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Morgan Pehme (born May 5, 1978 in New York, USA) is an American filmmaker, writer, and producer.
The son of journalist Kalev Pehme, Pehme has been involved in film since he was a child. As a former United States National Scholastic Chess Champion (1993 National Junior High School Championship), he was one of the subjects of director Lynn Hamrick’s 1996 documentary Chess Kids, as well as Hamrick’s 2011 30-minute follow to her original film.
Pehme attended The Dalton School in Manhattan with Josh Waitzkin, the subject of the book "Searching for Bobby Fischer". In the book, the author Fred Waitzkin, writes: “Morgan was a year and a half younger than Josh but had the vocabulary and wit of a smart 14-year-old, and he was already one of the three or four strongest chess players in the country in his age group (third grade and under).” Pehme was also portrayed as the character “Morgan” by actor Hal Scardino in the 1993 film adaptation of the book.
As founder and CEO of the production company Merlion Entertainment, Pehme executive produced his first feature film in 2004. The movie, Exist, directed by Esther Bell, was hailed by The New York Times as “an antidote to the whimsy and solipsism endemic to much of what passes for independent film making.”
The next year Pehme produced Nightmare, which he also co-wrote with the film’s director, Dylan Bank. For their collaboration, Pehme and Bank were awarded the jury prize for Best Screenplay at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.
From January 2008 to January 2010, Pehme wrote The Brooklyn Optimist, a blog focused primarily on politics, the arts, and community empowerment in Brooklyn, New York. In September 2008, Pehme, a critic of Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez, ran in the Democratic primary to represent a portion of Greenpoint, Brooklyn as a County Committee Member in the Kings County Democratic Party and was elected.
On September 19, 2011, Pehme was named one of City Hall's Rising Stars 40 Under 40 for his work as executive director of New York Civic, a good government group founded by former New York City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern.
On August 18, 2012, Pehme was hired as editor-in-chief of the newspaper City & State, which covers New York politics.
- 1993 National Junior High School Chess Championships (Rosemont, Illinois) April 18, 1993 http://www.drwoodymc.com/pics2.html
- Rising Stars 40 Under 40: Morgan Pehme City & State Written by Chris Bragg September 19, 2011 http://www.cityandstateny.com/rising-stars-40-under-40-morgan-pehme/
- City & State hires Morgan Pehme as editor-in-chief City & State April 18, 2012 http://www.cityandstateny.com/city-state-hires-morgan-pehme-editor-in-chief/