Craig Michael Saavedra (born November 2, 1963 in Los Angeles, California) is an American film producer, director, Tony Award-winning Broadway producer and co-owner of New York City and Los Angeles-based production company Starry Night Entertainment.
Saavedra was raised in Thousand Oaks, California along with his six siblings, among them cartoonist/illustrator Scott Saavedra (“Dr. Radium”) and KFI AM 640 radio personality Neil Saavedra (host of The Fork Report and producer of “The Jesus Christ Show”). He is married to cinematographer/director Joaquin Sedillo.
Shortly after graduating high school, Saavedra found employment at Universal Studios in Hollywood as a tour guide. In the evenings, he attended film courses at UCLA’s Extension program. It was through this program that he met a film executive who eventually hired him as a story analyst at producer Jerry Weintraub’s Weintraub Entertainment Group. Shortly thereafter, Saavedra left to become Director of Operations at Big Time Picture Company, a post-production and film editing facility on Los Angeles’ west side. At Big Time, Saavedra met Gregg Hoffman from nearby PRO FilmWorks, and was recruited to join PRO as a development executive.
Saavedra was promoted to Vice President of production and soon was producing and/or supervising the production/development of numerous projects including Only You (starring Academy Award winner Helen Hunt and directed by Betty Thomas), Gross Misconduct (film) (Jimmy Smits and Naomi Watts), Scorchers (Faye Dunaway, James Earl Jones, Jennifer Tilly, Emily Lloyd), The Real Macaw (film) (Jason Robards), At First Sight (Jonathan Silverman), Closer and Closer (Kim Delaney) and the television series The Man from Snowy River. In 1993, the company changed its name to Becker FilmWorks Entertainment to reflect its ties with parent company Becker Entertainment, Australia's leading independent film and television production, distribution and exhibition company. Shortly thereafter, Saavedra was named President of the Los Angeles operations. In 1999, Saavedra made his directorial debut on the feature comedy-drama Rhapsody In Bloom (Penelope Ann Miller, Ron Silver, Craig Sheffer and Caroline Goodall). After directing Rhapsody in Bloom, Saavedra retired from Becker FilmWorks to focus on writing both motion picture and theatrical works.
Saavedra produced and directed the comedy/drama Sherman's Way starring James LeGros, Enrico Colantoni, Brooke Nevin, Lacey Chabert, Donna Murphy and Michael Shulman, which won the Audience Award for Best Feature at Cinequest Film Festival 2008, the Audience Award at the Newport International Film Festival and a Special Jury Award at the Jackson Hole Film Festival. The film was released theatrically in the United States through International Film Circuit.
In 2009, Saavedra made his first foray into producing live theater with the New York premiere of JT Rogers's "White People" Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company's Stage 2. The controversial and darkly humorous play about racism in America starred John Dossett, Rebecca Brooksher and Michael Shulman.
On November 3, 2013, "After Midnight" Opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. The Duke Ellington review marks the first above-the-title producing credit on Broadway for Saavedra and Shulman, and has garnered rave reviews across the board with The New York Times proclaiming it "HOT, SWEET AND ALTOGETHER GLORIOUS! This SPARKLING and JUBILANT show has A SUPERABUNDANCE OF TALENTED PERFORMERS who sing, slide, scat, cartwheel and generally raise a ruckus in front of the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars – sixteen musicians who rollick through the music of Duke Ellington and others with a verve that almost CAPTIVATES THE EYE AS MUCH AS IT DOES THE EAR. The music gleams, shimmers, dances and sings with an eloquence that ENTHRALLS. YOU'LL BE IN SEVENTH HEAVEN.”
"The Cripple of Inishmaan" starring Daniel Radcliffe opened on Broadway April 20, 2014 at the Cort Theatre with Saavedra and Shulman producing for their Starry Night Entertainment banner alongside the Michael Grandage Company, Arielle Tepper Madover, L.T.D. Prods., Stacey Mindich, Scott M. Delman, Martin McCallum, Stephanie P. McClelland, Zeilinger Prods. and the Shubert Organization. The New York Times review proclaimed, "This gorgeously realized production has the wisdom to let us laugh until it hurts." The Chicago Tribune wrote, "Radcliffe, who reveals chops here I've never seen on stage nor screen, is surrounded by superb character work throughout, including the killer likes of June Watson and Gary Lilburn." The Associated Press declared that the show provided "an evening of boisterous theatricality that overlays buried empathy for our shared human frailties. Newsday singled out director Michael Grandage, the Tony-winner of "Red," by stating that he "directs a lovely cast in the gleeful poetry of outcast inhumanity."
- Tony Award for The Ferryman (play) - Best Play 2018-2019 Broadway Season
- Tony Award Nomination for After Midnight
- Tony Award Nomination for The Cripple of Inishmaan
- Audience Award for Best Feature Sherman's Way - Cinequest Film Festival 2008
- Audience Award for Best Feature Sherman's Way - Newport International Film Festival 2008
- Audience Award for Best Feature Sherman's Way - Gaia Film Festival 2008
- Special Jury Award for Sherman's Way - Jackson Hole Film Festival 2008
- Addy Award for Heinz Commercial MIDNIGHT SNACK - 2008
- Audience Award for Best Feature RHAPSODY IN BLOOM - Sedona International Film Festival 1999
- RHAPSODY IN BLOOM - Hollywood Film Festival 1999 Best Actress Penelope Ann Miller