Richard Tanne

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Richard Tanne
Richard Tanne at a Q&A.jpg
Born (1985-02-04) February 4, 1985 (age 37)
EducationState University of New York, Purchase (BFA)
  • Director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
  • actor
Years active2005–present
Notable workSouthside with You (2016) Chemical Hearts (2020)

Richard Tanne (born February 4, 1985)[1] is an American filmmaker and actor. His critically acclaimed feature film debut Southside with You (2016), premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received several accolades including a Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Director.[2]

In 2020, Tanne released his second feature film, the Amazon Studios drama Chemical Hearts, which he wrote and directed. It received positive reviews.[3]

Early life[edit]

Tanne was born and raised in the township of Livingston, New Jersey. He attended Livingston High School, graduating in 2003.[4] He was raised Jewish.[5]

As a teenager, Tanne's writing led to him being the recipient of the New Jersey Governor's Award for Excellence in Arts Education for playwriting.[6] Following his initial success as a teenage writer, Tanne was announced as the winner of the Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Competition, which was founded by Stephen Sondheim.[7] Other recipients include filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan and playwright Rebecca Gilman.[8]


Early work[edit]

Tanne became the host of Cinema Cool in 2010, and was also a co-creator of the movie talk show.[9] His first major role as an actor came in 2011 in the TV movie, Swamp Shark. The film aired in 2011 on the SyFy Channel.[10] He produced the Lionsgate horror film Mischief Night (2014)[11] and played a lead role in the 2014 independent film Worst Friends, co-starring Kristen Connolly and Cody Horn.[12]

Breakthrough and success[edit]

In December 2014, it was announced that Tanne would make his feature directorial debut on the romance film Southside with You, for which he also wrote the script.[13] The film is based on the first date of American President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, in Chicago, Illinois in 1989.[14] Around the same time, Tika Sumpter was announced as cast in the role of Michelle Obama, and also co-produced.[14] Principal photography on the film began on July 13, 2015 on location in Chicago,[15][6] and wrapped on July 31, 2015.[15]

Southside with You premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and received numerous awards and nominations.[2] It was released in North American theaters on August 26, 2016.[16]

On June 14, 2019, Amazon Studios announced that production was underway in New Jersey on Chemical Hearts, a teenage coming-of-age, romance drama with Tanne writing, directing and producing and Lili Reinhart starring and executive producing. Tanne adapted the screenplay from Krystal Sutherland's novel, Our Chemical Hearts.[17] The film was released on Amazon Prime to generally positive reviews on August 21, 2020.[3]

Upcoming projects[edit]

In October 2017, Deadline Hollywood reported that Tanne sold a genre pitch to Sony Pictures in a bidding war. Though the plot was not disclosed, Tanne is set to write and direct the film. It was also reported that he will next direct an original screenplay entitled Vienna.[18]



Year Title Credited as
Director Producer Writer
2016 Southside with You Yes Yes Yes
2020 Chemical Hearts Yes Yes Yes

Producer only[edit]

Acting Roles[edit]

Year Title Role Type Notes
2005 2001 Maniacs Additional Maniac Feature Film
2011 Cinema Cool Host Web Series Also co-creator
2011 Knifepoint Rick Feature Film
2011 Swamp Shark Tyler TV Movie SyFy Original Film
2011 The Nine Lives of Chloe King Cody TV Series Episode: "Responsible"
2014 Worst Friends Jake Kittner Feature Film Also producer


  1. ^ "Richard Tanne Biography". IMDb.
  2. ^ a b "Southside With You". August 19, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Chemical Hearts (2020), retrieved September 22, 2020
  4. ^ "Livingston High School TV Studio Fundraising Telethon to be Held", TAP into Livingston, June 7, 2014. Accessed August 5, 2019. "The telethon will also include vintage film clips including Tony winner Nikki M. James (’99), actor Adam Pally (’00), filmmaker Rich Tanne (’03), sportscaster Bruce Beck (’74), actor Jason Alexander (’77), with segments featuring bands, celebrity guests, best programs, and more."
  5. ^ Lisa Bonos (October 27, 2021) [2016-08-26]. "Richard Tanne, writer and director of 'Southside With You,' on breaking the rules on a first date". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 1330888409.[please check these dates]
  6. ^ a b "Governor's Awards in Arts Education Award Recipients". State of New Jersey, Department of Education. May 2003.
  7. ^ "Congrats 2011 National Winners". Wordplay (Young Playwrights Inc.). August 2011.
  8. ^ "Sondheim and Others Perform Cut Songs at Young Playwrights Benefit, May 9". Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  9. ^ Barton, Steve (May 26, 2010). "George Romero Keeps Cinema Cool". Dread Central.
  10. ^ "Interview with 'Swamp Shark' Star, Richard Tanne". Horror Society. June 24, 2011.
  11. ^ unclecreepy (June 3, 2014). "New Mischief Night Video Salutes Slashers". Dread Central. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  12. ^ "'Worst Friends' Indie Comedy Finds North American Distributor | Hollywood Reporter". July 3, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (December 5, 2014). "Barack and Michelle Obama's First Date Subject of New Movie". Variety. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  14. ^ a b Yamato, Jen (December 5, 2014). "Obama Romance Movie in Works – Who Will Play Young Barack?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Exclusive Interview: Mischief Night director Travis Baker. "It sets itself apart from the pack."". Horror Society. May 2, 2014.
  16. ^ "Southside with You (2016) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "Lili Reinhart to Star & Executive Produce Amazon Studios' Coming-Of-Age Drama 'Chemical Hearts'". June 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Hipes, Patrick (October 26, 2017). "'Southside With You' Writer-Director Richard Tanne Sells Genre Pitch To Sony". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 11, 2017.

External links[edit]