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HEAVEN IS FOR REAL

RANDALL WALLACE (Director/Screenwriter) is the Oscar-nominated storyteller behind such critical and box-office hits as Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor, and Secretariat.

Born in Jackson, Tennessee, he went on to attend Duke University, where he studied Russian, religion, and literature, which he says made him acutely aware of how the past can be shockingly relevant to the present and would later influence the vibrant, dynamic way in which he would bring to life epic stories from history. After Duke, he put himself through a graduate year of seminary in a typically unusual way, by teaching martial arts (he is a black belt in Karate.)

Wallace continued down an ever-shifting path, managing an animal show at Nashville's Opryland, signing a contract as a songwriter and writing articles for Architectural Digest (while living in a tiny, garage apartment). But it was when he moved to California in 1980 that he found what he was looking for, unexpectedly, when he read his first screenplay. Along with screenplays, he began writing novels - and today he is the author of seven books, including four original novels and three novel versions of the screenplays of his films. From the moment he read his first screenplay, he knew this was the form that would change his life.

Wallace was taken under the wing of leading television producer Stephen J. Cannell and spent several years writing for television series in the late 80s and early 90s. He struck out into features with Braveheart, inspired by a trip to Scotland to better get to know his roots as a Scottish American. It was there he learned about the true legend of medieval Scottish patriot William Wallace — and instantly saw the sweeping cinematic potential in his story of betrayal and sacrifice.

Braveheart became Wallace's first produced screenplay when it drew the interest of director and star Mel Gibson, and ended up as the film success story of 1995, sweeping the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director and garnering Oscar and Golden Globe nominations as well as the Writers Guild Award for Best Screenplay for Wallace.

The success of Braveheart sparked Wallace's desire to direct. Making his directorial debut with his own screenplay for The Man In The Iron Mask, he drew an extraordinary cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, John Malkovich, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons and Gerard Depardieu. Shortly after, he wrote the screenplay for the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster, Pearl Harbor, directed by Michael Bay and starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale.

This was followed by Wallace's second film as director, We Were Soldiers. Once again, Wallace spearheaded the project, after discovering the book 'We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young', in an airport bookshop. Moved by its starkly honest account of a singular battle in the Vietnam War, Wallace purchased the rights himself with money he had earned from Braveheart. He then re-teamed with Mel Gibson to star in a film that would be widely acclaimed for its humanity and authenticity. Wallace was so committed to understanding the motivation of his characters that he even trained with career soldiers at the notoriously grueling U.S. Army Ranger School.

Secretariat would take Wallace into a completely different world, but one also full of inspired determination and people triumphing against the odds. Authenticity remained key as Wallace hand-picked the cast and literally went off to the races, immersing himself in the history and know-how of horseracing so that he could put it on-screen in a way audiences had never experienced before. He shot on location in Kentucky and Louisiana, with as many as 36 horses on the set at once.

Wallace also recently took a comic turn in front of the camera, playing himself on HBO's hit comedy series "Entourage" in an arc of three episodes culminating when Vince, after a night of debauchery, blows his big meeting with the director.

In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Wallace is the founder of Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity. In 2010, he and his sons Andrew and Cullen formed their own company, Wallace Entertainment, which is focused on creating entertainment for worldwide audiences based on the classic values of love, courage and honor.

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