December 11, 1952 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
|Occupation||Director, producer, writer, actress|
Life and career
Seidelman belongs to the first wave of female independent film makers in the American cinema of the 1980s. She graduated Abington Senior High School in 1969, and went on to study fashion and arts at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Her first forays into movie-making at New York University resulted in a slew of awards including a Student Academy Award Nomination for her NYU short film And You Act Like One Too.
In 1982, she made her feature film debut with Smithereens, which was the first American independent film to be selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was written by Ron Nyswaner, who would later receive an Academy Award nomination for Philadelphia.
Seidelman's second theatrical film Desperately Seeking Susan, featuring then-rising star Madonna, was a major box-office and critical success for Seidelman, and launched the film careers of co-stars Rosanna Arquette and Aidan Quinn as well as introduced a new generation of actors and performers such as John Turturro, Laurie Metcalf, Robert Joy, Giancarlo Esposito, and comedian Steven Wright.
Seidelman's subsequent movies of the 1980s were Making Mr. Right, a romantic sci-fi comedy starring Ann Magnuson and John Malkovich, who played dual roles as both a socially awkward scientist and his lovesick android creation; Cookie, a father-daughter mafia comedy starring Peter Falk, Dianne Wiest, and Emily Lloyd, written by Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen; and She-Devil, the film version of Fay Weldon's bestselling novel with Roseanne Barr and Meryl Streep in her first comedic movie role.
In the 1990s and 2000s Seidelman garnered success as a television director, helming the pilot of Sex and the City as well as various episodes of the first season and winning two Emmy nominations for the Showtime film A Cooler Climate starring Sally Field and Judy Davis and written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman. She has also directed episodes of Comedy Central's cult hit Stella and PBS's The Electric Company.
In 1994 Seidelman and screenwriter Jonathan Brett received an Academy Award nomination for a short film they co-wrote and co-produced called The Dutch Master. The film was part of the series called "Erotic Tales" produced by German producer Regina Ziegler and was screened at both the Cannes Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival. In the same year Seidelman was a member of the jury at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2002, Seidelman returned to feature films with Gaudi Afternoon, a gender-bending detective story set in Barcelona, starring Judy Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Juliette Lewis and Lili Taylor. Her 2006 film Boynton Beach Club (one of the first movies to deal with sexuality and the aging Baby Boomer generation), enjoyed a theatrical run and significant acclaim at major film festivals around the country. It was based on an original idea by her mother, Florence Seidelman, who was living in south Florida and gathered true stories of senior citizens who suddenly found themselves back in the "dating game" again after the loss of a spouse.
Seidelman's next film Musical Chairs, opened in limited release on March 23, 2012. The story set in the South Bronx and Manhattan revolves around a couple that takes part in a wheelchair ballroom dancing competition after the woman becomes disabled. The film had its premiere at Lincoln Center's Dance on Camera Festival and played at the New York International Latino Film Festival, the Miami International Film Festival, and the Havana International Film Festival, among many others. It was nominated for the Astaire Award for Best Feature Film, a GLAAD Media Awards Nomination (2013) for "Outstanding Film, Limited Release", and won Best Feature Film and Best Director awards at the 2013 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival.
Seidelman's most recent film, The Hot Flashes (2013), is about a group of middle-aged women living in small town Texas, all former 1980s high school basketball champs. who decide to reunite and challenge the current 18-year-old girls high school championship team to raise money for charity. It stars Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Wanda Sykes, Virginia Madsen, Camryn Manheim, and Eric Roberts. It was released in July 2013.
Awards and nominations
- Cesar Awards Nomination (Best Foreign language film) – Desperately Seeking Susan
- BBC Award – Best 100 films of all times – Desperately Seeking Susan
- Academy Award Nomination – Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film (Narrative Short Subject) – The Dutch Master
- Student Academy Award Nomination (dramatic short) – And You Act Like One, Too
- Golden Palm Nomination – Smithereens
- Astaire Awards Nomination – Musical Chairs
- GLAAD Media Awards nomination 2013 "Outstanding Film, Limited Release" – Musical Chairs
- Massachusetts Independent Film Festival – Best Feature Film, Best Director – Musical Chairs
- Smithereens (1982)
- Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
- Making Mr. Right (1987)
- Cookie (1989)
- She-Devil (1989)
- The Barefoot Executive (1995) (TV)
- Tales of Erotica (with Bob Rafelson, Ken Russell and Melvin Van Peebles) (1996) ("The Dutch Master")
- Early Edition (1996) (TV)
- Sex and the City (1998) (TV)
- A Cooler Climate (1999) (TV)
- Now And Again (1999) (TV)
- Gaudi Afternoon (2002)
- Power and Beauty (2002) (TV)
- The Ranch (2004) (TV)
- Stella (2005)
- Boynton Beach Club (2006) (also Co-Writer, with Shelly Gitlow)
- The Electric Company (2009–2010) (TV)
- Musical Chairs (2012)
- The Hot Flashes (2013)