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ALEXANDER PAYNE made his feature film debut with the critically acclaimed CITIZEN RUTH, a provocative satire about the abortion rights war. He followed that up in 1999 with the much lauded ELECTION, which led the year's critic's Top Ten lists, earned Best Director and Best Film Independent Spirit Awards and, for Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor, won a number of Best Screenplay awards including the Writers Guild of America, the New York Film Critics Circle and the Independent Spirit Award, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Payne followed with ABOUT SCHMIDT, starring Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates. The film earned two Golden Globes (Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director) and was voted Best Film of 2002 by the Los Angeles and London Film Critics Circles. In addition to SIDEWAYS, he has also executive produced the upcoming film THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON.

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Payne holds B.A. degrees in History and Spanish Literature from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in filmmaking from UCLA. His thesis film, THE PASSION OF MARTIN, which he wrote, directed and produced, screened at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival.


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