Ryan Gosling stars as Luke and Eva Mendes stars as Romina in Derek Cianfrance's sweeping emotional drama, THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, a Focus Features release. Credit: Atsushi Nishijima. All rights reserved.
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The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)
Opened: 03/29/2013 Limited on 3/29; wide on April 19th
|Sunshine Cinema||03/29/2013 - 05/30/2013||63 days|
|AMC Empire 25||04/05/2013 - 05/30/2013||56 days|
|Clearview Chel...||04/05/2013 - 05/16/2013||42 days|
|NoHo 7||04/12/2013 - 05/09/2013||28 days|
|Claremont 5||04/12/2013 - 05/02/2013||21 days|
|AMC Loews Meth...||04/19/2013 - 05/09/2013||21 days|
|AMC Deer Valley||04/19/2013 - 05/09/2013||21 days|
|Showcase Cinem...||04/19/2013 - 05/09/2013||21 days|
|Quad Cinema/NYC||06/14/2013 - 06/20/2013||7 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
Genre: Crime Drama
Rated: R for language throughout, some violence, teen drug and alcohol use, and a sexual reference.
From the Director of BLUE VALENTINE
The daring new movie from the director of Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines is a sweeping emotional drama powerfully exploring the unbreakable bond between fathers and sons.
Luke (Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling) is a high-wire motorcycle stunt performer who travels with the carnival from town to town. While passing through Schenectady in upstate New York, he tries to reconnect with a former lover, Romina (Eva Mendes), only to learn that she has given birth to their son Jason in his absence. Luke decides to give up life on the road to try and provide for his newfound family by taking a job as a car mechanic. Noticing Luke's ambition and talents, his employer Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) proposes to partner with Luke in a string of spectacular bank robberies -- which will place Luke on the radar of ambitious rookie cop Avery Cross (Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper).
Avery, who has to navigate a local police department ruled by the menacing and corrupt detective Deluca (Ray Liotta), is also struggling to balance his professional life with his family life, which includes his wife Jennifer (Rose Byrne) and their infant son AJ. The consequences of Avery's confrontation with Luke will reverberate into the next generation. It is then that the two sons, Jason (Dane DeHaan) and AJ (Emory Cohen), must face their fateful, shared legacy.
Q&A with filmmaker Derek Cianfrance
Ultimately, what do you see The Place Beyond the Pines as being about?
Derek Cianfrance: It's about legacy-- what we're born with and what we pass on. It's about the choices we make and how those choices echo throughout generations. It's a classic tale of the sins of the father being visited upon the son.
Does this picture relate to your previous films?
It does, in that I am drawn to tell stories about families. My first film, Brother Tied, was about brothers. Blue Valentine was about husbands and wives. Pines is about fathers and sons. A theme that runs through Blue and Pines is the nature of masculine identity, reinvention or transformation of the self for a man over a period of time.
I feel that the cinema is a place where secrets are told. It's a place where we can travel to intimate places, to homes and bedrooms, and can witness private moments that reflect our own lives. Whereas Blue looked at this intimacy -- a singular relationship -- under a microscope, I wanted a larger palette and a larger scope for Pines.
This movie tells three linear stories: a motorcycle stunt rider turns to a life of crime to support his newborn son, an ambitious rookie cop takes on a corrupt police department rather than confront his own demons, and two troubled teenage boys confront the mysteries of their past by battling each other.
Going in sequence, how did Luke's [played by Ryan Gosling] story take shape?
Well, a number of years ago when Ryan Gosling and I were preparing Blue Valentine, it came up that there was this fantasy Ryan always had -- robbing a bank, on a motorcycle, and then making a very specific getaway. I said, "You've got to be kidding me, I'm writing that movie right now." He said, "I'm in!" We had both imagined it in an identical way. That was one of several moments when I knew Ryan and I were meant to make more than one film together.
What did the concept evolve into, for his character?
Luke is a guy who has this dark and mysterious past. He's seen and done a lot, and had a lot happen to him. He's damaged, wounded-- a person who is kind of covered, not necessarily in scars, but in these tattoos that are signs of the pain he has experienced. This comes across in the one on his face; he's marked by that and he lives with it. He's like a big cat in a small cage. This is the kind of guy that 1960s girl groups like the Shangri-Las used to sing about. He's a bit of a walking contradiction -- wounded and scarred on the inside, but with a wall of armor on the outside; the muscles, the hair...Ryan and I talked about how Luke gets lost in his own self-mythologizing.
Luke performs in a traveling motorcycle show, bringing his pain from town to town, from girl to girl, from heartache to heartache. The show comes back to this place he'd been a year earlier, Schenectady, NY, and he finds that a woman he'd had a fling with there, Romina [played by Eva Mendes], has had a baby. The moment he sees the baby, the moment the baby sees him, changes the course of his life forever. Here's a guy who is clearly tainted, and he sees this thing that he created, this thing that is pure and that has no hate, no cynicism, no marks; he doesn't even feel like he can hold the baby because it's so clean. And in that moment his life suddenly has purpose, it has meaning. While he has no real skills to be a father, he becomes a force of love -- and that is a dangerous force.
Romina is torn. She loves this guy. But she knows he's unsafe and so she must choose between security and love, between her son and his father.
Luke's story is not yet concluded when we meet Avery (Bradley Cooper).
That's right; I have always loved Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, and how the movie managed that amazing hand-off from Janet Leigh to Tony Perkins as the protagonist. I wanted to do something similar.
I also wanted to show real consequences to the characters' actions, especially once guns come into the story. There is a glorified gun culture in movies and in this country; I wanted to explore the effect, the aftermath.
How does Avery get to the point where we meet him, and then afterwards?
This is a guy who, since childhood, has had the ability to see and find his way. He's been the high road example, known and renowned for his best traits: a good fellow, popular, fair, honest, truthful, strong, high IQ. Avery has been born into this small city's royalty, being the son of a powerful judge [played by Harris Yulin]. Everyone in his life -- his dad, his college sweetheart [played by Rose Byrne] who he's married -- assumes that Avery will follow in his father's footsteps. Only Avery wants to be his own man. Against his father's wishes, he has dropped out of law school to build himself from the ground up. Nobody understands why he would resist the silver spoon. So when we first meet Avery, he is a 28-year-old rookie cop...
...and, on duty, he makes a mistake. That creates a toxic shame in him, one which he can't speak about. He is now in a state of being wrong for the first time and is painfully aware of his guilt. Meanwhile, the world considers him a hero and so he feels like even more of a sham, and inadequate.
This inner conflict creates a gulf in Avery's relationship with his wife and young child, and also puts him at odds with growing corruption at work. So he must choose: battle against the demons inside him, or go to battle against people in real life? He decides to bury his own problems and focus on problems in the world. So he goes out and he does good things. But to not heal the wounds inside himself and to try to fix everything else around him is a tragic flaw, one which will haunt him.
These are two very different characters. How about the actors playing them?
They are both much more than actors in this film, they are true collaborators. Ryan and Bradley both have tremendous instincts for character and story and dialogue, and they are both brave enough to go to the vulnerable places I needed them to go to up on the screen. They each do a lot of research and go the distance for you.
Ryan has this incredible presence and charisma on-screen and in real life. He's inherently interesting and cinematic, but he also makes everyone around him better. I have learned so much from him, and feel incredibly fortunate each time I collaborate with him. Now we have more of a shorthand, and can get at what we want even faster.
When I met Bradley, I saw that he had the same kind of charisma that Ryan has. But the thing that sold me on Bradley more than anything else was how hard he worked. After meeting with him a couple of times I went back to the script and reworked the character, because I knew Bradley could go deeper than I originally had in mind.
I think the reason Pines works is because Ryan and Bradley are not only movie stars and great actors, but also compelling human beings. Each brings a different energy to the movie, creating a balance and also a dichotomy.
What is the significance of the imagery of the trees, and why exactly are they pines?
Let's start with the title -- the Iroquois translation of Schenectady is "the place beyond the pines." Schenectady is where my wife grew up. So I have been going up there for a decade visiting her family, and it's such an interesting place. There are different tribes in a contemporary city. It has a rich history and it's definitely in the midst of the economic struggle. My co-writer, Ben Coccio, who grew up there, describes it as a smaller version of Detroit. Ben came up with the title of the movie, and I loved it because it has a literal meaning -- there is a clearing that characters visit on-screen -- and other, more metaphorical meanings; it's where you can find your demons, or your destiny, or both.
We shot the film in Schenectady for 47 days, which was a long time given our budget. Because of my training in documentary film, it was important to me to shoot in real places -- I felt strongly that it could only be made in Schenectady -- and to surround the actors with real people as much as possible to give the film that sense of place and truth. So we shot in live locations: a functioning police station with Schenectady police officers, a working hospital with nurses and patients in the next room, an active fair with 500 people who we were counting on not to look into the camera lens, real banks with real bank tellers and bank managers who had been robbed before, and a high school with actual students. This was all to lend authenticity to the moments we were capturing. I asked everyone everywhere -- cops, bank tellers, doctors, judges -- to make sure that the scenes we were doing were true. And if I was told that they weren't, then I would rewrite scenes on the spot until we were being honest.
Aside from Schenectady itself, where did your inspiration come for this story?
It started with Abel Gance. In film school, I saw his Napoleon, which plays out on three screens at once. So I became obsessed with the idea of making a triptych film. I had been a student with Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon, who rooted me in aesthetics and formalism. However, Phil used to always tell me, "Form must illuminate content." I thought I could make the three screens sing, but I didn't know the song. So I kept marinating on the idea of three until I had a story with purpose.
In 2007, a few months before the birth of my second son, the film finally came to me. I had been thinking a lot about being a father and becoming one again and the responsibility that came with it, what I was going to pass down to my new boy.
That got me to thinking about the fire I felt inside me, which had been with me for as long as I could remember. It helped me to do many things. But it was also, many times, a destructive and painful force. It shapes who you become, but you have to take control of it. I knew that my father also had this fire in him, and his father as well...I started wondering how many generations back it went. I began to wish that my new boy would be born without this fire. I didn't want to give him all of my pain and mistakes; I wanted him to have his own path.
I had also been reading just about everything that Jack London wrote, and I was taken with the idea of legacy and the calling-back of ancestors -- which happens in The Call of the Wild. You want your bloodline to survive, to be better than you. I thought about how time does things to people and their families. I felt I now had a story to tell.
Did you start writing the script at that time?
Not until I went out to find somebody to write with, because I simply cannot write alone; I'm a filmmaker because I like working with others. If I wanted to create alone, I would be a painter.
I was introduced to Ben Coccio, who made this great underappreciated movie Zero Day. We met at The Donut Pub in NYC and he told me he was from Schenectady. We hit it off: we had read the same books, watched the same films growing up -- GoodFellas is a favorite -- and we had read the same books. Ben latched on to the idea of Pines; he just lit up. I went off to keep trying to make Blue Valentine, and he started writing.
Blue took a while longer, and Ben kept writing. I'd give notes on Pines and every so often we would work on it together. The first draft was over 160 pages. Ben would always reference Giant, and his script was definitely ambitious. When Ben and I started writing together at length, we spent a lot of time refining the script.
What was the involvement of the third credited screenwriter, Darius Marder?
About four months before we started filming Pines, my good friend Darius got involved. His documentary feature Loot was all about fathers and sons, men who were haunted by their past; I knew he had a handle on those themes. He and I have kids in the same school -- there's more of a connection with fathers and sons -- and we would drop our kids off in the morning and write all day until we had to go pick them up. The story and the characters continued to jell. This movie was so big it did take all three writers to get it together. By the time of filming, we'd hit 37 drafts.
Again, as with Blue, I considered all of the actors in the film to be true collaborators. That could also mean being additional writers; I was always urging them to go off-script and make it fresh, make it alive, make it true.
This had a bigger cast than Blue Valentine. Did that affect your direction of the actors?
Not really. There was complete commitment from our actors. There were no fancy hotels in Schenectady, and we couldn't afford big trailers. Our preparation and shooting schedules required incredible amounts of time and energy, and we were filming in places with bee hives and mosquito infestations. I never heard a complaint.
I had a dream cast, and I am eternally indebted to them. To think that Ray Liotta is actually in one of my movies, after seeing GoodFellas dozens of times in the movie theater when I was a teenager...
What was the rehearsal process like? Was there extensive improvisation, like on Blue Valentine?
Yes. To me, process is everything. The experience of making a film is what's important. I love shooting, I love working with actors. I love being surprised, I love making discoveries. I love it when things break, when they don't go as planned.
On Blue, we were dealing with love as a theme, which is universal; everyone knows what it feels like to be in love. So the points of reference for the actors were inside themselves. On Pines, not everyone has robbed a bank; not everyone has been a cop or know people who have been or are. So there was a lot more research to be done.
What kind of research?
Ben Mendelsohn [who plays Luke's friend Robin] and I met with this guy who had robbed a half-dozen banks in Schenectady -
How did you get ahold of him?
Ben and I wanted to get an accurate perspective. So we asked the police in Schenectady if they could make an introduction. All of a sudden, they showed up at my office with a guy who was fresh out of prison and open with us about everything. I remember him saying, "The one thing movies get wrong is, bank robberies are messy in real life but in movies they are always perfect." So we also went to local banks and talked with people there, some of whom had been through robberies. I'd ask, "Tell me how it happened with you." Our guy from prison had done these robberies but...well, the word the people used was "nicely," so he'd served less time.
So the police department cooperated a lot with the production?
Yes. Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta, and the actors playing Avery's fellow cops spent time with the real officers in Schenectady. They did ride-alongs and then went into households where calls had come in from, and got invited over for family feasts. One thing we changed in the script as a result was Avery being the only cop in his police car; in Schenectady, they don't ride with partners.
Bradley wore the chain of St. Michael, the patron saint of the police. He learned about holding a gun, about protocol, about why police offers chew gum -- it's to keep calm, they call it their "Prozac." He and I talked to a police officer who had been shot in the line of duty and had also killed someone in the line of duty -- which, he told us, was harder to get over. He's still not over it.
It was total and complete immersion so that we could learn everything we needed. We were open to throwing anything away if it wasn't true. We tried to make everyone who helped us proud.
What about those actors who weren't playing cops or robbers?
It was the same process. For instance, Rose Byrne spent time with divorced wives of cops and then she spent days playing house with Bradley Cooper -- days, mind you, when we weren't shooting. When an actor of Rose's caliber commits herself like this, it is a true gift. Same for Bruce Greenwood [who plays opposite Cooper as investigating D.A. Bill Killcullen], who shadowed the Schenectady D.A. for a week.
What did Eva Mendes bring to the film, and to the role of Romina?
I met Eva right after I did Blue Valentine. I had always been a fan of her work, especially in James Gray's We Own the Night. She has such a magnetic screen presence, and has often ended up in gratuitous roles as the sex object -- although I liked how slyly she played with that in The Other Guys. When Pines was coming together, I met with a number of actresses but I kept thinking about Eva. I had a hunch that, given the chance, she could knock this role out of the park.
Eva came to see me with no make-up on; she still looked beautiful, but it meant so much to me that she was trying not to. Instead of having her audition, I asked her to take me for a ride around Los Angeles and show me the places where she grew up. Sitting in the passenger's seat of her car, I saw the deep, thoughtful, warm, generous, unpredictable person inside Eva. She opened up about herself, her life, her past. I offered her the role.
She and Ryan had known each other a little before we shot, which added a tangible dimension to Luke and Romina's relationship on-screen.
The first scene we shot with Eva was the sex scene in the trailer with Ryan. I know she was terrified to do it because she was trembling, but she is brave; she embraced her fear and confronted it and bared her soul. The small crew that day was left speechless and inspired by her bravery -- which continued every day with her.
Can you talk about the action scenes, and how everyone approached those?
One thing Blue was noted for was its frank sexuality. On Pines, I wanted to approach the action scenes in the same way. They had to feel like they were happening in the real world, like the rest of the movie.
This meant that Ryan Gosling had to learn how to ride a motorcycle. The most complicated scene was where Luke goes into a bank, robs it, leaves the bank, escapes on his motorcycle, and drives at tremendously fast speeds through a busy intersection amidst lots of other cars while being pursued by a cop. All of this happens in a single take, no place to do a "Texas switch." So Ryan had to become very proficient on the bike. He trained with Rick Miller, one of the great Hollywood stunt men, six hours a day for two months. His prowess took our breath away. In order to get that scene completed, Ryan did 22 takes. Every time, he almost got hit.
For other scenes, it had to be stunt men. I was blessed with a great team of stunt drivers led by Brian Smyj. I felt they were excited to be a part of Pines because normally they would risk their lives doing a stunt for a massive movie and then see their death-defying feat reduced to 14 frames in the final product. I didn't want to cut within the action scenes. My points of reference were Cops and World's Wildest Police Videos. The stunt team was up for all that, but I will never forget the feeling in my stomach watching Rick Miller lay down his bike at 65 miles per hour for a shot. Those stunt guys and gals are true warriors.
Can you contextualize the third story, set 15 years after the earlier ones?
In a way, the first two acts of this movie serve as prologue to the third. It's in the third part of the film where legacy, what the movie is about, comes up.
Luke's son Jason [played by Dane DeHaan] is a kid who has grown up in a warm home. He has a good mother, a good stepfather, a lot of love in his house. But there's something missing from his life and he knows it. He has been lied to and protected from a truth, and that mystery won't let him go. He's heroic because he searches for that truth even if it will destroy him.
Avery's son AJ [played by Emory Cohen] is a kid who seemingly has a lot: born into money, he has his mother's love and attention. What he doesn't have -- and hasn't had -- is his father present in his life.
So both of these boys are missing a father, and they each deal with it in different ways. AJ doesn't really have a connection with his father; he's hurt by that, and everything he does is a scream for attention from his dad. He puts up barriers to act as if he is not hurting. AJ is a tragic character. He's this over-privileged kid who is popular but is filled with self-loathing and self-hatred. He has a lot of the qualities of his father.
How hard was it to cast these two roles?
I auditioned over 500 kids. Picking up from where Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper leave off in the movie is a mighty task. Very late in the casting process, I found Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen. Working with them was thrilling because they are both so good and so fresh.
Just as Ryan and Bradley are opposing dualities, so too are the boys. I remember the first audition I had with Dane and Emory opposite each other, this discussion of their favorite actor was. It turned into a fight, Dane insisting on James Dean or Al Pacino and Emory insisting on Marlon Brando or Robert De Niro. I figured that this conflict could carry over into the movie; once we got on the set, I'd just let that dynamic go!
You spent over a decade trying to make Blue Valentine, but it must have been easier getting the financing for this film.
During the 12 years on the bench waiting to make Blue, I prepared for other projects or opportunities. Because Blue had some level of success, I was able to put Pines together rather quickly.
The crew over at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment responded to the script. From my first meeting with them, it was clear that they were passionate about seeing the best version of the film. I am thankful to them because they gave me a lot of trust, space and time to make the film the way I wanted. They also pushed me to go further where and when I needed to while establishing the right boundaries, which I feel are important for a filmmaker like me. Those let me know where the edge is, so I can play close to the edge and not fall off. Without that, I might go on forever and get lost.
My producers -- Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, and Alex Orlovsky -- are exactly what I want out of producers. We did Blue together, and I hope to make every movie with them. They were the first people to read the Pines script besides Ryan. They challenge me. They aren't pushovers. When they have to, they defend me. They make the crazy dreams in my head come true.
So the production went smoothly?
With one huge exception: Hurricane Irene struck and Schenectady had its biggest floods in 500 years. The night before she hit, I moved my family out of the house where we were staying. The next morning the house was under 15 feet of water.
We had to cancel production because our equipment trucks were submerged. When I found out that we had two days' worth of filmed footage on one of the trucks, I was beside myself -- I've had film negative lost before. The camera department, led by first AC Ludovic Littee, took a canoe out to the truck and rescued our footage. We were back filming the next day.
Who else was on your crew, and what did they bring to the project creatively?
Our production designer Inbal Weinberg and her team made every room of every house fully functional, even if we weren't going to be shooting in those rooms. Since we were shooting in so many live locations, I needed the actors to continue living in the real world. Inbal did Blue with me, and I love working with her because she never hesitates to disagree with me and fight for her ideas. I love her spirit and her taste. She has a way of going into places and making them iconic without being quirky.
The costumer was Erin Benach, also from Blue, who creates such iconic clothes for people to wear in-character. Even more importantly, she collaborates with the actors to find the clothes that will help them to discover their characters. I completely trust her.
You hadn't worked with this cinematographer before. What made you pick him?
I had already met with a number of DPs, and then Sean Bobbitt told me a lot about his process and how he prefers using handheld cameras and natural lighting, and his theories on camera movement. To me, he has such a strong sense of composition and I wanted Pines to be like flipping through the pages of a storybook. I found out Sean had been a war photographer, so I sensed he would help us all be fearless and he did.
When on the shoot was that a factor?
We knew the first scene of this film should be an epic shot, taking us, like a dream, from the space of Luke's trailer through a working fairground and into a circus tent where he and other riders would begin riding a motorcycle in a steel-cage "globe of death" -- upside down. Sean wanted to go inside of that globe. So he suited up protectively and we started shooting, did the whole 5-minutes-long tracking shot and then he went in the center of the globe. I'm watching the monitor, it's beautiful, but then I hear a crash and the monitor goes fuzzy.
I look over at the globe and I see Sean on the bottom of a pile of three motorcycles. The paramedics run in and everyone's asking if he's OK. Sean was -- angry he didn't get the shot! He gets up and says, "Let's do it again!" I say, "Sean, don't do it again." He says, "I'm doing it again. We must get this shot and go to the center of it." So we went back to the start point, filmed from the trailer all the way into the center of the globe of death, and again at the same exact moment the monitor goes static. I look up to again find Sean under motorcycles. This time he was even more shaken up and even angrier at himself for not getting the shot. We cancelled the shoot for that night. Around 3:00 AM, Sean woke up in his hotel room and didn't know what country he was in. We took him to the emergency room and it turns out he had a concussion. But the next night we did it all again, and I prevailed upon him not go inside, which wasn't easy. That night we got the shot you see in the film.
What were the challenges in post-production?
I hate editing, and editing this movie was a beast. There was a lot of story to get through, characters to explore. The only thing that made it bearable is the fact that two of my closest friends edited Pines; I've been working with Jim Helton for about 20 years and Ron Patane for about 10. They've edited as a team several times before.
Our first rough cut, after six months, ran three-and-one-half hours. Overall it took us nine months to fully edit the film -- seven days a week and sixteen hours a day.
Was there discussion of intercutting the three sections, cross-cutting among them?
No. That had come up early on, at the script stage. Other people would then bring it up again when I was looking for financing. But I never considered it. This is a story about lineage, so it needed to be linear. I always wanted an audience to experience the movie that way. There's not the security of a flashback or a shift to lessen the impact when things happen to the characters.
Was the score an easier part of the post-production process?
Yes. The single greatest concert I ever went to was Mr. Bungle in Denver in 1991. I remember [the band's member and founder] Mike Patton, wearing a bondage mask and horse blinders, licking the head of a bald bouncer. I always felt his music was so cinematic, and for films I made in high school, I'd always put his music on.
Mike read the Pines script. His brother is a police officer so it was like fate...and, a dream come true for me to get to work with him. He understood the haunted qualities of the story.
Are those qualities what you hope an audience takes away from the film, or, something else?
One response that meant a lot to me came from a well-respected and powerful man who shall remain nameless. After seeing Pines, he cancelled his business dinner scheduled for that night. Then he called his ex-wife and asked her, "I know it's your night tonight, but could I come pick him up?" He drove across town, picked up his teenage son, brought his boy home, and they spent time together.
I'm not a message filmmaker. I want people to be entertained, to be absorbed by the story, and to take what they will into their own lives.
About the Cast
Ryan Gosling (Luke)
Ryan Gosling was Academy Award-nominated as Best Actor for his performance in Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck's Half Nelson. The portrayal also garnered him Screen Actors Guild, Critics' Choice, Chicago Film Critics Association, Online Film Critics Society, Toronto Film Critics Association, and Satellite Award nominations; the Breakthrough Performance award from the National Board of Review; Best Actor honors from the Seattle and Stockholm International Film Festivals; and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.
He had previously been nominated for the latter award for his breakthrough performance in Henry Bean's The Believer, which also brought Mr. Gosling a London Critics' Circle Film Award nomination. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.
Among his subsequent films were Alex and Andrew Smith's The Slaughter Rule, opposite David Morse; Barbet Schroeder's Murder by Numbers, with Sandra Bullock; Matthew Hoge's The United States of Leland, with Kevin Spacey, Lena Olin, and Don Cheadle; Gregory Hoblit's Fracture, with Anthony Hopkins; and the hit The Notebook, directed by Nick Cassavetes, opposite Rachel McAdams. In 2004, he was named Male Star of Tomorrow by the National Association of Theatre Owners at ShoWest.
He received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and won a Satellite Award, for Craig Gillespie's Lars and the Real Girl; and was again a Golden Globe Award nominee for Blue Valentine, in which he starred alongside Michelle Williams and which marked his first collaboration with filmmaker Derek Cianfrance.
Mr. Gosling's recent films include Glen Ficarra and John Requa's Crazy, Stupid, Love., with Steve Carell and Emma Stone, for which he received his third Golden Globe Award nomination; Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, for which he received his third Spirit Award nomination; George Clooney's The Ides of March; and Ruben Fleischer's Gangster Squad, also with Ms. Stone.
He will next be seen starring in Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives, with Kristin Scott Thomas, and in a new film by Terrence Malick. Mr. Gosling will soon be making his feature directorial debut with How to Catch a Monster, from his original screenplay.
Bradley Cooper (Avery)
Bradley Cooper most recently starred with Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, and Chris Tucker in David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, for which he received Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Golden Globe Award nominations, and won a Critics' Choice Movie Award and the National Board of Review award, among other honors. He will soon be seen with Ms. Lawrence in the 1929-set Serena, directed by Susanne Bier; and next stars in a 1970s-set film for Mr. Russell with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Jeremy Renner.
Mr. Cooper has starred in Todd Phillips' blockbuster The Hangover films, the third and final of which opens in May 2013, with Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, and Zach Galifianakis. His production company, 22 & Indiana Pictures, has a first-look deal at Warner Bros.
Among his other films are Neil Burger's hit Limitless, with Robert De Niro; Joe Carnahan's The A-Team; Garry Marshall's Valentine's Day, opposite Julia Roberts; Phil Traill's All About Steve, in the title role opposite Sandra Bullock; Peyton Reed's Yes Man, with Jim Carrey; Ken Kwapis' He's Just Not That Into You; David Dobkin's smash Wedding Crashers, opposite Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn; the segment of the omnibus film New York, I Love You directed by Allen Hughes, opposite Drea de Matteo; David Palmer and Dax Shepard's Hit and Run; Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal's The Words; and David Wain's cult favorite Wet Hot American Summer.
Mr. Cooper's television series credits include a recurring role on Nip/Tuck; a starring role on Alias, opposite Golden Globe Award winner Jennifer Garner; and the lead role in Kitchen Confidential, based on the experiences of chef Anthony Bourdain. He guest-starred on shows such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Sex and the City.
In 2006, he made his Broadway debut in Joe Mantello's production of Three Days of Rain, opposite Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd. In 2008, he was part of the cast of the critically acclaimed Theresa Rebeck play The Understudy, which premiered at Williamstown Theatre Festival to rave reviews and sold-out performances. In 2012, he returned to the Festival to star on its Nikos Stage in The Elephant Man, with Patricia Clarkson, directed by Scott Ellis.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, Mr. Cooper graduated with honors from the English program at Georgetown University. After moving to New York City, he obtained his Masters in the Fine Arts program at the Actors Studio Drama School at the New School University.
Eva Mendes (Romina)
Eva Mendes has proven she is adept in both comedic and dramatic roles, working with an esteemed and diverse group of directors and co-stars, and earning the reputation of an actress who is committed to her craft.
Ms. Mendes' first serious role came when she was cast opposite Denzel Washington in Training Day, for director Antoine Fuqua. Her portrayal led to celebrated director Carl Franklin hiring her for Out of Time, starring with Denzel Washington once again. She soon appeared in Robert Rodriguez's Once Upon a Time in Mexico, opposite Johnny Depp; 2 Fast 2 Furious; All About the Benjamins; and the Farrelly Brothers' Stuck on You, alongside Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear. She went on to star with Will Smith in Hitch; opposite Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider; and in Adam McKay's The Other Guys, with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, all of which were blockbuster hits.
She has also starred in such critically acclaimed films as James Gray's We Own the Night, opposite Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall; Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, which reunited her with Nicolas Cage; and Massy Tadjedin's Last Night, with Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington. She starred in the independent feature, LIVE!, which also marked Ms. Mendes' debut as an executive producer; and received critical praise for her performance in Patricia Riggen's Girl in Progress. Most recently seen in Leos Carax's provocative Holy Motors, she has completed filming Larry David's Clear History movie for HBO, directed by Greg Mottola with an all-star cast that includes Jon Hamm and Kate Hudson.
She showed her comedic prowess in such Funny or Die videos as "S.E.X. Tape" and "Pimps Don't Cry," a duet with Cee-Lo Green featured in The Other Guys. As part of Glamour Reel Moments, she directed and co-wrote the short film California Romanza.
She has been a part of numerous prestigious international advertising and endorsement campaigns, including Revlon and Calvin Klein. She is currently the face of Thierry Mugler's Angel Eau de Parfum and Angel Eau de Toilette, singing the classic "The Windmills of Your Mind" over the spots; and is a celebrity ambassador for Pantene.
Design and textiles have always been a passion, which led to the launch of her original home decor line, Vida. Her first Vida bedding collection debuted exclusively at Macy's stores in 2008, and a tabletop collection, Vida for Espana, was introduced in 2009.
Ms. Mendes, who is Cuban-American, was born in Miami and raised in Los Angeles.
Ray Liotta (Deluca)
In the more than 60 feature films to his credit, Ray Liotta has chosen diverse and challenging roles both comedic and dramatic.
The New Jersey native began acting while a student at the University of Miami. He earned critical, audience, and industry attention with his Golden Globe Award-nominated performance opposite Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild. He next starred in Robert M. Young's acclaimed Dominick and Eugene, opposite Tom Hulce, and Phil Alden Robinson's beloved Field of Dreams, in which Mr. Liotta portrayed the iconic baseball player "Shoeless Joe" Jackson.
His most widespread acclaim came next, with his portrayal of real-life mobster "Henry Hill" in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, in which he starred with Robert De Niro and Academy Award winner Joe Pesci.
Among Mr. Liotta's other films are Jonathan Kaplan's Unlawful Entry, for which he received an MTV Movie Award nomination; Jessie Nelson's Corrina, Corrina, alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Majorino, and Don Ameche; James Mangold's Cop Land, reteamed with Robert De Niro, and Identity; Ridley Scott's Hannibal, opposite Anthony Hopkins; Ted Demme's Blow, with Johnny Depp; David Mirkin's Heartbreakers; Nick Cassavetes' John Q; Joe Carnahan's Smokin' Aces; Walt Becker's Wild Hogs; Wayne Kramer's Crossing Over; Jody Hill's Observe and Report, with Seth Rogen; Miguel Arteta's Youth in Revolt; Shawn Levy's Date Night, with Steve Carell and Tina Fey; Jacob Estes' The Details; and Ariel Vromen's soon-to-be-released The Iceman, with Michael Shannon.
He produced and starred in the police drama Narc, directed by Joe Carnahan. The film received critical acclaim, with his performance as Henry Oak earning Mr. Liotta an Independent Spirit Award nomination.
His unforgettable guest appearance on the top-rated television drama ER brought him an Emmy Award and a Prism Award. His performance as Frank Sinatra in Rob Cohen's telefilm The Rat Pack garnered him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.
For his 2004 Broadway debut opposite Frank Langella in Stephen Belber's Match, directed by Nicholas Martin, Mr. Liotta received a Distinguished Performance honor at the 70th Annual Drama League Awards.
Rose Byrne (Jennifer)
Rose Byrne, a native of Australia, has commanded the attention of worldwide filmgoers and television viewers with her beauty, talent, versatility, and poise.
Ms. Byrne received two Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations apiece, and won an Australian Film Institute Award, for her portrayal of attorney Ellen Parsons opposite Glenn Close on the critically acclaimed television series Damages, which aired for five seasons. Among her other television credits are the miniseries Casanova, with Peter O'Toole and David Tennant, directed by Sheree Folkson.
She starred in three of the biggest movie successes of 2011. These were James Wan's sleeper hit horror thriller Insidious, opposite Patrick Wilson; the blockbuster fantasy adventure X-Men: First Class, with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, directed by Matthew Vaughn; and the award-winning comedy smash Bridesmaids, directed by Paul Feig, alongside Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. For the latter, Ms. Byrne shared with her fellow actors a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Among her other films are Max Mayer's Adam, opposite Hugh Dancy; Nicholas Stoller's Get Him to the Greek; Alex Proyas' Knowing, with Nicolas Cage; Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's 28 Weeks Later; Danny Boyle's Sunshine; Karen Moncrieff's The Dead Girl; Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette; Wolfgang Petersen's epic Troy, opposite Brad Pitt; Paul McGuigan's Wicker Park; Danny Green's The Tenants; Tim Fywell's I Capture the Castle; and George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones. She next will be seen starring alongside Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Shawn Levy's The Internship; reprising her starring role in James Wan's Insidious Chapter 2; and appearing in Dan Mazer's I Give It a Year, with Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, and Anna Faris.
Ms. Byrne's cinematic profile in Australia was first raised with her role in the gritty crime comedy Two Hands, directed by Gregor Jordan, in which she played opposite Heath Ledger. She subsequently starred in Clara Law's The Goddess of 1967, for which she was won the Best Actress award at the Venice International Film Festival.
Mahershala Ali (Kofi)
Born in Oakland, California, Mahershala Ali was raised in the neighboring city of Hayward by his parents and extended family. He played basketball for St. Mary's College in Moraga, California (just east of Berkeley), where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications. He began taking acting classes in his junior year; in his senior year, he had a featured role in the school's production of Spunk.
The summer after his graduation, Mr. Ali made his professional debut performing for a season with the California Shakespeare Festival in Orinda, California, where he also served as an apprentice. Soon after, he was accepted into graduate school at New York University, where he received a Master's degree in acting. While at NYU, he appeared in productions of Blues for an Alabama Sky, The School for Scandal, A Lie of the Mind, A Doll's House, Monkey in the Middle, The Merchant of Venice, The New Place, and Secret Injury, Secret Revenge. In Washington, D.C. he starred at the Arena Stage in the lead role of The Great White Hope; and in Minneapolis, he starred at the Guthrie Theater and in A Long Walk and Jack and Jill.
Mr. Ali made his television debut with a recurring role as Dr. Trey Sanders on the drama series Crossing Jordan. He subsequently landed a starring role as Richard Tyler, a Korean War pilot, on the sci-fi drama The 4400, which ran for four seasons.
He starred in the title role, opposite Julia Ormond, of Tom McLoughlin's telefilm The Wronged Man, earning an NAACP Image Award nomination. Following recurring roles on Treme and Alphas, he can now be seen in one on the highly anticipated House of Cards, with Kevin Spacey and executive-produced by David Fincher.
Mr. Ali first worked with the latter director on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with Brad Pitt and Taraji P. Henson. His other feature credits include Nimrod Antal's Predators and Wayne Kramer's Crossing Over. He will soon be seen in Deon Taylor's Supremacy, with Anson Mount, Danny Glover, and Derek Luke; and John Sayles' Go for Sisters, with Isaiah Washington and LisaGay Hamilton.
Dane DeHaan (Jason)
Dane DeHaan caught moviegoers' attention with his performances in four 2012 releases: Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, opposite Daniel Day-Lewis and Lukas Haas; John Hillcoat's Lawless, alongside Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke; Bradley Rust Gray's Jack & Diane, with Juno Temple and Riley Keough; and one of the year's biggest sleeper hits, the adventure thriller Chronicle, directed by Josh Trank. He began his film career with director John Sayles and actor Chris Cooper in Amigo.
He next stars in Atom Egoyan's Devil's Knot, with Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth, about the fate of the West Memphis Three; and John Krokidas' Kill Your Darlings, with Jack Huston, Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Foster, and Kyra Sedgwick, set in 1944 amidst the Beat Generation.
Mr. DeHaan first came to industry attention with his portrayal of Jesse in the third season of the critically applauded drama series In Treatment, starring alongside Gabriel Byrne. This was followed by a guest arc in the fourth season of the popular horror series True Blood.
In 2010, he received an Obie Award for his performance in Annie Baker's The Aliens, directed by Sam Gold. The Rattlestick Theater production was cited as "Play of the Year" by The New York Times. Mr. DeHaan made his Broadway debut in with American Buffalo, Robert Falls' 2008 staging of the classic David Mamet play.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Mr. DeHaan next begins work on Marc Webb's sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, in which he portrays Harry Osborn opposite Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker and Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy.
Emory Cohen (AJ)
Emory Cohen has made his mark in several notable independent feature films. He debuted in writer/director Antonio Campos' Afterschool, which screened at the 2008 New York and Cannes International Film Festivals, starring with Ezra Miller in what proved to be breakout roles for both actors.
He subsequently starred in writer/director Michael Imperioli's The Hungry Ghosts; in Joshua Sanchez's Four, adapted by the director from Christopher Shinn's play, opposite Wendell Pierce and for which Mr. Cohen shared with his fellow actors the Los Angeles Film Festival prize for Best Performance; in Andrew Brotzman's Nor'easter; and in Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet's upcoming Blue Potato.
He was a regular on the first season of the acclaimed television series Smash, playing opposite Debra Messing and Brian d'Arcy James as their characters' son.
Ben Mendelsohn (Robin)
Widely recognized as one of Australia's most outstanding actors, Ben Mendelsohn has starred in movies all over the world.
Last seen in Christopher Nolan's blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises and Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly, he recently completed filming Anne Fontaine's Two Mothers, with Naomi Watts and Robin Wright.
His performance opposite James Frecheville and Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver in David Michod's Animal Kingdom earned him Australia's top movie honors -- the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award, the Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) Award, and the IF Award -- for Best Actor. He has received multiple other AFI and FCCA Award nominations, including for his work in Rachel Ward's Beautiful Kate, with Rachel Griffiths; and won an AFI Award for his performance in John Duigan's The Year My Voice Broke, which was his breakthrough film, and a FCCA Award for his work in Geoffrey Wright's Metal Skin.
Among Mr. Mendelsohn's many other movies are Terrence Malick's The New World; Craig Lahiff's Black and White, in which he portrayed mogul Rupert Murdoch; Baz Luhrmann's Australia and Joel Schumacher's Trespass, both with Nicole Kidman; Gary McKendry's Killer Elite; David Caesar's Prime Mover, Idiot Box, and Mullet, in the title role of the latter; Alex Proyas' Knowing; Martin Campbell's Vertical Limit; Mark Joffe's Cosi and Spotswood (a.k.a. The Efficiency Expert); Nadia Tass' Amy and The Big Steal; John Duigan's Sirens; Vincent Ward's Map of the Human Heart; and Simon Wincer's Quigley Down Under.
He has received AFI and Logie Award nominations for his starring role in the television series Love My Way. He has guest-starred on some of Australia's most acclaimed television productions, including Halifax f.p., G.P., Police Rescue, and The Secret Life of Us (in an arc). For his work on the show Tangle, he won the Astra Award for Best Actor and was again a Logie Award nominee.
Throughout his career, Mr. Mendelsohn has simultaneously honed his craft on stage, including starring as Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar and Tom in The Glass Menagerie, both for Sydney Theatre Company. His other theater work includes My Zinc Bed, Cosi (for Belvoir St. Theatre), and The Selection (for Melbourne Theatre Company).
He will soon star in his The Place Beyond the Pines colleague Ryan Gosling's feature directorial debut How to Catch a Monster, from the director's original screenplay.
About the Filmmakers
Derek Cianfrance (Director; Screenplay; Story)
Derek Cianfrance attended the University of Colorado's film school, where he studied under avant-garde film legends Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon. His first three student films each took the university's top filmmaking prize, earning him the Special Dean's Grant for Achievement in the Arts as well as the Independent Film Channel award for Excellence in Student Filmmaking.
He went on to direct, shoot, and edit (with Joey Curtis) his first feature, Brother Tied, at age 23. The film, which he wrote with Joey Curtis and Mike Tillman, made its American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and received critical acclaim. The film screened at over 30 festivals worldwide, winning several honors including the Special Jury Prize for Bold Original Expression at the Florida Film Festival.
As director, Mr. Cianfrance ventured into extensive documentary work, including profiling such artists as Mos Def, Sean Combs, and Run-D.M.C.; exploring the ethos of Mixed-Martial Arts fighters, in Cagefighter; and riding with Vietnam veteran biker clubs for Rolling Thunder -- Ride for Freedom. As director of photography, he followed Hispanic teens racing in Joey Curtis' dramatic feature Streets of Legend for which he won the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
He has directed numerous commercials and branded content, including the pioneering internet serial Meet the Lucky Ones, which was cited by Adweek as one of the Top Ten Ad Campaigns of 2004; the award-winning internet documentary Ford: Bold Moves, which Mr. Cianfrance co-directed with documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky; and spots for ESPN, Honda, the University of Phoenix, and Apple.
His second narrative feature as director, Blue Valentine, which he wrote with Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne, had its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams received Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award nominations for their performances, and Ms. Williams earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress.
Mr. Cianfrance is at work, with Sam Fussell, on an adaptation of the latter's memoir Muscle as a potential series for HBO.
Ben Coccio (Screenplay; Story)
Ben Coccio studied film at the Rhode Island School of Design. Following graduation, he wrote and directed the short film 5:45 A.M., which was showcased at the London International Film Festival and subsequently received a theatrical release.
Zero Day, his award-winning first feature as director, which he wrote with his brother Christopher, was a controversial hit on the festival circuit and played theatrically in domestic release. The film, on which he was also a producer and editor, won the top prize and/or audience award at the Florida Film Festival and the Atlanta Film Festival, among others, and brought him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the "Someone to Watch" prize.
Ben Coccio has also written and directed the feature The Beginner. He is currently scripting the feature Fordlandia, adapting it from Greg Grandin's book of the same name. Fordlandia was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and other honors. The film version is being produced by Bill Pohlad and his River Road Entertainment.
Darius Marder (Screenplay)
Darius Marder is a writer, director, and editor. His debut feature, Loot, was awarded the Best Documentary prize at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival; was nominated for five Cinema Eye Awards; and earned him a Spirit Award nomination for the "Truer than Fiction" prize. The movie was theatrically released in 2009.
As editor, he has worked on films such as the Academy Award-winning documentary short Freeheld, directed by Cynthia Wade; the Oscar-nominated documentary short Sun Come Up, directed by Jennifer Redfearn; and the Emmy Award-winning documentary feature Good Fortune, directed by Landon Van Soest, part of PBS' P.O.V. series.
Jamie Patricof (Producer)
Jamie Patricof is co-founder, with Lynette Howell, of the production company Electric City Entertainment.
His first feature, Half Nelson, by filmmakers Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden, premiered to great acclaim at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The film went on to win -- among other awards -- three Gotham Independent Film Awards, including Best Feature, and Spirit Awards for its lead actors, Shareeka Epps and Ryan Gosling. The film received an American Film Institute Award as one of the Movies of the Year, as well as multiple awards from the National Board of Review. Mr. Gosling earned Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. Half Nelson was additionally a Spirit Award nominee for Best Feature.
Mr. Patricof reunited with Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck to produce their second feature, Sugar, which also received an American Film Institute Award as one of the Movies of the Year, as well as Spirit and Gotham Independent Film Award nominations.
His next feature was Blue Valentine, which marked his first collaboration with filmmaker Derek Cianfrance as well as a reteaming with actor Ryan Gosling. Blue Valentine received multiple awards and nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for actress Michelle Williams; Mr. Patricof shared a Gotham Independent Film Award nomination with his colleagues.
Mr. Patricof then produced the much-talked-about debut feature from writer/director Elgin James, Little Birds, starring Juno Temple and Kay Panabaker. He is currently in production on Oliver Blackburn's Kristy, starring Haley Bennett and Ashley Greene; he is currently in development on Mule, adapted by Mark and Jay Duplass from Tony D'Souza's novel of the same name for Todd Phillips to direct, and The Adults, adapted and to be directed by Massy Tadjedin from Alison Espach's novel of the same name.
He is an executive producer on the Bravo reality series The Rachel Zoe Project; and was one on the documentary feature for ESPN's "30/30" series, Straight Outta L.A., directed by Ice Cube. He also executive-produced Players: Ludacris and Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay: The Last Interview, both for VH1; and ESPN's Emmy Award-nominated series The Life, a behind-the-scenes look at athletes' lives off the field.
Lynette Howell (Producer)
In 2007, Lynette Howell was cited as one of Variety's "10 Producers to Watch." In 2012, she and Jamie Patricof co-founded the production company Electric City Entertainment; The Place Beyond the Pines is the first film under the banner. Currently in production is Oliver Blackburn's Kristy, starring Haley Bennett and Ashley Greene. Currently in development are The Adults, adapted and to be directed by Massy Tadjedin from Alison Espach's novel of the same name; and Mule, adapted by Mark and Jay Duplass from Tony D'Souza's novel of the same name for Todd Phillips to direct.
The duo's earlier productions together include two previous movies starring Ryan Gosling: Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, with Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams, and Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden's Half Nelson, for which Mr. Gosling was an Academy Award nominee. Ms. Howell shared with her colleagues Gotham Independent Film Award and Spirit Award nominations, respectively, for the films.
Among her recent films as producer are Matt Ross' 28 Hotel Rooms, starring Chris Messina and Marin Ireland; Terri, written by Patrick Dewitt and directed by Azazel Jacobs, starring Jacob Wysocki opposite John C. Reilly; and On the Ice, written and directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, which won the Crystal Bear Award and the Best First Feature prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. She executive-produced Chris Kentis and Laura Lau's Silent House, starring Elizabeth Olsen; and The Space Between, written and directed by Travis Fine, starring Melissa Leo, Anthony Keyvan, and AnnaSophia Robb, broadcast on the USA Network on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Ms. Howell was also producer of Stephanie Daley, starring Tilda Swinton and Timothy and Amber Tamblyn for writer/director Hilary Brougher; Phoebe in Wonderland, written and directed by Daniel Barnz, which marked a breakout role for Elle Fanning; Marilyn Agrelo's An Invisible Sign, starring Jessica Alba, Bailee Madison, and Chris Messina; Shark Night, directed by David R. Ellis, starring Sara Paxton; Mark Heller's The Passage, starring Stephen Dorff and Sarai Givaty; and The Greatest, starring Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, and Carey Mulligan for writer/director Shana Feste.
Originally from Liverpool, England, she began her career in the London theatre and then went on to become the Los Angeles-based Theatrical Executive for the Broadway and West End production company East of Doheny.
Ms. Howell is an Advisor to the Sundance Creative Producing Initiative and Film Independent's Producers Lab.
Alex Orlovsky (Producer)
Upcoming film releases produced by Alex Orlovsky include Kiss of the Damned, directed by Xan Cassavetes and starring Roxane Mesquida, Anna Mouglalis, and Riley Keough; and Towheads, written and directed by and starring performance artist Shannon Plumb.
His projects also include two previous movies that, as with The Place Beyond the Pines, starred Ryan Gosling and were produced with Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell: Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, with Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams, and Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden's Half Nelson, for which Mr. Gosling was an Academy Award nominee. Mr. Orlovsky shared Gotham Independent Film Award and Spirit Award nominations, respectively, for the films; Half Nelson won three Gotham Awards and two Spirit Awards.
He produced two movies from director Azazel Jacobs: Terri, starring Jacob Wysocki and John C. Reilly, and Momma's Man. He executive-produced Gerardo Naranjo's Voy A Explotar [I'm Gonna Explode], which world-premiered at the 2008 Venice International Film Festival. Also screened at the Festival that year was Natalie Portman's directorial debut, a short film called Eve, which Mr. Orlovsky co-produced. The short starred Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara, and Olivia Thirlby.
His first feature as producer was Shawn Regruto's Point & Shoot, which screened at the Tribeca and Hamptons International Film Festivals, and which marked his first teaming with Jamie Patricof.
Mr. Orlovsky sits on the board of Artists Public Domain (APD), a non-profit organization dedicated to the production of innovative film and media projects. In addition to Azazel Jacobs' Momma's Man, APD's works have included Mike Cahill's Another Earth, which the director wrote with lead actress Brit Marling; Josh Fox's Memorial Day; and Tariq Tapa's Zero Bridge.
Alongside his feature work, Mr. Orlovsky has produced fine art projects that have been shown at some of the most prestigious galleries and museums in New York, including the Mary Boone Gallery, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. He has also produced music videos, short films, and commercials. He is a faculty member of the film department of SUNY Purchase.
Sidney Kimmel (Producer)
Sidney Kimmel is Chairman and CEO of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), the Los Angeles-based motion picture financing and production company.
Active in the motion picture industry for more than 30 years, Mr. Kimmel's passion as an independent producer throughout the 1980s and 1990s eventually led to the founding of SKE in October 2004. The company develops, finances, and produces three to five features per year, working with esteemed filmmaking talent to create quality commercial films.
Mr. Kimmel and SKE have co-financed and produced or co-produced over three dozen motion pictures since the company's inception. Mr. Kimmel recently executive-produced Bennett Miller's Moneyball, nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture; produced Brad Furman's hit The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey; and produced this winter's Stand Up Guys, directed by Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens and starring Academy Award winners Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin; and Parker, directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez.
Among his other films as producer are Lars and the Real Girl, his first film with actor Ryan Gosling, directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Academy Award nominee Nancy Oliver; Kasi Lemmons' Talk to Me, his first film with Focus Features, starring Don Cheadle and Spirit Award winner Chiwetel Ejiofor; Greg Mottola's acclaimed Adventureland, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, co-financed and co-produced with Miramax; Synecdoche, New York, the directorial debut of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman; and both the 2007 and 2010 versions of Death at a Funeral, directed by Frank Oz and Neil LaBute, respectively. Mr. Kimmel was executive producer of Marc Forster's The Kite Runner, based on Khaled Hosseini's acclaimed novel of the same name.
Mr. Kimmel and SKE, in association with Universal Pictures, financed Academy Award nominee Paul Greengrass' critically acclaimed United 93, as well as executive-produced Billy Ray's Breach, starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, and Laura Linney. Universal also released Nick Cassavetes' controversial Alpha Dog, starring Emile Hirsch, Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone, and Justin Timberlake, which Mr. Kimmel produced and financed.
Prior to his success in filmed entertainment, Mr. Kimmel founded Jones Apparel Group in 1975, which has since grown into a $4.5 billion diversified fashion industry empire. He also founded the Sidney Kimmel Foundation and its subsidiary, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research, which is one of the nation's largest individual donors to cancer research. He is extremely involved in philanthropic endeavors benefiting his hometown of Philadelphia as well as Jewish education and continuity. He oversaw the opening of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, home of the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra. He is also a partner in Cipriani International, the acclaimed international restaurant and catering establishment, and is a part owner of The Miami Heat.
Jim Tauber (Executive Producer)
Jim Tauber is President and COO of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), the Los Angeles-based motion picture financing and production company.
He has extensive experience working on both studio and independent productions. At SKE, he has overseen the financing, production, and distribution of over two dozen films, including Craig Gillespie's Lars and the Real Girl, starring Ryan Gosling of The Place Beyond the Pines; Brad Furman's The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey; and Stand Up Guys, directed by Fisher Stevens and starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin.
Mr. Tauber joined SKE after a three-year stint at Twentieth Century Fox, where he was Worldwide Executive Vice President, Acquisitions & Co-productions. He formerly served as President and COO of Anonymous Content, helping to found and manage the multimedia company. He was previously President and COO of Propaganda Films, overseeing the production of more than 1,000 music videos, 700 commercials, and 30 feature films including David Fincher's The Game and Spike Jonze's Being John Malkovich, which was nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Director. While at Propaganda, he also helped to create the theatrical distribution company Gramercy Pictures for Polygram Filmed Entertainment.
From 1983 to 1991, Mr. Tauber was Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs and Acquisitions for Columbia/Tri-Star Pictures, responsible for structuring and negotiation of all home video, television, and theatrical acquisition and sales agreements; and for the production of over 50 films, including Steven Soderbergh's breakthrough sex, lies, and videotape, and Carl Franklin's One False Move.
Matt Berenson (Executive Producer)
Matt Berenson is President of Production at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), the Los Angeles-based motion picture financing and production company. At SKE, Mr. Berenson has executive-produced and supervised production on films such as Fisher Stevens' Stand Up Guys, starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin; Heitor Dhalia's Gone, starring Amanda Seyfried; and Sandra Nettelbeck's upcoming Mr. Morgan's Last Love, starring Michael Caine and Clemence Poesy.
In 2003, he produced the blockbuster Daddy Day Care, directed by Steve Carr and starring Eddie Murphy. Mr. Berenson was an executive producer on the sequel, Daddy Day Camp, directed by Fred Savage and starring Cuba Gooding Jr.
For three years, he was President of Production at Carsey-Werner Films, during which time he produced Bob Odenkirk's Let's Go to Prison, starring Dax Shepard and Will Arnett, and The Brothers Solomon, starring Will Forte and Mr. Arnett; and executive-produced Vince Di Meglio's Smother, starring Diane Keaton and Mr. Shepard.
Mr. Berenson was previously Executive Vice President of Production for Red Wagon Entertainment, where he developed RV, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Robin Williams, and was the executive in charge of production on Robert Luketic's Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! He also served for two years as Vice President, Production at Jersey Films, where he worked on such films as Steven Soderbergh's Erin Brockovich and Out of Sight.
He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in History.
Sean Bobbitt, BSC (Director of Photography)
Born in Texas, Sean Bobbitt began his career as a news cameraman in the early 1980s working with the major networks and covering the major hot spots of the world. He went on to shoot documentaries, working with such directors as Angus McQueen, Nick Read, and Jonathan Miller; and with companies such as Brook Lapping.
In the late 1990s, he began working as a cinematographer on narrative features for film and television. Among his first credits was Wonderland, directed by Michael Winterbottom and written by Laurence Coriat, which won the British Independent Film Award (BIFA) for Best British Film. Mr. Bobbitt has worked with the director several times since, including on the recent feature Everyday, the latter also with Ms. Coriat.
Among his other feature credits as cinematographer have been Neil Jordan's Byzantium, starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton; Tanya Wexler's Hysteria, starring Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal; The Situation, directed by Philip Haas and starring Damian Lewis and Connie Nielsen; The Baker, directed by Gareth Lewis and starring Damian Lewis; and Mrs. Ratcliffe's Revolution, directed by Bille Eltringham and starring Catherine Tate. He also shot, for the latter director, the miniseries The Long Firm, starring Mark Strong, for which Mr. Bobbitt received a BAFTA Award nomination.
He was the cinematographer on director Steve McQueen's debut feature Hunger, starring Michael Fassbender, which earned worldwide acclaim and won, among other honors, the Camera d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival as well as a BIFA for Best Technical Achievement, awarded to Mr. Bobbitt. He has since reteamed with the actor and the director on the films Shame, for which he won a European Film Award and received an Evening Standard British Film Award nomination, and Twelve Years a Slave; the latter, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, will be released in 2013. He has also collaborated with Mr. McQueen on several of the latter's art installations, including the 2009 Venice Biennale piece Giardini.
Mr. Bobbitt was an Emmy Award nominee for shooting the miniseries Sense & Sensibility, directed by John Alexander and starring Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield.
Jim Helton (Editor)
With The Place Beyond the Pines, Jim Helton continues his ongoing collaboration with Derek Cianfrance, having edited, with Ron Patane, the award-winning Blue Valentine and the documentary short Black and White: A Portrait of Sean Combs; and the documentary Cagefighter, among numerous projects with the director.
With Mr. Patane, he also edited and directed the short film Kill the Ego as well as edited the documentary Ironic Iconic America, which Mr. Helton directed. The two were also among the editors of the documentary feature/Jay-Z concert film Fade to Black, directed by Patrick Paulson and Michael John Warren.
Among Mr. Helton's other narrative features as editor are Joey Curtis' Streets of Legend and Kirt Gunn's Lovely by Surprise, starring Carrie Preston. He also composes music cues, and several of his selections can be heard accompanying scenes of The Place Beyond the Pines.
Collaborating with The Place Beyond the Pines title designer Charles Christopher Rubino and stills photographer Atsushi Nishijima, respectively, Mr. Helton directed the short films Love Kills Demons and A Study of Legs.
Ron Patane (Editor)
With The Place Beyond the Pines, Ron Patane continues his ongoing collaboration with Derek Cianfrance, having edited, with Jim Helton, the award-winning Blue Valentine and documentary short Black and White: A Portrait of Sean Combs, among other projects that he has worked on with the director.
Mr. Patane graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Philosophy. He has worked in the film industry ever since, moving among film, documentary, commercials, television, and music videos. He edited Phil Griffin's documentary feature/concert film Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful.
With Mr. Helton, Mr. Patane edited and directed the short film Kill the Ego; and was an editor on the documentary Ironic Iconic America, which Mr. Helton directed. They were among the editors of the documentary feature/Jay-Z concert film Fade to Black, directed by Patrick Paulson and Michael John Warren.
Inbal Weinberg (Production Designer)
A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Inbal Weinberg is an Israeli-born production designer who came to the attention of the American independent film scene with her striking work on Academy Award-nominated writer/director Courtney Hunt's Frozen River, starring Melissa Leo.
Ms. Weinberg's talent for creating authentic and realistic spaces that illuminate the inner worlds of characters has since been on view in Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams; Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller; Max Winkler's Ceremony, starring Michael Angarano and Uma Thurman; Jesse Peretz's Our Idiot Brother, starring Paul Rudd; Liza Johnson's Return, starring Spirit Award nominee Linda Cardellini and Michael Shannon, which world-premiered at the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival; and, also for Focus Features, Pariah, directed by Gotham Independent Film Award winner Dee Rees. She recently completed work on Phil Alden Robinson's The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, starring Robin Williams and Mila Kunis.
Erin Benach (Costume Designer)
Erin Benach was previously costume designer on three acclaimed movies starring Ryan Gosling: Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, for which she received a Costume Designers Guild Award nomination, Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden's Half Nelson, and Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine.
Previously for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, she was costume designer on Brad Furman's The Lincoln Lawyer, starring Matthew McConaughey. She again collaborated with Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden on Sugar.
Ms. Benach recently completed work on Andrew Niccol's The Host, the filmmaker's highly anticipated adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's novel, starring Saoirse Ronan. Among her other films as costume designer are Lori Petty's The Poker House, starring Jennifer Lawrence; Sophie Barthes' Cold Souls, starring Paul Giamatti; John Erick Dowdle's Devil; and Mark Ruffalo's Sympathy for Delicious, written by and starring Christopher Thornton.
Mike Patton (Music)
Being many things to many people, Mike Patton is a singer, actor, musician, and composer.
Born in Eureka, California, he formed the genre-defying alternative act Mr. Bungle at age 17, and would remain associated with the band for over a decade as it married experimental rock with other musical genres. Mr. Patton next joined Faith No More, which moved among crossover hits, orchestral pop, and soul, attaining worldwide success. The latter band recently completed a reunion tour.
In 1998, he formed the experimental noise act Fantomas with former Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, Buzz Osborne of The Melvins, and Dave Lombardo from Slayer. A few years later, he joined Tomahawk, a very alternative rock band founded by Duane Denison of the Jesus Lizard. In early 2013, Tomahawk releases its much-anticipated fourth full-length album, Oddfellows.
As a musician, he has collaborated with everyone from John Zorn to Massive Attack to Norah Jones to Tunde from TV on the Radio. In 1999, he founded the record label Ipecac Recordings alongside manager Greg Werckman. Ipecac has released most of his own recordings as well as works by The Melvins, Isis, Josh Homme, and more. 2010 saw the release of Mike Patton Mondo Cane. Mr. Patton curated a collection of vintage Italian pop standards and recorded the album with a full orchestra and sung in Italian; bolstered by live shows, the project has garnered a considerable following.
Going beyond music, he starred in Steve Balderson's independent feature Firecracker, alongside Karen Black and Susan Traylor; contributed voiceover work to the video games The Darkness (both installments), Bionic Commando, Portal, and Left 4 Dead 2; and voiced the creatures in Francis Lawrence's blockbuster I Am Legend, starring Will Smith.
Mr. Patton supplied the musical score to Derrick Socchera's 2008 short film A Perfect Place. This was soon followed by his first feature score, composed for Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's Crank: High Voltage, starring Jason Statham and Amy Smart. He next composed the original score for Saverio Costanzo's The Solitude of Prime Numbers; the 2010 Italian romantic drama, which starred Alba Rohrwacher opposite Luca Marinelli, won several awards.