hal hartley

HAL HARTLEY (Writer/Director) was born in 1959 and grew up in the suburbs outside New York City. He attended art school for one year (1978-79) in Boston, and then attended the State University of New York at Purchase Film School from 1980 to 1984. He moved to New York City after graduation and completed three short films between 1985 and 1988: "Kid", "The Cartographer's Girlfriend" and "Dogs."

Hartley's first feature, "The Unbelievable Truth," was shot in 1988 and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 1989. Starring Robert Burke and Adrienne Shelley, the film went on to win widespread acclaim when it opened theatrically in the summer of 1990. His second feature, "Trust," starring Adrienne Shelley and Martin Donovan, also debuted in 1990 at the Toronto Film Festival. It went on to win various international prizes, including the first annual Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, the Critics Prize at the Sydney Film Festival, two top prizes at the Houston Film Festival, the Jury Critic's Prize at the Deauville Film Festival. In 1992, the Rotterdam Film Festival presented a retrospective of Hartley's work.

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In 1991, Hartley directed three short films for PBS: "Theory of Achievement" and "Ambition," produced for Alive From Off/Center and featured in the Museum of Modern Art's New Directors/New Films Series and "Surviving Desire," made for American Playhouse and shown at the Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels held in Cannes.

"Simple Men," Hartley's third full-length feature, stars Robert Burke, Bill Sage, Karen Sillas, Elina Löwensohn and Martin Donovan. The film was selected as one of sixteen films in the main competition of the1992 Cannes Film Festival and won awards for Best Director and Best Film at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Karen Sillas also recieved a nomination as Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles.

In 1993, Hartley directed music videos "The Only Living Boy in New York" (for Everything But the Girl), "From a Motel 6" (for Yo La Tengo) and "Iris" (for the Red Hot "No Alternative" compilation). In 1994, he directed a short video, NYC 3/94, shown at the 1994 New York Film Festival video section, and a short film, Opera No. 1, for Comedy Central.

"Amateur", Hartley's fourth feature, starring Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan and Elina Löwensohn, was selected for the "Director's Fortnight" section at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, and also played at the Toronto, New York and other film festivals. It was released theatrically in the U.S. in 1995. That year, the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York presented an extensive retrospective of Hartley's work.

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Set in New York, Berlin and Tokyo, Hartley's next film "Flirt," tells the same story of infidelity in three different ways - changing location, gender and sexual preference. Following that, Hartley directed music videos for Flirt actor Masatoshi Nagase's song "Boom 'n Bust," and Everything But the Girl's "Walking Wounded."

Hartley is currently completing a short film for French television, "The Book of Life," in which Jesus Christ (Martin Donovan) and Mary Magdalene (P.J. Harvey) return to the contemporary world and face Satan (Thomas Jay Ryan). His next project is "Soon," a "play with music," which he will stage at the Salzburg Opera Festival. The cast includes Elina Löwensohn, Thomas Jay Ryan and Miho Nikaido.

Hal Hartley lives and maintains his production company, True Fiction Pictures, in New York City.


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