Filmapalooza: Keynote Speaker
Alexander Payne, director of Sideways, About Schmidt, Election, and Citizen Ruth, was our keynote speaker.
There was be a Q&A with him on Friday night. On Saturday morning, he hosted a small discussion group with a few lucky filmmakers.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Alexander Payne earned an M.F.A. in Filmmaking from UCLA. Payne made his feature film debut with the comedy Citizen Ruth (1996), and followed up with Election (1999), a film which earned Best Screenplay awards from the Writers' Guild of America and the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. It also won Independent Spirit awards for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. About Schmidt (2002) with Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates, won two Golden Globe Awards for screenplay and acting and was voted best film of 2002 by both the Los Angeles and London Film Critics Circles. Sideways (2004), Payne's latest collaboration with Jim Taylor, won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for four others, including Best Picture and Best Director. In 2006 he directed a short film for Paris, Je T'aime, in which 18 directors were asked to film a 5-minute love story shot in Paris. Payne is Producer of King of California and Executive Producer of The Savages, which recently appeared at Sundance to glowing reviews.