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MIKE BINDER (Sugarman/writer/director) began his career as a stand-up comedian in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. This path eventually led to his own HBO "One Night Stand” special, HBO's "Detroit Comedy Jam,” and "The Comedy Store's 11th Anniversary Show” on HBO with Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, and Jim Carrey.

His years of stand-up also yielded a secondary benefit: developing a point of view as a writer. His first screenplay, Coupe De Ville, caught the attention of director Joe Roth, who helmed the film for Universal. That soon led to another feature, Crossing the Bridge, which marked Binder's directorial debut. From there, he wrote and directed the poignant Indian Summer for Touchstone Pictures.

With HBO's critically acclaimed hit series, "The Mind of the Married Man,” Binder created a true water cooler show that pushed buttons, provoked thought, and, most importantly, made people laugh.

Binder wrote, directed, and starred in the feature The Search for John Gissing with Alan Rickman and Janeane Garofalo, which won the Critics Award at the 2002 Sarasota Film Festival. He also wrote, directed, and starred in Londinium, with Stephen Fry and Colin Firth, and The Sex Monster, for which Binder received both the Best Film and Best Actor nods from the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. In addition, Binder co-starred in The Contender with Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, and Gary Oldman, and in Steven Spielberg's futuristic thriller Minority Report opposite Tom Cruise.

The Upside of Anger, written and directed by Binder, premiered in 2005 at the Sundance Film Festival. With an ensemble cast including Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Alicia Witt, Erika Christensen, Keri Russell, and Evan Rachel Wood, it was widely received to rave reviews. The film was released by New Line Cinema and Media Eight Entertainment.

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