Beloved: About The Filmmakers

Buy this video from

Books from
Buy The Book.

Music from
Buy The Soundtrack.

Director/Producer JONATHAN DEMME won the Academy Award® for Best Director for "The Silence of the Lambs" in 1991, which received a total of five Oscars® including Best Picture. His most recent feature film as director, 1993’s "Philadelphia," earned Tom Hanks an Oscar® for Best Actor. Demme also directed the Robyn Hitchcock concert film "Storefront Hitchcock."

An alumnus of Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, Demme made his directorial debut with the genre classic "Caged Heat" (1974). His additional directing credits include, "Married to the Mob" (1988), "Swimming to Cambodia" (1988), "Something Wild" (1986), "Stop Making Sense" (1984), which received the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Documentary, and "Melvin and Howard," for which Demme was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics.

Demme served as producer of "That Thing You Do!" (1996), "Philadelphia," "Miami Blues" (1990), "Something Wild," "The Hot Box" (1972; co-written with Joe Viola for Roger Corman); and "Angels Hard As They Come" (1971; also co-written with Joe Viola for Roger Corman). He executive produced the films "Household Saints" (1993), "The Silence of the Lambs," "Devil in a Blue Dress" (1995) and "Ulee’s Gold" (1997).

Demme is well-known as a documentary filmmaker, having directed "Cousin Bobby" (1991) and the Grammy Award-winning "The Making of Sun City" (1986). He produced "One Foot on a Banana Peel, the Other in the Grave" (1993) and "Into the Rope" (1997).

Demme recently produced "Mandela," the Academy Award®-nominated biographical documentary of South African President Nelson Mandela.

For television, Demme has directed Beth Henley’s "A Family Tree," "Accumulation With Talking Plus Water Motor," a dance film featuring Trisha Brown, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s "Who Am I This Time?" as well as music videos for the Neville Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Suzanne Vega, KRS-1, Sandra Bernhardt, the Feelies and UB40, among others. He also produced "Women & Men II&emdash;A Domestic Dilemma" for HBO and serves as executive producer on HBO’s "Subway Stories" series.

Demme is a founding member of the organization Artists for Democracy in Haiti and produced the album Konbit, a collection of Haitian music, in addition to directing a video for Les Frères Parent. Demme produced the documentaries "Haiti: Dreams of Democracy&emdash;Part I" (1987; co-directed with Jo Menell) and most recently, "Courage and Pain" (1997; directed by Patricia Benoit). He also served as producer on "Haiti: Dreams of Democracy&emdash;Part II&emdash;Tonbé Levé (‘Fall Down/Get Up’)" (1992).

AKOSUA BUSIA (Screenplay by) is a multi-talented screenwriter, author and actress. Born into the Royal House of Wenchi, she is the youngest daughter of an Ashanti Chief and former Prime Minister of Ghana, West Africa.

Busia first worked with Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover in Steven Spielberg’s film of Alice Walker’s "The Color Purple" in which Busia played Nettie. Busia is also an author whose debut novel, The Seasons of Beento Blackbird, was published in 1997 and is now in its third printing. She is currently at work on her second novel.

Busia earned a scholarship to Lord Laurence Olivier’s Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Among Busia’s acting credits are the feature films "Ashanti," "Final Terror," "Crossroads," "The Seventh Sign," "Native Son" and "Mad City"; the stage productions "Gloo Joo," "Mule Bone," "Valley Song," "Eden" and "The Talented Tenth"; and, for television, "Anno Domini," "Louisian," "Late Starter," "Babies Having Babies," "The George McKenna Story," "Brother Future" and "Dead Man’s Walk."

RICHARD LaGRAVENESE (Screenplay by) was honored with an Academy Award® nomination for his first original screenplay, "The Fisher King," released in 1991.

Other writing credits include, "The Bridges of Madison County," "The Ref" (which he also produced) and the critically acclaimed "A Little Princess." His screenplay for "Unstrung Heroes" served as Diane Keaton’s outstanding feature film directorial debut and was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in the prestigious "Un Certain Regard" series.

More recently, LaGravenese wrote the screenplay for "The Mirror Has Two Faces," directed by Barbra Streisand and shared screenplay credit for the adaptation of Nicholas Evans’ best-selling novel, The Horse Whisperer, directed by Robert Redford.

LaGravenese will make his feature directorial debut with the upcoming "Living Out Loud" from his own screenplay, inspired by the short stories of Anton Chekhov. Opening this fall, the film stars Holly Hunter, Danny DeVito and Queen Latifah.

ADAM BROOKS (Screenplay by) co-wrote the soon to be released "Practical Magic," which stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. His previous screenplay credits include the romantic comedy "French Kiss," directed by Lawrence Kasdan, which starred Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline, the Academy Award® nominated short "Duke of Groove," directed by Griffin Dunne, and the television movie "Heads."

The Canadian-born Brooks is also a talented director, having made his directorial debut with the super-8 feature, "Ghost Sisters." He directed "Almost You," starring Griffin Dunne and Brooke Adams, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. He also directed the children’s television movie, "Red Riding Hood," starring Isabella Rosselini.

He is currently adapting the American version of the Belgian film "La Promesse" for Jonathan Demme’s film company, Clinica Estitico.

The volume of critical and popular acclaim that has arisen around the work of TONI MORRISON (Based on the novel by) is virtually unparalleled in modern letters. Her six major novels: The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Sula, Tar Baby, Beloved, and Jazz, have collected nearly every major literary prize. Ms. Morrison received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977 for Song of Solomon. In 1987, Beloved was award the Pulitzer Prize. Her body of work was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Other major awards include: the 1996 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Pearl Buck Award (1944), the title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Paris, 1994), and the 1978 Distinguished Writer Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ms. Morrison was appointed Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University in the spring of 1989. Before coming to Princeton, she held teaching posts at Yale University, Bard College, and Rutgers University. In 1990 she delivered the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Massey Lectures at Harvard University. Ms. Morrison was also a senior editor at Random House for twenty years. She has degrees from Howard and Cornell Universities.

Ms. Morrison’s latest novel, Paradise, was published by Knopf on January 15, 1998. In it, Ms. Morrison tells the story of Ruby, OK, a fictional town populated exclusively by African-Americans. It is her most ambitious work to date, executing changes of time and place with consummate skill.

A host of colleges and universities have given honorary degrees to Ms. Morrison. Among them are Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, Yale University, Columbia University, and Brown University. Ms. Morrison was commissioned by Carnegie Hall in 1992 to write lyrics for "Honey and Me," an original piece of music by Andre Previn. The lyrics were sung in performance by Kathleen Battle. In 1997, she wrote the lyrics for "Sweet Talk," which was written by Richard Danielpour and performed in concert by Jessye Norman. Ms. Morrison lives in Princeton, New Jersey and upstate New York.

Producer EDWARD SAXON has enjoyed a prolific collaboration with Jonathan Demme for well over a decade. Saxon is partnered with Demme in Clinica Estetico, Ltd, a production company active in developing and producing feature films, documentaries, television programs, soundtracks and music videos.

Saxon won the Academy Award® for Best Picture as a producer of "The Silence of the Lambs," directed by Demme. He also produced "Philadelphia," "Married to the Mob," and with director Tom Hanks, "That Thing You Do!"

He recently executive produced the critically acclaimed drama "Ulee’s Gold," in addition to "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Something Wild," "Miami Blues," "Swimming to Cambodia," and the upcoming "Noose." Saxon is also an executive producer of HBO’s "Subway Stories."

Saxon produced the documentary "Mandela," which received an Academy Award® nomination. His credits as producer or executive producer also include "One Foot on a Banana Peel, the Other Foot in a Grave," "Cousin Bobby" and "Accumulation Talking Plus Water Motor."

Saxon is a co-founder of Artists for Democracy in Haiti, an advocacy network of artists working to change U.S. foreign policy with respect to Haiti, and serves as a board member of the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees. With Demme, he has produced or presented a series of documentaries chronicling the fight for democracy in Haiti, "Haiti: Dreams of Democracy," "Killing the Dream," "Tonbé Levé" and most recently, "Courage and Pain."

Producer GARY GOETZMAN is a long-time collaborator with filmmaker Jonathan Demme, having first served as production manager on Demme’s 1972 directorial debut, "Caged Heat."

His producing credits include "That Thing You Do!" "The Silence of the Lambs," "Philadelphia," "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Miami Blues," "Modern Girls" and "Stop Making Sense," the critically acclaimed feature starring The Talking Heads.

Producer KATE FORTE is executive vice president of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, which produces feature films and made-for-television movies. She is responsible for producing all films for the company.

Under the Harpo banner, Forte produced the critically acclaimed television movie "There Are No Children Here," which starred Oprah Winfrey, and the Emmy-nominated ABC Afterschool Special "Girlfriend." She is actively developing many projects for ABC as part of the "Oprah Winfrey Presents" franchise, a collection of high caliber, feature quality made-for-television movies, delivering two movies per year to the network during the sweeps period. Their first production, "Before Women Had Wings," starring Ellen Barkin, Tina Majorino and Oprah Winfrey, premiered in November 1997. An adaptation of Harlem Renaissance writer Dorothy West’s The Wedding, starring Halle Berry and directed by Charles Burnett, aired in February 1998. Their third Oprah Winfrey Presents, "David and Lisa," airs in November.

As part of Harpo Film’s exclusive overall deal with The Walt Disney Studios, Forte is currently developing several feature film projects to follow "Beloved," including adaptations of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and Paradise by Toni Morrison.

RON BOZMAN (Executive Producer) earned an Academy Award® as one of the producers of the 1991 Best Picture "The Silence of the Lambs," directed by Jonathan Demme.

His previous producing credits with Demme include "Philadelphia," "Married to the Mob," "Miami Blues" and "Something Wild." He also produced "The Ref," "Waiting for the Light," "Eddie," and is currently Executive Producer of Universal Pictures’ "For Love of the Game."

TAK FUJIMOTO, A.S.C. (Director of Photography) previously photographed most of director Jonathan Demme’s films, beginning with his debut film "Caged Heat." Other films with Demme include "Philadelphia," "The Silence of the Lambs," "Married to the Mob," "Something Wild," "Swing Shift," "Melvin and Howard" and "Last Embrace."

He was awarded a National Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography on "Devil in a Blue Dress," which was executive produced by Demme and Edward Saxon.

His additional credits include "A Thousand Acres," "That Thing You Do!" (produced by Goetzman, Demme and Saxon), "Grumpier Old Men, "Night and the City," "Gladiator," "Miami Blues" (also produced by Demme, Goetzman and Saxon), "Sweethearts Dance," "Cocoon: The Return," "Pretty in Pink," "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," "Heart Like A Wheel," "Death Race 2000" and "Badlands."

KRISTI ZEA (Production Designer/2nd Unit Director) previously collaborated with Jonathan Demme on "Philadelphia" (on which she also served as 2nd unit director), "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Married to the Mob." She also directed a segment of HBO’s "Women & Men II," which Demme produced.

Zea’s impressive list of credits also includes "Sleepers," "GoodFellas," "The War," "Lorenzo’s Oil," "Lucas" and "Broadcast News" (also associate producer).

Most recently, she produced (with James L. Brooks and Bridget Johnson) the highly acclaimed Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award Best Picture nominated romantic comedy "As Good As It Gets," starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt in their Oscar®-winning roles.

CAROL LITTLETON, A.C.E. (Edited by) previously collaborated with director Jonathan Demme on the 1987 film "Swimming to Cambodia." She received an Academy Award® nomination for Steven Spielberg’s modern classic "ET: The Extraterrestrial."

Littleton has edited several films for director Lawrence Kasdan including, "Wyatt Earp," "Grand Canyon," "The Accidental Tourist," "Silverado," "The Big Chill" and "Body Heat." She recently re-teamed with "Places in the Heart" director Robert Benton on "Twilight."

Her credits also include "China Moon" (co-editor), "Benny & Joon," "White Palace," "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and "French Postcards."

ANDY KEIR (Edited by) edited the 1997 Academy Award®-nominated feature documentary "Mandela," which was produced by Jonathan Demme and Edward Saxon.

He also served as supervising editor of the HBO anthology series, "Subway Stories," which features the work of Abel Ferrara, Ted Demme and Julie Dash, among others.

Keir’s previous Clinica Estetico projects include "Neil Young: The Complex Sessions," "Courage and Pain," and "The Uttmost: A Producer’s Life."

Keir most recently completed work on "Storefront Hitchcock," a concert film starring cult musician Robyn Hitchcock, directed by Demme.

RACHEL PORTMAN (Music Composed and Orchestrated by) won the 1997 Academy Award® for Best Original Score for "Emma." The British native has scored (and usually orchestrated) more than 25 motion pictures and over 20 films for television.

Portman’s feature film credits include "Addicted To Love," "Marvin’s Room," "Palookaville," "The Adventures of Pinocchio," "Smoke," "The Road to Wellville," "Only You," "Sirens," "War of the Buttons," "Benny & Joon," "Ethan Frome" and "The Joy Luck Club." She collaborated with director Beeban Kidron on the films "To Wong Foo: Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar," "Used People," "Antonia and Jane," and on the British telefilm "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit." She has paired with director Mike Leigh on the film "Life is Sweet," and on the British telefilm "The Short and Curlies."

Among her many works for television in America and England are "Great Moments in Aviation," "The Cloning of Joanna May," the miniseries "Jim Henson’s The Story Teller: Greek Myths," "The Widowmaker," "Living With Dinosaurs," "The Woman in Black," "Young Charlie Chaplin," "A Little Princess," "Four Days in July" and "Precious Bane."

Costume designer COLLEEN ATWOOD earned an Academy Award® nomination for Gillian Armstrong’s "Little Women." Prior to "Beloved" Ms. Atwood designed costumes for Jonathan Demme’s "Philadelphia," "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Married to the Mob."

She has worked with Tim Burton on "Mars Attacks!," "Edward Scissorhands," and "Ed Wood." Her credits also include Tom Hanks’ directorial debut "That Thing You Do," as well as "Gattica," "Wyatt Earp," "Lorenzo’s Oil," "Rush," "Torch Song Trilogy," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Manhunter."

Ms. Atwood is currently designing Tim Burton’s "Sleepy Hollow."

Back to "Beloved"

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.