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ROD LURIE (Director) wrote and directed last year's widely praised political thriller "The Contender," starring Joan Allen as a senator whose confirmation as Vice President is threatened by rumors of a sexual indiscretion in her past. Both Allen and Jeff Bridges, who played the sitting President, received Academy Award© and Golden Globe nominations for their performances. The film was also honored by the Broadcast Film Critics with the first-ever Alan J. Pakula Award, which is presented for "artistic excellence by illuminating issues of great social and political importance." Lurie's upcoming projects include the thriller "Scenes of the Crime," starring Jeff Bridges and Noah Wyle, on which he serves as a producer.

Before he segued to filmmaking, Lurie first enjoyed success as a film critic and entertainment reporter. He made his film writing and directing debut with the dramatic short "4 Second Delay," which won the Prix du Jury at the 1998 Festival of American Cinema in Deauville, France. In addition, the film won Best Short Film Awards at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Crested Butte Reel Fest. Lurie followed with his first feature film, "Deterrence," a drama about America coming to the brink of nuclear war, starring Kevin Pollak and Timothy Hutton.

Lurie graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984 and went on to serve for four years as a Combat Arms Officer in the U.S. Army. He broke into journalism as an entertainment reporter for the New York Daily News, and was also a film critic and interviewer for Channel 12 in Fairfield County, Connecticut. In addition, he was a frequent contributor to such magazines as Premiere, Movieline and Entertainment Weekly.

Moving to Los Angeles, Lurie worked as a film critic, investigative reporter and contributing editor to Los Angeles Magazine from 1990 to 1995. He spent the next four years as the film critic for KABC Radio in Los Angeles, where his top-rated movie review show became a favorite of listeners. It also featured such on-air guests as Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Billy Bob Thornton, James Woods and Martin Landau.

In addition, Lurie authored the book Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, published by Random House in 1995.

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