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"Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium” marks the feature film directorial debut of screenwriter ZACH HELM (Director, Writer). The film stars Academy Award®-nominee and Golden Globe®-winner Natalie Portman, two-time Academy Award®-winner Dustin Hoffman, Golden Globe®-winner Jason Bateman and ten year-old newcomer Zach Mills.

Helm was raised on a small raspberry farm in a town of less than 100 people by his parents, both of whom are teachers. As a child he was a competitive speller as well as captain of his speech and debate team.

He attended college at The Theatre School at DePaul University. While there, he formed his first amateur theatre company, became involved in the spoken word movement in Chicago, and eventually performed at the Lollapalooza® festival as well as becoming a merit scholar at DePaul.

After college, Helm wrote and directed several small, unsuccessful plays until being hired by Fox 2000 as an under-contract feature writer. During this time he wrote "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium” (which he eventually purchased back from Fox in 2004). He worked as a writer for hire until finishing the screenplay for "The Disassociate,” which is currently moving towards production with Todd Phillips ("Old School”) attached to direct.

Helm then wrote "Stranger Than Fiction,” which was directed by Marc Forster, starring Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson and Queen Latifah. Following that screenplay, Helm's stage play, "Last Chance For A Slow Dance,” had its world premiere at New York Stage and Film. The following season, Helm worked on his latest play, "Good Canary,” for which he received a grant from the Ovid Foundation Playwriting Fellowship which is given to new playwrights and their plays in conjunction with the Ojai Playwrights Festival. 

Productions of "Good Canary” are currently in development at the Roundabout Theatre in New York, to be directed by Michael Mayer, and in Paris, to be directed by John Malkovich. He is currently developing his television series pilot, "Thomas Johnson,” a family thriller about a quiet patriarch who may or may not be a serial killer.


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