Kindergarten Teacher

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THE

KINDERGARTEN TEACHER



A Film by Sara Colangelo



Starring:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Rosa Salazar, Anna Barynishikov, Michael Chernus, Gael Garcia Bernal, Ajay Naidu, and Samrat Chakrabarti



U.S. Dramatic Competition | World Premiere | Sundance Film Festival 2018




Running Time: 99 minutes





SYNOPSIS:

When a Staten Island kindergarten teacher discovers what may be a gifted five year-old student in her class, she becomes fascinated and obsessed with the child-- spiraling downward on a dangerous and desperate path in order to nurture his talent.

***

SARA COLANGELO, DIRECTOR STATEMENT

THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER is a psychological thriller about a woman, named Lisa Spinelli, who lives a rather mundane life in Staten Island and teaches at a local kindergarten. She takes night classes in poetry and is a rather forgettable student. But she trudges forth, still enjoying the artistic pursuit, with a certain understanding of her mediocrity. One day she discovers that a boy in her class has a prodigious gift for poetry and, from that moment forward, does everything in her power to support and cultivate his talent—going to dangerous extremes to deliver his art to the world.


This film is an exciting project for me because it is the story of, predominantly, one woman. It has given me an opportunity to delve deeply into the fascinating psychology of Lisa-- to explore her inner-workings, her good intentions gone awry, and her desire to live a more meaningful life. The story also provides what I think is a nuanced, complex lead role for a 40-something woman— an unfortunate rarity in both Hollywood and the independent film industry. Finally, it has been a unique opportunity to discuss what role, if any, poetry has in modern American life. Is there space for beauty, meaning and human expression in the current Administration and in a world of smart phones, videogames, guns, and remote overseas wars? It’s a vital question, and one that I think is worthwhile for American audiences to grapple with.



THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER is about the unfulfilled desire to be a poet, about prodigy, about mediocrity, about striving to see the world in new ways, about the search for beauty in uncommon places. And I hope it raises interesting questions about authorship, about who gets to decide what art is, and about who gets to lavish praise onto whom.


The poet Carl Sandburg wrote that “poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.” Something about that depiction of poetry reminds me very much of Lisa. She is a woman in mid-life, awakening to art for the first time. In many ways, she is a displaced creature wanting to be airborne, wanting to be a better version of herself, and wanting to feel more alive. When Lisa can’t fulfill her own artistic ambitions, she decides she will do it through her student. She is on a quest-- an earnest, well-meaning, but twisted quest-- to deliver a young poet to the world and to make sure his voice is heard amidst the noise and banality of modern life.


ABOUT THE CAST

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of the great young actresses of today. In 2014, Gyllenhaal headlined the BBC/Sundance TV original series THE HONORABLE WOMAN garnering a 2015 Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award nomination, and an Emmy Award nomination. She also gained critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for "Best Supporting Actress" for her portrayal of Jean Craddock in CRAZY HEART alongside Jeff Bridges, further exemplifying her talent and versatility as an actress.


After receiving rave reviews out of the 2002 Sundance competition for her starring role opposite James Spader in Lion’s Gate’s SECRETARY, she went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical”, an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Actress,” a Chicago Film Critics’ Award for “Most Promising Performer,” A Boston Film Critics’ Award for “Best Actress,” a National Board of Review Award for “Breakthrough Performance” and an IFP/ Gotham “Breakthrough Performance” Award.


Gyllenhaal made her feature film debut in 1992, alongside Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke in WATERLAND. This was followed by a memorable performance as “Raven”, the Satan-worshipping make-up artist in John Waters’ quirky Hollywood satire, CECIL B. DEMENTED, which led her to a co-starring role in DONNIE DARKO, a fantasy-thriller about disturbed adolescence.


Years later, back at Sundance in 2007, Gyllenhaal starred in SHERRYBABY; she played a female convict struggling to overcome her drug addiction and regain custody of her daughter. The film was well-received by critics and garnered her second Golden Globe nomination, this time for Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama. Gyllenhaal was also nominated for a 2006 Independent Spirit Award for her role in Don Roos’ HAPPY ENDINGS, opposite Lisa Kudrow and Tom Arnold.


She was Rachel Dawes in the Warner Bros. box office hit DARK KNIGHT directed by Chris Nolan. She was also seen in Sam Mendes’s AWAY WE GO.


Also accomplished onstage, Gyllenhaal starred as “Alice” in Patrick Mauber’s award-winning CLOSER at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles for director Robert Egan, and previously at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She has also appeared in ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA at the Vanborough Theatre in London. In 2004, Gyllenhaal starred in Tony Kushner’s play HOMEBODY/KABUL, which ran in both Los Angeles and at B.A.M. Next, Gyllenhaal will be seen alongside Peter Sarsgaard and Mamie Gummer in UNCLE VANYA by Anton Chekhov.


In August 2010, Gyllenhaal was seen in NANNY MCPHEE AND THE BIG BANG with Emma Thompson. In 2011, Gyllenhaal appeared in the Anton Chekhov play THREE SISTERS alongside Peter Sarsgaard, Jessica Hecht and Josh Hamilton and also starred alongside Hugh Dancy in the romantic comedy, HYSTERIA. In 2012, Gyllenhaal starred in the drama, WON’T BACK DOWN alongside Viola Davis and directed by Daniel Barnz.


On the silver screen, Gyllenhaal was seen in Lenny Abrahamson’s FRANK, co-starring Michael Fassbender and in WHITE HOUSE DOWN, directed by Roland Emmerich alongside Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx.


In 2014, Gyllenhaal made her Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard’s THE REAL THING, opposite Ewan McGregor and Cynthia Nixon.


Gyllenhaal most recently produced and starred in David Simon’s HBO drama THE DEUCE, which has been picked up for a second season. This year, she wrapped filming on THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, an independent film of which she is also producing and starring, that will premiere at Sundance in 2018.


Parker Sevak

Parker Sevak is a 5 year-old actor making his acting debut in THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, for Maven Pictures, in the role of Jimmy Roy opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal. When he is not working and in school, Parker loves playing soccer and hanging out with his big brother Kadin.


Anna Barynishikov

Anna Baryshnikov is one of the industry’s brightest and most promising new talents. She garnered recognition for her feature film debut in the Academy Award nominated MANCHESTER BY THE SEA with Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler and Lucas Hedges. She will next be seen in the film THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal, which will premiere this month at the Sundance Film Festival.

On stage, Anna was recently seen as “Carol,” opposite Elizabeth McGovern in the Broadway production of TIME AND THE CONWAYS for Roundabout Theater Company. Previously, she starred in HORSE GIRLS at the Cell Theater.

Anna was a series regular on the CBS half-hour comedy series, SUPERIOR DONUTS. She has also appeared on television in Amazon’s GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, NBC’s THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA and CBS’s BLUE BLOODS, as well as the HBO Miniseries, DOLL & EM, opposite Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells.

Anna graduated from Northwestern University, where she received a BS in theatre. At Northwestern, she was seen in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, MOBY DICK, LANGUAGE OF ANGELS, and THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY.

Rosa Salazar

One of the most respected actors of her generation, actress Rosa Salazar has quickly become known for her diverse and captivating on screen presence. The sought after actor made headlines when she landed the coveted title role of ‘Alita’ in ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL. The film from writer/producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez will feature an all-star cast including Mahershala Ali, Christoph Waltz and Jennifer Connelly. The Twentieth Century Fox summer blockbuster is slated for release in July 2018.


2018 is shaping up to be a breakout year for Salazar. First up she will appear in the independent feature THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gael Garcia Bernal. The film will make its world premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Later that month, she will reprise her starring role in Twentieth Century Fox’s MAZE RUNNER franchise in MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE, which will be released on January 26, 2018. Later this year, Salazar will appear in the highly anticipated film adaptation of BIRD BOX from director Susanne Bier opposite Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich. The film will release on Netflix in the fall of 2018.


Michael Chernus

Michael Chernus is a film, stage, and television actor. He stars in Amazon's critically acclaimed series “Patriot," which is currently in production on its second season.

Michael most recently starred as Phineas Mason, aka 'The Tinkerer,' in this summer's smash Spiderman: Homecoming for Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures. His notable film credits include playing Chief-Mate Shane Murphy opposite Tom Hanks in the Paul Greengrass Oscar-nominated film Captain Phillips, Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) and Mistress America, Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy, and Barry Sonnenfeld's Men In Black 3, among others.

He is most well known as Piper's brother, Cal Chapman, on Netflix's hit series "Orange Is The New Black,” and was previously a series regular on WGN-America's critically acclaimed WWII drama "Manhattan." Mr. Chernus also starred on both seasons of Joe Swanberg’s anthology series “Easy,” as well as the Errol Morris directed docudrama “Wormwood,” both for Netflix. He previously recurred on the Showtime series, "The Big C" and has appeared on a variety of other TV shows including "Damages," "Nashville," "The Good Wife," "Nurse Jackie,” “Mercy”, and "Law and Order: SVU.”

On the stage, Michael won a 2011 OBIE Award and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for his work in Lisa Kron's "In The Wake" at The Public Theatre in New York City. Additional Off-Broadway credits include the revival of Terrence McNally's "Lips Together, Teeth Apart” (Second Stage); "Close Up Space" with David Hyde Pierce and Rosie Perez (Manhattan Theater Club); the world premiere of Annie Baker's "The Aliens" (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) which Charles Isherwood, of the New York Times, named the best play of 2010; "Hunting & Gathering" by Brooke Berman (Primary Stages) and many plays by Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright Adam Rapp.

Michael’s voice can often be heard on NPR’s “This American Life”. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School’s Drama Division and serves on the Advisory Board of SPACE on Ryder Farm.


Gael Garcia Bernal

Gael Garcia Bernal is one of the great actors of today, recently gaining critical acclaim and a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in MOZART IN THE JUNGLE in 2016. Amazon’s hit web series also won a Golden Globe for “Best Comedy Series.” In 2017, Bernal received another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in the second season.

Having worked as an actor since childhood in Mexico, Bernal made his feature film debut in Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu's Academy Award-nominated AMORES PERROS, which earned him a Silver Ariel Award (Mexico's equivalent of the Oscar) as well as a Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, both as Best Actor.


Bernal has starred in countless films including the globally celebrated feature, Alfonso Cuaron's Academy Award-nominated Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN (And Your Mother Too) and THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES (Diarios de una motocicleta). Bernal received a BAFTA and Satellite Award nomination in 2005 for Best Actor for his work in THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES. In 2006, Bernal was recognized by BAFTA again with a nomination in the Rising Star category, acknowledging new talent in the acting industry. Other credits include ROSEWATER, EL ARDOR, DESIERTO, and NERUDA. Bernal earned Best Actor in a Foreign Language Film for his role in NERUDA at the Palm Springs Film Festival. The film was also nominated for a 2017 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language.

Most recently, Gael lent his voice to the Pixar animated feature COCO, which was released in November 2017 and wrapped production on the film THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, premiering at Sundance in 2018. He is currently directing his second feature film, CHICUAROTES and is in production of Season 4 of his hit Amazon series, MOZART IN THE JUNGLE.


Ajay Naidu

Ajay Naidu recently completed production on THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gael Garcia Bernal, which is set to premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Other film credits include cult classic OFFICE SPACE, RICHARD LINKLATER’S SUBURBIA (independent Spirit Award nomination), BAD SANTA, SCARY MOVIE 3, HOTEL FOR DOGS, THE WRESTLER, THE HONEYMOONERS, THE GURU, HANNIBAL, REQUIM FOR A DREAM, CHUTNEY POPCORN, and PI. In 2006, Naidu directed his first feature film Ashes which had its release in 2010 and for which he won Best Actor accolades from the New York Indian Film Festival in New York and the London Asian Film Festival. Naidu's first professional acting job was the film TOUCH AND GO (released in 1986) which he won from an open call.


Samrat Chakrabarti

Samrat Chakrabarti is a prolific, international artist. He holds a MFA in Acting from the A.R.T/ Moscow Art Theatre School Program at Harvard University and, in addition to being an award winning actor, he is also an acclaimed musician.

As an actor, he has appeared/recurred on countless American TV shows— most recently: BLINDSPOT (NBC), BULL (CBS), MR. ROBOT (USA), THE LEFTOVERS (HBO), ELEMENTARY (CBS), GYPSY (Netflix)...

Samrat has also been consistently working in film, both Hollywood and Independent, ranging from Spike Lee's SHE HATE ME to Amyn Kaderali's KISSING COUSINS, and including Bruce Leddy's THE WEDDING WEEKEND, Joseph Castelo's THE WAR WITHIN and Christina Choe’s NANCY, which also premieres at Sundance this year.

International projects include: Deepa Mehta's film adaption of Salman Rushdie's MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN, Gurinder Chadha's VICEROY'S HOUSE, Manish Acharya's LOINS OF PUNJAB PRESENTS (with legendary actress Shabana Azmi), Kabir Khan's NEW YORK (produced by Yash Raj Films), Joseph Matthew's BOMBAY SUMMER and Kamal Hasaan's VISHWAROOPAM.

Critics named Samrat Chakrabarti as one of the top fresh faces to emerge from Toronto International Film Festival 2011, for his breakout performance as Krishna in Claire McCarthy's THE WAITING CITY, opposite Joel Edgerton.

In February 2012, the actor made the winners' list of the Triangle Media Group's Global Awards, which honor South Asian achievements in both arts and sciences. Other honorees included Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman, Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen, Director Ashutosh Gowariker, Actor Irrfan Khan, Actress Nandita Das, Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, Actress Lisa Ray, and Producer Ashok Amritraj.



ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS


Sara Colangelo – Writer/Director

Sara Colangelo is a New York based writer and director whose short films have screened at festivals around the world, including U.S. festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW. Colangelo’s debut feature, LITTLE ACCIDENTS, had its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Inspired by her short film of the same title, it explores tragedy and redemption in a modern-day American coal mining town. During its development, Colangelo was invited to the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs and received support from the Annenberg Institute, the San Francisco Film Society, IFP, and Indian Paintbrush. The film stars Boyd Holbrook, Elizabeth Banks, Chloe Sevigny, Josh Lucas, and Jacob Lofland. It was theatrically released in over fifteen U.S. cities and was subsequently nominated for a 2015 Independent Spirit Award in the category of Best First Screenplay. Sara's second feature film, THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, is an adaptation of Nadav Lapid’s acclaimed Israeli film. It will have its world premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. It stars Maggie Gyllenhaal in the titular role, as well as Gael Garcia Bernal, Michael Chernus, Rosa Salazar, Anna Baryshnikov, Ajay Naidu and Parker Sevak.


Sara Colangelo lives in Brooklyn with her son, Oscar and husband, Chris. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in History and went on to receive her M.F.A. at NYU's Graduate Film Division.


Talia Kleinhendler & Osnat Handelsman Keren - Producers

Talia Kleinhendler & Osnat Handelsman Keren are the producing team behind Pie Films, one of Israel’s most prolific and successful production companies. Pie Films produces multiple award-winning films, set up as international co-productions, which have premiered in Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Toronto. The company successfully combines years of experience in production, acquisitions and distribution in the international market and is now expanding into the English language market with a diverse slate of projects. The company’s first English Language production THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER remade from their Israeli film by the same name, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and written and directed by Sara Colangelo, will premiere at Sundance 2018 as part of the US dramatic competition.


Selected Filmography:


· WOMEN'S BALCONY, directed by Emil Ben Shimon, written by Shlomit Nehama.

Official selection Toronto film festival 2016, Israel’s #1 box office hit of 2016, one of the 5 top grossing foreign language films in the US Box Office 2017.

· THE KIND WORDS, written & directed by Shemi Zarhin.. Completed. Official selection Toronto film festival 2015.

· THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, written and directed by Nadav Lapid Critic’s Week special presentation, Cannes Film Festival 2014 Winner silver Giraldillo Seville film Festival, Winner best director & best actress Goa film festival, Official selection: Jerusalem Film Festival 2014, London IFF 2014, New Directors New Films 2015, Viennale 2014, Busan IFF 2014 and many more. Jerusalem Film Lab development Grant winner 2012.

· THE FAREWELL PARTY, Written and Directed by Sharon Maymon & Tal Granit.. Winner audience award Venice Days, Venice Film festival 2014, Toronto Iff 2014, winner best actress Valliadolid IFF, Haifa Iff 2014. Berlinale talent campus 2012.

· BETHLEHEM, Written and Directed by Yuval Adler .Winner 6 Israeli academy awards including best Film 2013.

Winner Best Film, Best Actor Haifa IFF 2013, Winner Fedeora award Venice film Festival 2013 , Toronto IFF 2013, Rio de Janeiro IFF 2013, Berlinale co-production Market 2009.

· HUMAN RESOURCES, directed by Eran Riklis . Winner Audience Award Locarno IFF 2010, and 5 Israeli Film Academy awards.

· AJAMI, written and directed by Yaron Shani & Scandar Copti Winner Special Mention – Camera D'or 2009, Winner 5 Israeli Academy award including best picture, Nominated for the Oscars – best foreign language film, Winner Southerland Trophy London IFF, Winner Best Film Montpellier IFF, Winner best film Thessaloniki IFF, Winner Best Film Jerusalem IFF.



Trudie Styler – Producer

Styler is co-founder and partner of New York-based production hedge Maven Pictures, the company behind recently acclaimed feature films GIRL MOST LIKELY (2012), starring Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon; FILTH (2013), starring James McAvoy; BLACK NATIVITY (2013), starring Forest Whitaker; and STILL ALICE (2014), starring Julianne Moore. Styler’s narrative directorial debut, FREAK SHOW, which Maven produced with Flower Films, stars Bette Midler, Alex Lawther, Abigail Breslin, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson, Laverne Cox, and John McEnroe. The film debuted to a sold-out crowd at the Berlin Film Festival and was purchased for domestic distribution by IFC.

Prior to founding Maven with partner Celine Rattray, Styler’s many feature production credits include Guy Ritchie’s LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS (1998) and SNATCH (2000), as well as A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS (2006), starring Robert Downey Jr. and Shia LaBeouf, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, winning both the Directing Award and the Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. Styler also produced the BAFTA award-winning film MOON (2009), written and directed by Duncan Jones, released by Sony Pictures Classics. Additionally, Styler has produced numerous documentaries, including the award-winning MOVING THE MOUNTAIN and THE LOST ART OF ORATORY (2009), co-produced with the BBC.

In 1989, Styler and her husband Sting started the Rainforest Fund, an organization devoted to protecting rainforests and their indigenous peoples in South America, Africa and Asia, raising more than $30 million for the cause. As a long-time UNICEFF ambassador, Styler has raised millions for their projects around the globe.


Celine Rattray - Producer

Celine Rattray has over thirty independent films under her belt as a producer, including thirteen Sundance Film Festival selections, eleven Toronto Film Festival selections and one Berlin International Film Festival selection. She won a Golden Globe and received an Oscar nomination for Lisa Choldenko's 2010 Oscar-nominated hit film THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. Prior to producing film, Ms. Rattray was the Director of Marketing and Business Development for HBO. Rattray graduated with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Oxford University. She currently serves on the Board of BAFTA New York.


Ged Dickersin – Co-Producer

Ged Dickersin has been working on feature films for 30 years, starting out as an intern on John Sayles' Eight Men Out, and working his way up as a location manager on films like Jim Jarmusch’s GHOST DOG. Since 2004, Ged has been a UPM, line producer and producer on over 30 feature films including IRA & ABBY, THE EDUCATION OF CHARLIE BANKS, THE GUITAR, NOTORIOUS BIG, CITY ISLAND, WELCOME TO NEW YORK, THE HUMBLING, TALLULAH, and most recently I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW and THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER.


Mary Lena Colston – Production Design

Mary formed a passion for visual storytelling at a young age with a love of drawing and illustration. In high school she was accepted into the prestigious North Carolina School of the arts’ Visual Arts program studying fine arts, design and sculpture. Later combining a lifelong love of cinema and visual arts she graduated with BFA in Film Set Design. Consequently, Mary approaches every film as an artist. She has been working as a Production Designer, Art Director and conceptual artist in the NY film and commercial world.


Her most recent Production Design credits include THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER (2018) directed by Sara Colangelo, staring Maggie Gyllenhaal produced by Maven Pictures. BOARDING SCHOOL (2018) a horror drama directed by Boaz Yakin, starring Will Patton, Sterling Jerins and new comer Luke Prael. LILY + MARA directed by Caroline Roberts, starring Oona Laurence. And BIOTIC a promotional short film for 20th Century Foxes' ALIEN: COVENANT, directed by Zev Deans.


Mary currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and is a member of USA 829.


Marc Vives - Editor

Marc Vives is a celebrated editor, with many of his projects featured in festivals such as the Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance, and the Berlinale. He has recently worked on projects such as THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, AARDVARK, and LITTLE BOXES. His work has encompassed fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid works, and has often been characterized by a bold visual and formal style. In 2013 he was co-nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing for Jem Cohen’s MUSEUM HOURS. Also that year, he attended the Sundance Institute Director’s Lab and worked with director Pamela Romanowsky, with whom he would later collaborate on her film THE ADDERALL DIARIES. Marc has twice served as an editing mentor for IFP’s Narrative Independent Filmmaker Lab, and has given editing workshops at UnionDocs in Brooklyn and at the University of Texas. He is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and lives in Brooklyn with his wonderful wife and adorable cat.


Lee Percy - Editor

Lee Percy won the Emmy in 2010 for the HBO production of TAKING CHANCE and was nominated that same year for GREY GARDENS. Both films were again nominated for American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards (by editors for editors) and Lee took home the Eddie, this time for GREY GARDENS. He recently completed THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US, with Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, directed Hany Abu-Assad for 20th Century Fox.

Originally trained as an actor at the Juilliard School Lee credits this with helping him shape performances that garnered Oscars for such actors as William Hurt in KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, Jeremy Irons in REVERSAL OF FORTUNE, Hilary Swank in BOYS DON'T CRY, as well as a nomination for Catalina Sandina Moreno in MARIA FULL OF GRACE. He enjoys the mixture of independent projects such as Sundance Grand Prize Winner THE BELIEVER and studio productions like SALT with Angelina Jolie. Long associated with Barbet Schroeder, one of the progenitors of French New Wave cinema, on such films as BEFORE AND AFTER with Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson, KISS OF DEATH with Nicolas Cage and Samuel Jackson, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, with Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Lee, as well as REVERSAL OF FORTUNE which starred Glenn Close along with Irons. Percy has also worked with such Hollywood powerhouses as Oliver Stone, Philip Noyce, Kathryn Bigelow, Harold Ramis and was reunited with Kimberly Peirce on her film CARRIE. Percy was Supervising Producer on Starzstylish series MAGIC CITY. Recently Percy wrote and directed the award-winning short, DREAMING AMERICAN, and is at work on the feature version. Percy is a regular Creative Advisor for the Independent Feature Project, as well as the Sundance Directors Lab, where he helped initiate a post-production intensive program.


Pepe Avila Del Pino – Director of Photography

Pepe started his career as a narrative and commercial director in Mexico. He then joined the NYU’s grad film program where he started exploring cinematography and shooting short films, commercials and music videos. In 2012 he received the Volker Bahnemann Award for Cinematography from ARRI-CSC and he shot the feature film BLACK DOG, RED DOG, starring Chloe Sevigny and Olivia Wilde. In 2015 he lensed the first season of Cinemax’s series Quarry, a drama set in 70’s Memphis with Logan Marshall-Green, and he also shot the HBO pilot for David Simon’s show THE DEUCE, directed by Michelle McLaren, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco. By shooting the first two episodes of OZARK, Pepe was responsible for setting the look of the Netflix TV series directed by Jason Bateman. Pepe also shot the TV pilot for IMPULSE, directed by Doug Liman, and an episode of Amazon’s PHILIP K DICK'S ELECTRIC DREAMS directed by Dee Rees. His most recent project is the feature film THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER written and directed by Sara Colangelo. Pepe is now nominated for an ASC award for his work on THE DEUCE. As a director, he has been shooting for brands like Pepsi, Cinemex, Campbells, Jumex and Armani. His spot ELLA for Armani received the AICP award and is now part of the permanent collection of the film department at New York´s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).


Jenny Halper – Executive Producer

Jenny is Maven's Director of Production and Development, and has worked on films including THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, THE WHISTLEBLOWER, BERNIE, STILL ALICE, NOVITIATE, FREAK SHOW and AMERICAN HONEY. Jenny is always on the lookout for distinctive stories with strong female characters. A graduate of Northwestern and Emerson, where she received a 2008 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Grant, she is an Our Stories Emerging Writer Award winner, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a Sloan Grantee via the Tribeca Film Institute. Her adaptation of Laura Van Den Berg's short story "What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us," now titled THE BURNING SEASON, placed on the Athena List and the 2016 Black List and will be directed by Claire McCarthy. Prior to working at Maven she was a founding member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.


Nic Marshall – Executive Producer

Nic oversees physical production and post production for Maven Pictures. Most recently, Nic served as Executive Producer on THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, and WILDLING, starring Liv Tyler and Bel Powley. Her other credits include FREAK SHOW, AMERICAN HONEY, 10,000 SAINTS, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT and BERNIE.


MAVEN PICTURES

Maven Pictures, co-founded by partners Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler, is a transatlantic development, production, and financing company. Styler a BAFTA-nominated producer (LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, MOON) and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Rattray (who won a Golden Globe for THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) focus on innovative storytelling with premiere talent. Together, they work to produce high quality independent films while taking advantage of cultural resources in New York and London and working with top tier filmmakers.


Over the course of its five years, Maven has produced numerous films and staked out a reputation as a high-quality film production company with a dedicated mission to greater representation for women filmmakers and female-centered stories. Illustrating this fusion, Maven produced STILL ALICE, which starred Julianne Moore as a linguistic professor confronted with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The film was a critical hit and earned Moore the Academy Award for Best Actress. In the same vein, in 2016, Maven joined up with acclaimed auteur Andrea Arnold for her Cannes award winning feature, AMERICAN HONEY, which went on to win four British Film Independent Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Other Maven films include Richard Linklater’s indie-darling BERNIE, FILTH, starring James McAvoy and the second highest R-rated film in the 2012 UK box office, and Kasi Lemmons’ BLACK NATIVITY, which starred Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker. Maven is currently in post-production on several films, and is developing several projects with two-time Academy Award nominated actress Jessica Chastain.


CREDITS


A Pie Films Production, in Association with Maven Pictures and PaperChase Films, Manhattan Productions, Imagination Park Entertainment


Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Anna Baryshnikov, Rosa Salazar with Michael Chernus and Gael Garcia Bernal


THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER


Written and directed by: Sara Colangelo


Based on a film by: Nadav Lapid


Produced by: Talia Kleinhendler, Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Celine Rattray,Trudie Styler.


Director of Photography: Pepe Avila Del Pino


Production Designer: Mary Colston


Costume Designer: Vanessa Porter


Edited by: Marc Vives, Lee Percy


Music by: Asher Goldshmidt


Sound Design and Mix: Gil Toren


Casting by: Stephanie Holbrook, Henry Russel Bergstein


Executive Producers: Tmira Yardeni, Carole Scotta, Nadav Lapid, Pia Getty, Jenny Halper, Nic Marshall, Dillon D Jordan, Christopher S. Burke, Chip Rosenbloom ,Stephen Mao, Brendan Walsh, Bradley J. Ross, Gabriel Napora, Lee Broda, Jeff Rice


Co-Producer: Ged Dickersin


Casting Consultant: Bonnie Timmermann


Logos: Pie Films, Maven Pictures, PaperChase Films



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