Hal Salwen

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Hal Salwen
Hal Salwen 1998.jpg
Salwen in 1998
Born United States
Occupation Director, producer, writer

Hal Salwen is an American film director, producer and writer.


Based on a short film he made while attending NYU Film School, Salwen was accepted into the AFI Director's Internship Program where he was placed to observe Sylvester Stallone direct "STAYING ALIVE".[1] Following that experience, he began a career in television commercials, working in various capacities, from production assistant to producer, while simultaneously writing several screenplays. Eventually, two of those screenplays—DEADLY SURVEILLANCE and PROBABLE CAUSE—found their way into production as made-for-cable movies for the Showtime Network. After subsequently having several of his spec scripts optioned by Hollywood studios, but never made, as well as working as an uncredited writer on several films, Salwen began work on smaller projects with the hope of directing. The first in that effort lead to his directorial debut, the film DENISE CALLS UP. He explains:

"'Denise Calls Up' came to me during a time when I was frantically writing screenplays on spec - and anybody who has ever done it knows how tough and how isolating it is to be a freelancer. Now and then, I would call and talk to an old friend of mine over the phone as a break when my fingers would get tired. We'd talk about everything that had been going on in his life -- he'd been in love, out of love, he'd changed careers, gone back to school -- and then one day I was invited to a party in Brooklyn. When we finally met, I realized I hadn't actually seen him in three years. I went home and started playing with the idea of what it would be like if all the major events in a particular group of friend's lives happened between people who never met." [2]

At the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, Salwen was named by Daily Variety as one of its "Top Ten Filmmakers To Watch" [3][4] along with Mary Harron, Wes Anderson and Alfonso Cuaron, among others. Salwen's films have received numerous awards and nominations, with DENISE CALLS UP notable for being the only American film to win an award at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.[5]



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