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THE FIGHTER

DAVID O. RUSSELL (Director) earned critical acclaim early in his career when he wrote and directed his first feature film SPANKING THE MONKEY. This film premiered at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Sundance Audience Award. It also was named Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards that year. His second film was the acclaimed comedy FLIRTING WITH DISASTER which appeared on many top ten lists for 1996. The film received strong reception from both critics and audiences, paving the way for writer/director Russell to employ an even more ambitious scope for his third feature.

THREE KINGS starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, and Ice Cube, was released in 1999 and garnered ample critical praise. Russell earned a nomination from the WGA for Best Screenplay and the film appeared in over 100 critics' top ten lists. Boston Film Critics Society named it the Film of the Year and selected Russell as the Best Director of the Year. Russell continued his relationship with Mark Wahlberg when he proceeded to make I HEART HUCKABEES in 2004.

In 2002, Russell joined the board of the Ghetto Film School, then a brand-new, all-volunteer local summer project with a very small budget and no presence within the film industry. Russell changed all that immediately, getting his filmmaker friends, movie studios and industry professionals to not only give money but also lend their time to teach classes and support the growth of young black and Latino filmmakers from the South Bronx and Harlem. Today GFS is an award-winning program model that has helped over 500 teenagers tell their stories.

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