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KIMBERLY PEIRCE (Director/Written by/Producer) made her feature film debut with 1999’s acclaimed “Boys Don’t Cry,” a fact-based drama about the life and tragic death of Brandon Teena – a Nebraska transgender who was brutally raped and murdered after his double life was exposed. “Boys Don't Cry” plunged into a world few people know and emerged with a tale of universal resonance, an illuminating vision of our shared humanity. Peirce heard about the Brandon Teena story while attending Columbia University as a graduate student. Inspired by Teena’s life and death, she switched her thesis project to this compelling subject. She traveled to Falls City, Nebraska, where the events occurred, did extensive research and attended the trial of the two men accused of Teena’s murder.

In 1995, she made a short film on the subject. The Columbia faculty nominated it for the Princess Grace Award and it received an Astrea Production Grant, which helped fund the cost of developing it into a feature film. The Sundance Institute subsequently asked Peirce to workshop the screenplay at the 1997 Sundance Filmmakers, Writers and Producers Labs. Upon its release, “Boys Don’t Cry” became one of the most acclaimed and talked-about films of the year, earning many honors, including the Oscar® for Best Actress for the film’s star Hilary Swank, as well as the Golden Globe, the Independent Spirit, the NY and LA Critics, and the National Board of Review Awards. Columbia faculty nominated it for the Princess Grace Award and it received an Astrea Production Grant, which helped fund the cost of developing it into a feature film. The Sundance Institute subsequently asked Peirce to workshop the screenplay at the 1997 Sundance Filmmakers, Writers and Producers Labs. Upon its release, “Boys Don’t Cry” became one of the most acclaimed and talked-about films of the year, earning many honors, including the Oscar® for Best Actress for the film’s star Hilary Swank, as well as the Golden Globe, the Independent Spirit, the NY and LA Critics, and the National Board of Review Awards.

Chloë Sevigny was nominated for an Oscar® and a Golden Globe and she won the Independent Spirit, CFCA, BSFC, NSFC, Boston, Chicago and L.A. Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actress.

The film received the International Critics prize for Best Film at both the London and Stockholm Film Festivals, the Satyajit Rai Foundation Award for Best First Feature at the London Film Festival, and was named “the Best American Feature” by Janet Maslin.

For her part, Peirce won honors as Best Debut Director from the National Board of Review and Best New Filmmaker from the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Continuing her tradition of writing real-life stories inspired by America and the American family, Peirce is co-writing to direct a darkly entertaining tale of “Sex, Secrets and Taboo in Suburbia.” Peirce is also writing “Untitled Romantic Comedy '08,” in the vein of Pedro Almodovar and Woody Allen, in which a “guy's” group of friends resuscitates him from the worst possible breakup, and trains him to find true love in this gender twist on the classic romantic comedy. Other projects include the “Untitled New Orleans Project,” inspired by true stories, in which Peirce takes a look at the lawless streets of New Orleans as they become the breeding ground for a great American gangster.

Peirce has been featured in the documentaries “Women in Film,” “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” and “Hollywood Brats.” In addition to her feature work, Peirce has contributed non-fiction film and theater articles to Kansai Time Out, Grey City Journal and Chicago's Screen

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