Thom Fitzgerald

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Thomas Fitzgerald
Born (1968-07-08) July 8, 1968 (age 46)
New Rochelle, United States
Occupation Film director
Film producer
Screenwriter
Years active 1997 - Present

Thomas "Thom" Fitzgerald (born July 8, 1968) is an award winning American-Canadian film and theatre director, screenwriter, playwright and producer.

Life[edit]

Fitzgerald was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York.[1] His parents divorced when he was five years old. He moved with his mother and brother, Timothy Jr., to Bergenfield, New Jersey, where he was raised and graduated Bergenfield High School. While pursuing his university degree in Manhattan at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art,[2] he spent a semester as an exchange student at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design,[3] and permanently moved to Halifax after completing his studies.

Fitzgerald continues to reside in Nova Scotia. He has described himself as a "struggling Catholic".[4]

Career[edit]

In Canada, Fitzgerald worked extensively as a trio with performance artists Renee Penney and Michael Weir for several years, as the Charlatan Theatre Collective.[5]

The Hanging Garden[edit]

He launched his career in film, releasing his debut feature, The Hanging Garden, in 1997 starring Troy Veinotte, Chris Leavins and Kerry Fox. That film won several Genie Awards, including acting nods for Peter MacNeill and Seana McKenna, and a screenplay trophy for Fitzgerald. It also garnered Fitzgerald the Claude Jutra Award for best feature film by a first-time director, the FIPRESCI European Critics Prize, Best Canadian Film Prize at the Atlantic Film Festival, Best Canadian Film at the Vancouver Film Festival, Best Screenplay at the Mar del Plata Festival, and a number of other high-profile awards.[6] The film made its U.S. debut at the Sundance Film Festival.[7]

Beefcake[edit]

Main article: Beefcake (film)

His second project, which was actually in progress prior to The Hanging Garden, was the muscle magazine docu-comedy Beefcake (1999). The story of fitness photographer Bob Mizer (played by Daniel MacIvor) and the wave of fitness magazines in the 1950s, it was commissioned for television by Channel 4 in the UK and Arte in France and Germany. But the movie was too racy for North American television in 1999, and was released theatrically by Strand Releasing instead. The film debuted at Sundance[8] and garnered four Genie Award nominations. Jonathan Torrens won the Best Supporting Actor Award from ACTRA, the Canadian equivalent of SAG. Beefcake enjoys a long-running cult status on DVD.

Wolf Girl[edit]

Main article: Wolf Girl

Wolf Girl (2001) was a Halloween special for the USA Network starring Tim Curry, Victoria Sanchez, Lesley Ann Warren, Darlene Cates, Grace Jones, Shelby Fenner and Shawn Ashmore. Penned by acclaimed novelist Lori Lansens, the story spins the werewolf genre in reverse, as cosmetic treatments render a furry side-show performer (Sanchez) progressively more psychotic.

The Wild Dogs[edit]

Main article: The Wild Dogs

The Wild Dogs (2002) is a digital video-shot ensemble drama set in contemporary Bucharest. The stories involve a reluctant dogcatcher (Mihai Calota), a diplomat with prostate cancer (David Hayman), and a touring pornographer (played by Thom Fitzgerald). Rachel Blanchard and Alberta Watson co-star. The Wild Dogs debuted at the Toronto Film Festival. Along with three Genie nominations including Best Supporting Actor for Hayman, The Wild Dogs won the Best Canadian Film Award at the Atlantic Film Festival and the Emerging Master Award at the Seattle International Film Festival.

The Event[edit]

Main article: The Event (film)

The Event (2003), tells the story of Matt, a New Yorker with AIDS (Don McKellar) who has died mysteriously. Parker Posey plays an attorney who takes her investigation personally, pushing his family (Olympia Dukakis, Sarah Polley, Dick Latessa) and friends (Brent Carver, Rejean Cournoyer, Jane Leeves) into stark confessions about the reality of Matt's demise. The low-budget film debuted at Sundance Film Festival,[9] opening to praise. It received numerous awards, including the Siegessäule Reader's Award, the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, an ACTRA Supporting Actor Award for Rejean Cournoyer, the Outfest Jury Prize for Best Actress for Dukakis, a Best Supporting Actress Genie nomination for Dukakis, and Atlantic Film Festival Awards for Fitzgerald, writers Tim Marback and Steven Hillyer, and veteran actress Joan Orenstein.[10]

3 Needles[edit]

Main article: 3 Needles

3 Needles (2005) tells three short stories about the global HIV pandemic. In the first, Lucy Liu stars as a Chinese blood smuggler who unleashes havoc on a farmer's family. In the second story, a second rate porn actor in Montreal (Shawn Ashmore), hides his HIV status from his mother (Stockard Channing). In the third story, three Christian missionaries (Chloë Sevigny, Olympia Dukakis and Sandra Oh) barter with a South African plantation owner (Ian Roberts) to help a family of orphans. The film has won awards for cinematographer Tom Harting as well as Fitzgerald's Direction at the Atlantic Film Festival, and garnered Fitzgerald a Director's Guild nomination for Best Direction of a Feature Film. The director received promotional support from the United Nations' Global Media AIDS initiative, and the film was released on December 1 (World AIDS Day), 2006, in selected theaters and on Showtime Network.

Cloudburst[edit]

In 2010 Fitzgerald's first full-length play Cloudburst debuted in Halifax at Plutonium Playhouse. Critics called the play "a knock-out" and "the best thing to happen to the Halifax theatre scene in a decade"[11] Cloudburst won the 2011 Merritt Award for Best New Play.[12] Fitzgerald shot a film version of Cloudburst in 2011 starring Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Fricker and Ryan Doucette. The film debuted at the 2011 Atlantic Film Festival and won an Atlantic Canada Award for Best Screenplay and the People's Choice Audience Award for Best Film of the Festival.[13] It also won the Audience Award for Best Film at Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival,[14] the Audience Award for Best Canadian Indie Film at Edmonton International Film Festival,[15] Top Ten Canadian Film at Vancouver International Film Festival, and Best Film at Image+Nation Montreal Film Festival.[16] It won a Best Canadian Film Award at Victoria Film Festival.[17] It won a Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival.[18] Cloudburst won film estival prizes worldwide including Audience Awards in Copenhagen, Barcelona, Hannover, Waterloo[19] and numerous other cities.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title!
1997 The Hanging Garden
1999 Beefcake
2001 Wolf Girl
2002 The Wild Dogs
2003 The Event
2004 The Young Astronomer
2005 3 Needles
2010 The Gospel According to the Blues
2011 Cloudburst
2013 Forgive Me (TV series)
2013 Sex & Violence (TV series)

Quotes[edit]

  • "Writing and directing is simply about recreating 2,000 little moments from life that you observed."[20]
  • "I'm not at a fork in the road, I'm at an eggbeater in the road."[21]
  • "I see comedy everywhere, that's how I live day to day. I try to laugh and see the ironies and hopefulness in life. Even in the saddest things. They're one and the same, in their extremes. If you've ever seen someone truly happy, ecstatically happy, it is indistinguishable from grief."[22]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thom Fitzgerald Bio". Tribute. Tribute Entertainment Media Group. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Lucas, Ralph. "Thom Fitzgerald". Canadian Movie Database. Northern Stars. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Thom Fitzgerald". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Wearring, Myles (2006-11-30). "The Other Side of AIDS". Sydney Star Observer. Retrieved 2006-11-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ Melnyk, George (2007). Great Canadian Film Directors. University of Alberta Press. p. 330. 
  6. ^ "internet movie database". Retrieved 26 Sep 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Hanging Garden". Sundance Archives. Sundance Institute. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Beefcake". Sundance Archives. Sundance Institute. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Event". Sundance Archives. Sundance Institute. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Event". imdb.com. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ http://halifax.infomonkey.net/nova.scotia.news.events.php?e=cloudburst-a-knockout
  12. ^ http://www.thecoast.ca/ArtAttack/archives/2011/03/29/halifaxs-theatre-community-throws-a-merritt-party
  13. ^ Kuburas, Melita. "Cloudburst rakes in the festival love". Playback Daily. Playback. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Cloudburst on Winning Streak". Canadian Movie News. Northern Stars. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  15. ^ Knegt, Peter. "Thom Fitzgerald's "Cloudburst" Wins Awards Across Canadian Festival Circuit". Indiewire. Indiewire. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  16. ^ Hawrysh, Michael. "Cloudburst and acclaimed docs snag prizes at Image + Nation". 2B Online. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Behind the Scenes: Victoria". Victoria Film Festival Official Website. Victoria Film Festival. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "ATLFF Grand Jury Winners". Atlanta Film Festival Official Website. Atlanta Film Festival. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Peoples' Choice Awards". Rainbow Reels Festival Official Website. Rainbow Reels Festival. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Swedko, Pam (17 November 1997). "The 1997 Genie Awards: Fitzgerald honored with Jutra Award". Playback. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  21. ^ http://www.catsquotes.com/F.htm
  22. ^ Nash, Cara. "Road Trip Romance". Film Ink. Film Ink. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "Ribbon of Hope Honors HIV/AIDS Awareness Work". Official Website. Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  24. ^ Wise, Wyndham. "The Hanging Garden". The Canadian Encyclopedia. The Historica Dominion. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Awards for Thom Fitzgerald". Internet Movie Database. imdb.com. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  26. ^ a b "TV, film prizes for Maritimes announced". The Chronicle Herald. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  27. ^ a b c Eldridge, Richard. "Ron Gant's Good Day Atlanta debut, Cee Lo spotted!, Out on Film winners". Atlanta Magazine. Out on Film. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "Official Website". Festival Internacional de Cinema Gai i Lesbic de Barcelona. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  29. ^ Reid, Michael D. "Belgian crime thriller takes top honours at Victoria Film Festival". The Victoria Times Colonist. Canwest Publishing. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  30. ^ Soares, Andre. "Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival Awards: Elderly Lesbian Lovers on the Run, Interracial Gay Romantic Comedy". Alt Film Guide. Alt Film Guide. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Finalists named for Provincial Arts Prizes". Canada Views. Retrieved 23 Oct 2011. 
  32. ^ "emerging masters". Official Website. Seattle International Film Festival. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 
  33. ^ "10TH ANNUAL SOUTHWEST GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS!". Official Website Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Closet Cinema. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 

Further Reading[edit]

  • Padva, Gilad. Nostalgic Physique: Displaying Foucauldian Muscles and Celebrating the Male Body in Beefcake. In Padva, Gilad, Queer Nostalgia in Cinema and Pop Culture, pp. 35-57 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, ISBN 978-1-137-26633-0).

External links[edit]