Insights from the Cinematic World: Actors /Directors

David O. Russell was honored with a Career Tribute at the Gotham Independent Film Awards

David O. Russell

David Russell was born in New York City, New York, the son of Maria (née Muzio) and Bernard Russell, who was a sales executive for Simon & Schuster. His father was from a Russian Jewish family, while his mother was Italian American and Catholic. He was raised in an atheist household.

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Matt Damon was the founder of H2O Africa Foundation, the charitable arm of the Running the Sahara expedition, which merged with WaterPartners to create Water.org in July 2009.

Matt Damon

Matthew Paige “Matt” Damon (born October 8, 1970) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, and philanthropist whose career was launched following the success of the drama film Good Will Hunting (1997) from a screenplay he co-wrote with friend and actor Ben Affleck.

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Along with several friends, including Brett Rodriguez, and his own wife Jenna Dewan, Channing Tatum started two production companies, 33andOut Productions and Iron Horse Entertainment.

Channing Tatum

Channing Matthew Tatum (born April 26, 1980) is an American actor and film producer.. Channing Tatum was born and raised in Cullman, Alabama. He is the son of Kay (née Faust), an airline worker, and Glenn Tatum, who worked in construction. His ancestry includes Irish, French, German, and Native American.

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Noomi Rapace married Swedish actor Ola Norell in 2001. Together, they chose the surname Rapace after they were married; it means "bird of prey" in French and Italian. In September 2010, the couple filed for divorce.

Noomi Rapace

Noomi Rapace (born December 28, 1979) is a Swedish actress. She was born in Hudiksvall, Sweden. Her mother, Nina Norén (born Kristina Norén; 1954) is a Swedish actress, and her father, Rogelio Durán (November 10, 1953 – November 4, 2006), was a Spanish Flamenco singer from Badajoz.

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Favreau credits the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons with giving him "...a really strong background in imagination, storytelling, understanding how to create tone and a sense of balance."

Jon Favreau

John Favreau was born in Flushing, Queens, New York, the son of Madeleine, an elementary school teacher who died of leukemia in 1979, and Charles Favreau, a special education teacher. His mother was Jewish and his father is a Catholic of Italian and distant French-Canadian ancestry. Favreau attended Hebrew school.

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Franco has been published several times in magazines and through his own books and is currently teaching college courses at UCLA, USC and CAL ARTS and acting classes at STUDIO 4.

James Franco

James Franco was born in Palo Alto, California. His mother, Betsy Lou (née Verne), is a writer and actress, and his father, Douglas Eugene “Doug” Franco (d. 2011), ran a Silicon Valley business. The two met as students at Stanford University. James Franco’s father was of Portuguese (Madeiran) and Swedish descent. Franco’s mother is Jewish, a descendant of immigrants from Russia.

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Jason Bateman is a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Jason Bateman

Jason Kent Bateman (born January 14, 1969) is an American television and film actor. Bateman was born in Rye, New York. His mother, Victoria Elizabeth, was a former flight attendant for Pan Am, and his father, Kent Bateman, is an actor, film and television writer/director, and founder of a repertory stage in Hollywood. His mother was from the United Kingdom, born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

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January 2011 Ed Gass-Donnelly was selected as one of the top ten film makers to watch

Ed Gass-Donnelly

Ed Gass-Donnelly (born August 17, 1977 in Toronto, Ontario) is an award-winning Canadian film director, screenwriter and producer. His work often explores themes of death, colliding worlds and the darker sides of human nature. His characters are every-day people who are put in extraordinary situations and left to fend for themselves.

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Exploring work behind the camera, as well, Kirsten Dunst made her directorial debut with the short film Welcome, starring Winona Ryder, which screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Caroline Dunst (born April 30, 1982) is an American actress, singer and model. Kirsten Dunst got her showbiz start at the age of three, when she began filming television commercials. With more than 50 commercials under her belt, she made the jump to the big screen in 1989 in Woody Allen’s New York Stories.

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