novel, Brave Talk in 1987. Since then, he has written screenplays and mini-series for Paramount Television, Showtime Networks, Inc., and New Line Cinema; co-directed and produced a documentary, L.A. HOMEFRONT: The Fires Within for Showtime and the Sundance Channel; supervised the creative development and production of some twenty television movies and mini-series for cable television; and created a documentary co-production enterprise between New York Times Television and Viacom Productions. He is the co-author, with Gus Russo, of the forthcoming book, BROTHERS IN ARMS: The Kennedys, the Castros, and the Politics of Murder for Bloomsbury USA, to be published in November 2008. Since 2007, Molton has served as an adjunct professor of screenwriting at Columbia University

FRANK PUGLIESE is a playwright and screenwriter and the author of Aven'U Boys (Obie Award). He is also the author of The King of Connecticut, The Talk, The Alarm (all with Naked Angels); The Summer Winds (Naked Angels and NY Stage and Film); Hope is the Thing with Feathers (The Drama Dept); Kaos (New York Theatre Workshop.) As a screenwriter, he is responsible for Aven' U Boys (in development); 29th Street (for Paramount and produced by Fox); Born to Run (produced by Fox): Dion (based on Dion and the Belmonts ) The Six (for Baltimore Pictures); Buddy Boys (based on the NYPD police corruption scandal at Warner Bros.) Oliver (an updated version of Oliver Twist produced by Quincy Jones); Mob Girl (Castle Rock); Trinities (based on the Nick Tosches novel, New Line Cinema); Cousin Joey (Sante D'orazio directing); Infamous (produced by Hart-Sharp, directed by John Leguizamo); Shot in the Heart (directd by Agnieszka Holland, produced by Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana); Italian (Greenstreet producing): Absent (Chris Messina attached). For television, he has written Night of the Living Dead, "Homicide" (WGA Award); and Love and Blood for "Fallen Angels" (Cable Ace Award Nomination); Two plus One (A pilot written for Fox Television and Tom Fontana); Broken City (A pilot for HBO created at Castle Rock) The Beat (The Season Finale); Street-time (producer): Bluefish (For HBO, creator, currently in development). Frank is a graduate of Cornell University where he won the Forbes Herman award for playwriting and was Artistic Director of the Whistling Shrimp Theatre Co. At the NYU Dramatic Writing Program, he was named "Graduate Student of the Year," and Frank is also a former Playwright in Residence at the Royal Court in London. Frank was honored by New York University's Tisch School of the Arts fifteenth anniversary, as their outstanding alumnus in the field. Frank is a proud member of Naked Angels, Drama Dept., and is co-founder of both The Writer's Group and The Screenwriter's Collective. Frank is a consultant for the Cherry Lane/Alternative Mentor program for young playwrights. And he sits on the artistic committee and board of Naked Angels. Frank teaches screenwriting and playwriting at Columbia University. A collection of his plays was published by Broadway Play Publishing. And his new play The Crazy Girl is due to be released this year.


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