Directors ALLEN and ALBERT HUGHES, twin brothers, made a major leap into the entertainment industry with their jolting debut as twenty-year-old creators/directors of "Menace II Society." The film's compelling, realistic look at inner-city life garnered international critical acclaim and put them on the map as significant filmmakers.
Based on an idea the brothers hatched at age fourteen, the three million dollar picture grossed some thirty million dollars at the box office, was named one of the ten best films of the year by numerous critics, and received Best Picture honors at the 1994 MTV Film Awards.
Their follow-up movie, "Dead Presidents," was the story of a young man's life that turns into shambles after serving in Vietnam. Expecting to return home a hero, he instead finds himself pulling off an armored car robbery in a desperate attempt to support his family. It was written by award-winning playwright Michael Henry Brown and starred Larenz Tate, Chris Tucker, Bokeem Woodbine, Seymour Cassci, Martin Sheen, Keith David and N'Bushe Wright.
The Hughes' most recent project was the feature-length documentary "American Pimp," which examined the men behind the world's oldest profession. Having debuted at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, it garnered the highest per-screen average in the country during its initial weeks in release.
In addition to their vision as filmmakers, Allen and Albert have also proven their talents in the music field. The soundtracks for their first two films, which they produced, went platinum. Their other projects include music videos for Marvin Gayc's Inner City Blues and the re-release of Isaac Hayes' Walk On By. The Hughes' also directed two PSAs on gun control, Stray Bullets and These Walls Have No Prejudice, which have won forty-four awards, including four Clios.
Born in Detroit to a mother who supported her sons' creativity, Allen and Albert began making home movies at age twelve. Their formal education began their freshman year of high school, when Allen took a TV production class. They soon made a short film entitled "How to Be A Burglar" and people began to take notice. Their next work, "Uncensored Videos," was broadcast on cable, introducing them to a wider audience.
After high school, Albert began taking classes at LACC Film School. Their short films entitled "Menace" and "The Drive By" attracted industry attention, leading to their breakthrough film "Menace II Society."
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