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THE GIFT

Director SAM RAIMI's most recent directing credits include the suspense thriller A Simple Plan, starring Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda, for which Thornton received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor; and For Love of the Game, starring Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston and John C. Reilly.

As a teenager, Raimi directed Super 8 films. A few years later, he left Michigan State University to form Renaissance Pictures with Rob Tapert and longtime friend and actor Bruce Campbell. Out of this association came the trio's first feature film, The Evil Dead. Written and directed by Raimi, produced by Tapert and starring Campbell, this low-budget horror picture became an immediate cult hit at the Cannes Film Festival. It also became a theatrical and video phenomenon in Great Britain, mainland Europe and the Far East. The Evil Dead was soon followed by Raimi's equally impressive sequel, The Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn.

Raimi's first studio film was the mainstream fantasy thriller Darkman, starring Academy Award nominee Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand, which Raimi co-wrote and produced. He directed and co-wrote Army of Darkness, an outrageously comic sword-and-sorcery fantasy starring Bruce Campbell; executive produced the feature films Hard Target and Timecop, both starring Jean-Claude Van Damme; co-wrote the feature film The Hudsucker Proxy, starring Paul Newman, Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh; and directed the action-western The Quick and the Dead, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Russell Crowe and Gene Hackman.

Raimi's television credits include the two-hour series pilot "M.A.N.T.I.S.," which he co-wrote and executive produced, and "American Gothic," which he also executive produced. Along with Rob Tapert, his business partner for over 20 years, Raimi has also executive produced TV's "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," which recently concluded its enormously successful six season run; the hit series "Xena: Warrior Princess;" and the nationally syndicated "Cleopatra 2525" and "Jack of All Trades."

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