Anna Thomas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Anna Thomas
Born (1948-07-12) July 12, 1948 (age 73)
Stuttgart, Germany
  • Screenwriter
  • film producer
  • writer
Spouse(s)Gregory Nava,
(married 1975 separated 1995 - divorced 2006)
ChildrenChristopher and Teddy

Anna Thomas (born July 12, 1948) is a German-born American film screenwriter and film producer. She also is the author of The Vegetarian Epicure, which contributed to the rise of the vegetarian movement of the 1970s. She is currently Discipline Head of the Screenwriting department at the American Film Institute.



While at the film school at UCLA Thomas wrote, produced and directed her master's thesis film, a dramatic feature titled The Haunting of M, a turn of the century ghost story, shot in Scotland. It was well received by film critics and shown at festivals and art houses.[1]

Film work[edit]

In 1973, Thomas worked with fellow film student Gregory Nava on his master's thesis film, a dramatic feature set in the Middle Ages, The Confessions of Amans. It was the beginning of a writing collaboration that has spanned more than two decades.

In 1984, Thomas co-wrote and produced El Norte with Nava directing. The film was a critical success. Thomas and Nava were nominated for an Academy Award and the film collected honors at various film festivals. In 1995, it was elected to the National Film Registry for the Library of Congress.

Thomas produced A Time of Destiny for Columbia Pictures in 1988 and worked for the studio on a few writing jobs.

She returned to the independent film world in 1995 with My Family, a multi-generational Mexican-American family story set in East Los Angeles which Thomas co-wrote and produced.


While at college, she also wrote her first cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure (Knopf, 1972). The book became a success and is acknowledged as the book that brought pleasure to vegetarian cooking.[2] The book sold over one million copies.[3] A few years later she wrote her second book, The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two (Knopf, 1978). Both books have been translated into several languages, sold in the millions in their various editions, and have remained in print. In 1996, Thomas wrote The New Vegetarian Epicure, also published as From Anna's Kitchen, a menu-based cookbook with a new collection of recipes. In 2009, she published Love Soup.

In 2016, she published Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore, a cookbook which addresses all three styles.[4][5]


Thomas lives in Ojai, California and Los Angeles, where she continues to write screenplays and other fiction. She is the Screenwriting Discipline head at the American Film Institute.[6]

Books written[edit]

  • The Vegetarian Epicure Alfred A. Knopf, 1972, 305 pages. ISBN 0-394-71784-8.
  • The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two Alfred A. Knopf, 1978, 401 pages. ISBN 0-394-73415-7.
  • The New Vegetarian Epicure Alfred A. Knopf, 1996, 450 pages. ISBN 0-679-76588-3.
  • Love Soup W. W. Norton, 2009, 528 pages. ISBN 978-0-393-33257-5.
  • Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore: Dinner for Everyone at the Table. W. W. Norton, 2016, 496 pages. ISBN 978-0393083019.

Screenwriting filmography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]




  1. ^ Ebert, Roger Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Chicago Sun-Times, film article, December 15, 1983.
  2. ^ Delicious India Archived December 15, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. "Vegetarianism Is Here To Stay," interview with Anna Thomas.
  3. ^ "Vegetarian cookbook author Anna Thomas ladles out ‘Love Soup’". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  4. ^ "Meatless Monday: Anna Thomas’ Revolutionary Idea — “Vegan, Vegetarian, Omnivore”". HuffPost. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  5. ^ "Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore Takes the Stress out of Modern Dinner Parties". Portland Monthly. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  6. ^ AFI faculty biographical information page.
  7. ^ a b IMDB Awards and Nominations
  8. ^ James Beard Foundation Award

External links[edit]