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CHARLES STONE III (Director) received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Feature for "Paid in Full,” and universal critical acclaim for his sophomore effort, the sleeper hit "Drumline,” set against the exciting and ultra competitive arena of show-style marching bands. The film stars Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana and Orlando Jones, and follows the saga of a talented drummer from Harlem who enrolls in a southern university expecting to lead its marching band's drumline to victory.

In stark contrast to "Drumline,” Stone's "Paid in Full” is a searing character study that explores success and betrayal amidst the seductive environment of drug dealing in 1980's Harlem. Based on a true story, the picture starred Wood Harris, Mekhi Phifer, Kevin Carroll, and Esai Morales and was praised by the New York Times as "The ‘Mean Streets' of rap.”

Stone first garnered attention for "True,” a two-minute comedy about male friendship that he wrote, produced, starred in and directed. Shot on Hi-8 video over one-and-a-half days for $1,000, the short created a sensation when it screened at 1998's MVPA (Music Video Production Association) Short Film Festival alongside work by Spike Jones and Michael Gondry. Shortly thereafter, Stone secured representation and agreed to direct "Paid in Full.” During production, DDB ad executives approached the director about creating a series of commercials for Budweiser based on "True.” The resulting campaign became a cultural touchstone.

The first "Whassup?!” spots aired during NBC's broadcast of a Nicks-Pacers game on December 24, 1999. Three spots ("Call Waiting,” "Girlfriend,” "Intercom”) debuted during the broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIV. The campaign was awarded the Grand Prix for Film at the 47 Annual International Advertising Festival in Cannes, as well as the Grand Clio for Television Award and the International Andy Grandy Award.

Early in his career, Stone worked at New York's Woo Art International, a production house specializing in commercial animation. He subsequently directed videos for A Tribe Called Quest, Neneh Cherry, Living Color, Public Enemy, The Roots, Shaggy, and Jimmy Lee Vaughn. For Black Sheep's "The Choice Is Yours,” Stone garnered Billboard and MTV nominations for Best Rap Video.

Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Philadelphia, Stone graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. During his formative years Stone performed on the stages of Brown University, in comedy clubs and on the turntables in Providence.

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