Claudia Weill is an American film director best known for her film Girlfriends (1978), starring Melanie Mayron, Christopher Guest, Bob Balaban and Eli Wallach, which she made independently, then sold to Warner Bros after multiple awards at Cannes, Filmex and Sundance. It's My Turn (1980 for Columbia Pictures), with Jill Clayburgh, Michael Douglas, and Charles Grodin won her the Donatello, or International Oscar for best new director. Her earlier film work after graduating Harvard in 1969 was 30 films for Sesame Street, freelancing as a camerawoman and numerous documentaries- notably The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir, a documentary about the first delegation to China after Nixon in 1973, a cross section of US women headed by Shirley MacLaine, nominated for an Academy Award and released theatrically and on PBS. After moving to LA to start a family in 1986, Weill began directing Thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, Once and Again, Chicago Hope, and numerous pilots, cable movies like Johnny Bull and Face of a Stranger.
Originally a theatre director of mostly new work at Williamstown, The O’Neill, Sundance, ACT, Empty Space and in New York at MTC, the Public, and Circle Rep, she won the Drama Desk’s Best Director Award for the premiere of Donald Margulies’ Found a Peanut produced by Joe Papp at the Public Theater in 1984. More recently she directed the West Coast Premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner, Doubt (Linda Hunt) at the Pasadena Playhouse, Memory House, End Days and "Tape" and numerous workshops - Modern Orthodox, Adam Baum and the Jew Movie by Daniel Goldfarb, and The Parents' Evening by Bash Doran at the Vineyard Playhouse, Huck and Holden by Rajiv Joseph at the Black Dahlia, La Bella Famiglia at ACT SF, Act a Lady and Sweet Mercy at Antaeus, and many others.
Claudia has guest taught directing for film, television and/or theatre at Harvard, Columbia, NYU and Juilliard, Cal Arts and is currently a Professor at USC in the School of Cinema. She mentors playwrights and directors and is researching a documentary about the art and craft of directing. She was the 3rd woman admitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1981, (after Dorothy Arzner and ida Lupino). Weill's distant cousin was the composer Kurt Weill, famous for such works as The Threepenny Opera, which contained the popular song "Mack the Knife".
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