|Date||November 16, 1954|
Allison Anders (born November 16, 1954) is an American film and television director. Anders has directed many independent films on which she frequently collaborates with fellow UCLA film school graduate Kurt Voss. She was friends with some members of Duran Duran in the 1980s and frequently inserted small references to the band in her films.
According to an article in Creative Screenwriter Magazine: "Raised in rural Kentucky, Anders spent her teens hitchhiking across the country, resulting in a series of adventures that often ended in jails and foster homes—experiences she credits with giving her raw inspiration for her cinematic portraits of rural Americans." At eighteen, she moved to England, then returned to Los Angeles to raise her first child. She attended the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television and was granted a Nicholl Fellowship by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay "Lost Highway" (unrelated to the David Lynch film of the same title) also earned her a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award. First Film
Her first film effort co-written and co-directed by Kurt Voss and Dean Lent was the punk music-heavy Border Radio, which was nominated for Best Feature of 1989 by the Independent Feature Project. Anders followed up with her popular 1992 film Gas Food Lodging, for which she won a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best New Director, and for which actress Fairuza Balk won an Independent Spirit Award. The film received five Spirit Award nominations including Best Director and Best Screenplay. Gas Food Lodging also won the Deauville Film Festival Critics Award.
Her next film for Cineville was Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life), about girl gangs in Los Angeles; it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993, and saw wide release in 1994. 1995
In 1995, she was awarded a "genius grant" by the MacArthur Foundation. Although the 1995 collaborative film Four Rooms in which she participated in was largely panned by critics, it now has a cult following. In 1996, she won more acclaim with Grace of My Heart, the story of a backroom songwriter (Illeana Douglas) who tires of making other people famous. Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach had their first collaboration on her film and were nominated for a Grammy Award.
In the late 1980s, Anders had become friends with some members of Duran Duran, and frequently inserted small references to the band in her films (character names, posters on walls, and so on). In 1999, after bassist John Taylor had left Duran Duran and was beginning to launch an acting career, she co-wrote and co-directed the film Sugar Town with Kurt Voss about the Los Angeles film and music industry, which starred several musical friends of hers, including Taylor, X singer John Doe, Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp, and singer/actor Michael Des Barres. The film was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, one for Best Film and one for best Newcomer for Jade Gordon. The film won the Fantasportoaward for Best Screenplay for Anders and Voss.
Her 2001 film Things Behind the Sun, dealing with the long-term aftermath of a rape, won an Emmy Award nomination for actor Don Cheadle for Best Supporting Actor, 3 Independent Spirit Award Nominations: Don Cheadle for Best Supporting Actor, Kim Dickens for Best Actress, and Best Film. She and co-writer Kurt Voss received a nomination for the Edgar Award. The film was awarded the SHINE Award as well as the prestigious Peabody Award .
Anders began directing shows for broadcast and cable television in 1999, including several episodes in the second and third seasons of Sex and the City, as well as episodes of Grosse Pointe and Cold Case, The L Word, Men In Trees, and What About Brian?.
In 2002 Anders received the Spirit Of Silver Lake Award from the Silver Lake Film Festival and in 2003 Anders became a Distinguished Professor at UC Santa Barbara where she teaches in the Film And Media Studies Department one quarter every year.
In 2006 she participated in a documentary Wanderlust with many other well known names.
2007 saw the DVD release of Border Radio as part of the prestigious Criterion Collection.
Anders is the founder of the Don't Knock The Rock Film And Music Festival in Los Angeles.
- Border Radio (1987)
- Gas, Food Lodging (1992)
- Mi Vida Loca (1994)
- Four Rooms (1995)
- Grace of My Heart (1996)
- Sugar Town (1999)
- Things Behind the Sun (2001)