The Last Station
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Michael Hoffman Writer/Director: Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman grew up in Idaho and studied at Boise State University in his home State. Awarded a scholarship by the renowned Rhodes Foundation, Michael went to study at Oxford University in 1979, where he discovered the young Hugh Grant and shot his debut film with him: Privileged, a story about an upper class adolescent.

Together with Rick Stevenson, with whom he and others founded the Oxford Film Company after graduation, Michael created Restless Natives, a comedy about two Scotsmen who rob American tourist parties.

He attracted great attention in the US in 1988 with Promised Land, a dark coming-of-age story with Kiefer Sutherland and Meg Ryan in the leading roles. In 1991 he was entrusted with the $25 million comedy Soapdish – likewise, an all-star cast production: featuring Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Whoopie Goldberg, a very young Robert Downey Jr. and Terri Hatcher among others.

In 1995 Hoffman returned to British material with Restoration. The film celebrated its world premier in 1996 at the Berlin Film Festival. In the same year, Michael shot the romantic comedy One Fine Day with George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer. The internationally acclaimed Shakespeare adaptation A Midsummer Night´s Dream followed, as well as Game 6, a film starring Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr. in the leading roles, which is based on a screenplay by the successful author Don DeLillo and premiered at Sundance Festival in 2005.

Prior to The Last Station, Michael completed a pilot for HBO with and about the star journalist Seymour Hersh, and the documentary Out of The Blue: A Film About Life and Football.

Michael Hoffman is married to the screenwriter Sam Silva, he has three children and a distinctive sense of British humour.

Chris Curling Producer: Chris Curling
Chris Curling is a respected independent producer based in London with excellent connections throughout Europe and North America. In 1990 he founded his own company, Zephyr Films, which specialises in the financing and production of feature films for the international market. In the last ten years he has acted as producer, executive producer and co-producer on over twenty films with combined budgets of over $275,000,000.

Following completion of Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station, Chris has worked as executive producer on Gurinder Chadha’s It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, which recently finished principal photography in London, and on Black Death from director Chris Smith, which just completed principal photography in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany.

2008 saw the release of Gillian Armstrong’s Houdini film Death Defying Acts, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Guy Pearce, and Penelope, with Christina Ricci, James McAvoy and Reese Witherspoon. Other recent releases include a trio of films that Chris co-produced with The Dino De Laurentiis Company and Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications. Hannibal Rising, The Last Legion and Virgin Territory had combined budgets in excess of $150,000,000 and were shot in the Czech Republic, Slovakia/Tunisia and Italy respectively.

Chris was also executive producer on David Mackenzie’s Asylum for Paramount, and associate producer on Mike Binder’s film The Upside of Anger for Media 8 and Fine Line. In addition, Chris was a co-producer on Richard E. Grant’s directorial debut Wah-Wah.

Chris is a member of the British and European Film Academies, the European Producer’s Club and ACE. He also serves on PACT’s film committee and BSAC’s Co-Production working group.

  Producer: Jens Meurer
Jens Meurer was born in 1963 in Nuremberg, Germany. In 1975, he moved with his parents to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he grew up and went to High School, before he returned to Germany and received his High School diploma in Dachau in 1983. In the same year, he began working in film production as a production driver and production assistant in Munich. Jens also worked as a journalist for South African newspapers, and as a music composer for theatre, while studying Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford University in England, where he graduated in 1987. In 1988, Jens received a post-graduate degree in Political Science at "Sciences-Po" in Paris, and a M.S. in Journalism at Columbia University New York.

He returned to Munich in 1990 to work at Dialog Filmproduktion as a producer and director, where he spent three years on a 35mm documentary series on the Soviet Union (Beyond The Kremlin Walls and Im Osten was Neues), coproducing with Leningrad Documentary Film Studio and GDR TV.

In 1993, Jens founded his production company Egoli Films, and directed a number of cinema documentaries short films, and TV series. In 1995, he received the European Academy Award Felix as "European Documentary Filmmaker of the Year".

His company merged with Tossell Pictures in 2001 to create a bigger, more prolific production company, Egoli Tossell Film AG. Since that time, the company has opened several subsidiaries all over Germany and produced more than 60 films.

Bonnie Arnold Producer: Bonnie Arnold
Her interest in journalism led Bonnie Arnold to her first professional entertainment industry assignment as the unit publicist for American Playhouse’s debut production, King of America. Following that, Arnold began working with several independent filmmakers’ groups and helped to promote the Atlanta Independent Film and Video Festival. In addition, she oversaw a touring showcase of independent films, sponsored by the American Film Institute. Her efforts to arrange financing for independent ventures influenced her decision to pursue a career as a producer.

In 1984, Arnold worked on her first major Hollywood film as a production coordinator for Neil Simon’s The Slugger’s Wife. She went on to serve as the production coordinator for the U.S. portions of Peter Weir’s The Mosquito Coast. While working in a similar role on Leader of the Band, she met David Picker, who invited her to work with him at Columbia Pictures. Assignments as a production supervisor on such films as Hero, Stars and Bars, The Mighty Quinn and Revenge followed. Her association with Kevin Costner and her reputation for managing complex productions led to her work on the Oscar®-winning epic Western Dances with Wolves.

Shortly after that, Bonnie Arnold began her animation career in 1992 when she was hired by Walt Disney Pictures to produce the landmark computer-animated feature Toy Story (1995), the first film in their joint venture with Pixar, and in 1999 the Disney blockbuster Tarzan followed. In addition she produced the 2006 release of Over the Hedge for DreamWorks, featuring the voices of Bruce Willis and Garry Shandling. Bonnie Arnold is currently producing the DreamWorks Animated feature How to Train Your Dragon, scheduled for released in March 2010.

  Executive Producer: Andrei Konchalovsky
Andrei Konchalovsky is a writer and director of film and theatre, and a cult figure in Russian and international cinema.

His career started over forty years ago when he co-wrote the screenplays of Ivan’s Childhood and Andrei Rublyov for the legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky.

Konchalovsky’s own Russian films, such as Romance for Lovers (1974) and Asya’s Happiness (filmed in 1967 and released in 1988), are classics. Several of his Hollywood films, most notably Runaway Train (1985) and the action-packed Tango & Cash (1989), enjoyed significant success. His U.S. miniseries of the Odyssey (1997) for NBC is often re-run on American television.

Andrei Konchalovsky is a winner of the most prestigious International film prizes and awards. In 2002 he received the Grand Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival for House of Fools, and in 1997 won an Emmy for The Odessey. His film Runaway Train was nominated for three Academy Awards and the Palm d’Or at the Cannes film festival. In 1978 he won the Grand prix special de jury at Cannes for Sibiriade.

In 2003, Andrei directed the made-for-television film The Lion In Winter starring Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart. Glenn Close won a Golden Globe for her role, in addition to the film receiving eight other Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

Konchalovsky’s work is not limited to cinema and television – he also successfully works in theatre and opera. His theatre productions in Paris, Moscow and Warsaw include Chekhov’s Chaika, Strindberg’s Froeken Julie and Shakespeare’s King Lear. He has also worked in the world’s greatest opera theatres: La Scala, Bastilia and Mariinsky.

As well as executive producing The Last Station, Andrei Konchalovsky has just completed work on his upcoming international family film Nutcracker: The Untold Story.

  Executive Producer: Phil Robertson
Phil Robertson is an independent London based producer. Along with Chris Curling he runs Zephyr Films, which specializes in the financing and production of films for the international marketplace. In the last decade Phil has been involved in the raising of finance and successful production of over 20 international feature film productions.

Following The Last Station, Phil is currently overseeing production of Chris Smith’s Black Death, which Zephyr are producing with Egoli Tossell Film and Ecosse Films. The film stars Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne and Carice van Houten.

2008 saw the release of Gillian Armstrong’s Houdini film Death Defying Acts, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Guy Pearce, and Penelope, with Christina Ricci, James McAvoy and Reese Witherspoon. Other recent releases include a trio of films that Phil co-produced with The Dino De Laurentiis Company and Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications. Hannibal Rising, The Last Legion and Virgin Territory had combined budgets in excess of $150,000,000 and were shot in the Czech Republic, Slovakia/Tunisia and Italy respectively.

Phil has raised finance for and successfully delivered a host of British and European qualifying international co-productions working with the likes of Film Four, BBC Films, the UK Film Council, Miramax, the Weinstein Company, Canal+, RAI, RTL, Filmax, Arte Cinema, and France 2 and 3.

  Executive Producer: Judy Tossell
Born in England, Judy Tossell studied at Balliol College, Oxford University in England, before she moved to Berlin, Germany, in 1989.

After first working as a freelance journalist, Judy entered the Berlin based film production company Ziegler Filmproduktion where she worked as a producer between 1990 and 1995, and produced films as an Associate Producer, such as the international film series Erotic Tales (with films by Susan Seidelman, Bob Rafelson and Melvin van Peebles).

In 1996, Judy founded her own independent company Tossell Pictures as a production platform for a group of talented young Berlin-based filmmakers. Her production company merged with Egoli Films GmbH to form Egoli Tossell Film AG in 2001.

Sebastian Edschmid Cinematographer: Sebastian Edschmid
After studying at the German Film and TV Academy in Berlin (DFFB) at the end of the 90s and his first Award for the short film Ku’damm Security in 1998, Sebastian Edschmid started working as a cinematographer on many German and international projects.

He has worked with several well-known German directors, including Ed Herzog (on Twisted Sister in 2006 and two others) and Hermine Huntgeburth (on Teufelsbraten in 2006 and three others).

As well as The Last Station, his recent international projects include Sweet Mud, directed by Dror Shaul, Adam Resurrected, an American-German-Israeli co-production directed by Paul Schrader and Black Death by director Chris Smith, which stars Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne and Carice van Houten.

  Editor: Patricia Rommel
Patricia Rommel was born in Paris in 1956 and currently lives in Berlin. Her breakthrough as an editor came on Caroline Link´s Beyond Silence (1996). Since then, she has further collaborated with Caroline Link on the movies Annaluise and Anton (1998) and Nowhere in Africa (2001). The latter won an Oscar for best foreign film in 2002.

Rommel began her career in the film industry in 1977, completing several advertising films and dubbing productions. She has worked as a freelance editor since the early 1980s and also teaches at several German film schools. She has edited over 40 films for cinema and television.

She has received numerous nominations and awards for her work. Wolfgang Beckers Life Is All You Get (1997) saw her nominated for the German Camera Award (Deutscher Kamerapreis) and she subsequently won the coveted prize for her work on the film Off Beat (2005) by Hendrik Hölzemann.

Other works include Nina Grosses Fire Rider (1997), Franziska Buchs Emil and the Detectives (2001), Romuald Karmakars Nightsongs (2003) and Christian Ditters comedy French for Beginners (2006).

She has worked with well-known TV directors such as Dominik Graf (Dr. Knock), Dieter Wedel (My old friend Fritz) and Maria von Heland (Suddenly Gina).

Most notably, Rommel edited the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others (2005) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film was also nominated for the German Movie Award and received the German Critic Award. She got her second nomination for the German Movie Award for her work on A Year Ago in Winter (2008) by Caroline Link.

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