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SAM MENDES' (Director/Producer) work directing theater and film spans almost twenty years. He began his career in the theater as Assistant Director at the Studio Theatre in Chichester in 1987 and was the first Artistic Director of the Minerva Theatre in 1989. By 1990, he was directing for the RSC. His work for them since included highly acclaimed versions of "Troilus and Cressida,” "The Alchemist,” "The Tempest” and "Richard III.” 

In 1992 Sam founded the Donmar Warehouse in London, which he ran in the capacity of Artistic Director until 2002. Within this time Sam helped establish the theater as one of the most dynamic and successful playhouses in the country. His productions there included "Assassins,” "Translations,” "Cabaret,” "Glengarry Glen Ross,” "The Glass Menagerie,” "Company,” "Habeas Corpus,” "The Front Page,” "The Blue Room,” "To The Green Fields Beyond,” "Uncle Vanya” and "Twelfth Night,” both of which transferred to The Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2004. Sam won a number of Olivier awards during this period including an unprecedented three awards in 2003, two for his work on "Uncle Vanya” and "Twelfth Night,” and one in recognition of the Donmar's decade- long period of success under his guidance. Several productions transferred to Broadway, and Sam won Tony awards as a producer for both "The Real Thing” and "Take Me Out.” 

Other work outside of The Donmar has included directing West End productions of "The Cherry Orchard,” "The Plough and the Stars” (both starring Judi Dench), "Kean,” "London Assurance” and "Oliver!,” which ran for 4 years at the London Palladium. He also directed the National Theatre productions "The Sea,” "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice,” "The Birthday Party” and "Othello.” On Broadway, Sam directed "The Blue Room,” "Gypsy,” "The Vertical Hour” and his long-running production of "Cabaret,” which received four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival. 

Sam is about to embark on The Bridge Project: the first project of a three-year venture co-produced by Neal Street, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Old Vic, London. In this unique collaboration, Sam will direct a transatlantic company in a double-bill of classic plays beginning in Spring '09 with "The Winter's Tale” and "The Cherry Orchard” led by long-time collaborator Simon Russell Beale as Leontes and Lopakhin. 

Sam's film work began in 1999 with his film directorial debut, AMERICAN BEAUTY, for which he received the Academy Award® for best Director as well as a Golden Globe and the DGA award for outstanding direction. The film garnered a further four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. This was followed in 2002 by the movie adaptation of the graphic novel, ROAD TO PERDITION, starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. The film earned seven Academy Award® nominations. Mendes then returned to the screen in 2006 directing JARHEAD®, an adaptation of Anthony Swofford's book of the same name, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx and Peter Sarsgaard. 

Sam's work in theater and film brought him a CBE in 2000, for services to the arts, and the Director's Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. 

As well as working as a director, Sam acts as Executive Producer on all Neal Street projects and has also produced a number of films, most recently THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE, directed by Susanne Bier, starring Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro. Additionally Sam also acted as executive producer on STARTER FOR TEN, STUART-A LIFE BACKWARDS and THE KITE RUNNER, which was released in 2007. 

Sam will next direct a currently untitled project, an original screenplay written by novelists David Eggers and Vendela Vida.


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