LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER
LEE DANIELS (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER) is perhaps best known for his Academy Award winning film PRECIOUS: BASED
ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE. The film was adapted from the New York Times-
bestselling novel Push by Sapphire (a.k.a. Ramona Lofton). PRECIOUS was nominated for
six Academy Awards, including nominations for Daniels in the category of "Achievement
in Directing" and "Best Motion Picture of the Year, and wins in the categories of "Best
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role" and "Best Writing, Adapted
Daniels was the first African American to be nominated for a Director's Guild of America
Award for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film" on behalf of PRECIOUS.
The film won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic
Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, only the third film in Festival history to do
so. It was also nominated for three Golden Globe awards including "Best Picture Drama,"
and was nominated for eight NAACP Image Awards, six of which it won, in categories
including "Outstanding Motion Picture" and "Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture,
Theatrical or Television." The film also garnered a total of five 2010 Independent Spirit
Awards, including "Best Feature" and "Best Director."
Daniels' production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, made its feature film debut
with MONSTER'S BALL, making Daniels the sole African-American producer of an Oscar-
winning and Oscar-nominated film. Daniels also produced THE WOODSMAN which was
nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards. The film received the CICAE Arthouse
Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Deauville International Film Festival,
and Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review.
SHADOWBOXER marked Daniels' directorial debut. Following the film's world premiere at
the Toronto International Film Festival, Daniels was also nominated for the New Directors
Award at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival.
Most recently, Daniels wrote and directed THE PAPERBOY, which he also produced. The
film, which stars Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack, and Nicole Kidman, is
based on the 1995 novel by Pete Dexter that centers on a reporter (McConaughey) and
his younger brother (Efron), who investigate the events surrounding a murder to
exonerate a man on death row (Cusack). The film premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film
Festival, and was released by Millennium Entertainment in 2012.
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