7 August 1959 |
London, England, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Film producer, talent agent|
|Spouse(s)||Priscilla A. Woolworth (1988-?; divorced; 2 children)
Cassian Elwes (born 7 August 1959) is an independent film producer and agent, and is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the independent film industry.
Early life and education
Cassian Elwes is a son of Dominic Elwes, a portrait painter, and Tessa Kennedy, an interior designer. He is the brother of actor Cary Elwes and artist Damian Elwes. He is the stepson of Elliott Kastner, an American film producer.
Elwes began his producing career with 1983's "Oxford Blues" starring Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy and quickly went on to make another 29 films, including "Men at Work", with Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, and "The Chase" with Sheen.
In 1995, Elwes joined William Morris. His first effort was the long stalled project "The English Patient" which won best picture that year. He quickly followed up with such indie hits as "Slingblade" and "The Apostle," both of which were nominated for multiple Oscars. "Monster's Ball" was their follow up, which won the Oscar for Halle Berry.
The Hollywood Reporter has said that Elwes was "involved in a virtual who's who of every great independent film of the last ten years" with films such as "Thank You For Smoking", "Half Nelson", and "Frozen River" '(the last two of which garnered Oscar nominations for Ryan Gosling and Melissa Leo respectively).
"What people lose sight of," Elwes said to Screen International, "is that these films cost a tenth of the films that they competed against at the Academy Awards. The privilege was the recognition."
Elwes is an expert in the field of arranging financing and distribution for independent films having done so for 283 films during his tenure at William Morris Independent.
Since leaving William Morris Independent two years ago,[when?] Elwes has been involved in arranging financing and distribution for 23 films including "Lawless," directed by John Hillcoat ("The Road"), starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy, and the thriller "The Paperboy," directed by Lee Daniels ("Precious"), starring Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron. Elwes produced the period drama The Butler, which was directed by Lee Daniels and featured an ensemble cast, including Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Terrence Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, and Robin Williams, among others.
Additionally, he is producing "Dallas Buyers Club" starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner, "Saints" starring Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster, and "Hateship, Loveship" starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Hailee Steinfeld and Nick Nolte.
On 29 October 2013 Elwes launched the Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriter Fellowship, in conjunction with The Black List, to award one writer an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and mentorship from Elwes. Elwes and The Black List plan to award the fellowship annually.
William Morris years
From 1994 to 2009, he co-headed William Morris Independent as an agent at The William Morris Agency, representing independent films and independent film producers; a position he held until the merger of that agency with Endeavor.[when?]
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|Ancestors of Cassian Elwes|
- Film Festival Today article 25 Most Influential People in Independent Film
- "'Cassian Elwes, Black List’s Franklin Leonard Will Take A Wannabe Scribe To Sundance'". Deadline.com. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "'Cassian Elwes Launches Indie Screenwriting Fellowship'". HollywoodReporter.com. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "'Producer Cassian Elwes and Black List Team for Independent Screenwriting Fellowship'". Indiewire.com. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "'Cassian Elwes May Take You To Sundance If You Have Not Earned $5,000'". Variety.com. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "'Cassian Elwes and the Black List Will Bring a Screenwriter to Sundance'". TheWrap.com. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "''Screen Daily'' article on Cassian Elwes". Screendaily.com. 28 May 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- Fleming, Michael (27 May 2009). "''Variety'' article on Cassian Elwes". Variety.com. Retrieved 2012-05-31.