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PLEASANTVILLE

GARY ROSS (Writer/Director) makes his feature directorial debut with Pleasantville, a daring modern fairy tale in which an entire fictional town is granted a chance to experience the wonders, comedies and dangers of real life.

Ross is a contemporary fableist, combining sheer entertainment with intriguing questions about contemporary life. As a screenwriter he has spun such tales as Big, the poignantly hilarious story of a child who gets the opportunity to try out living as a 30 year-old man; and Dave, a comic yam about an ordinary guy who finds himself standing in for the President of the United States. In each of Ross' features, things happen to his characters that stretch reality and enlarge both their hearts and their points-of-view.

The son of a screenwriter, Gary Ross was writing short plays and short stories by the

4th grade. He wrote a short novel in high school, then later at the University of

Pennsylvania, he dabbled in theatre directing. He helped teach a course in Film and

Social History, spent summers studying acting with Stella Adler, interned on Capitol

Hill and became involved in national political issues, all while majoring in English.

In the 1980's, Ross found himself gravitating back towards motion pictures. He began writing a social satire wrapped up in a fantastical cloak - a fairy tale about a little boy who dreams of getting to live a grown-up life and is astonished at the consequences of having his dream come true. That tale became Big, directed by Penny Marshall and starring Tom Hanks in the role that propelled him to mega-stardom. Ross and his partner Ann Spielberg were honored with an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay as well as a Writers Guild Award nomination. The story was later turned into a Broadway musical.

Ross went on to write Dave, the hit White House comedy that won actor Kevin Kline and director Ivan Reitman critical acclaim. Again the story was one in which fantastical circumstances placed an ordinary man inside the White House - where themes ranging from political equity and individuality to the need for love played out against a series of comic adventures.

Ross was no stranger to the political milieu explored in Dave. Throughout his career, he has remained active in local and national politics. He has written speeches for numerous political luminaries, including President Clinton, and attended the Democratic National Convention as a delegate. He also recently served as President of the Los Angeles Library Commission, a position that influenced the catalytic role of the library in Pleasantville.

Again, Ross garnered a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination and a Writer's Guild

Award nomination. He also won the Paul Selvin Award from the Writer's Guild of

America.

But even with his screenwriting success, Gary Ross didn't want to try his hand at directing until he felt 100 percent ready. The strength of his vision for Pleasantville compelled him to make this story his feature directorial debut.

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