Jonathan Demme (Director) has produced and directed over 29 feature films including Rachel Getting Married, The Manchurian Candidate, Beloved, The Agronomist, The Silence of the Lambs (for which he won an Academy Award and the New York Film Critics Best Director), Philadelphia, Married to the Mob, Something Wild, Swimming to Cambodia and Melvin and Howard, for which he was named Best Director by the New York Film Critics. Additional producing credits include Devil in a Blue Dress, Household Saints, That Thing You Do!, Ulee’s Gold and Adaptation.
Demme’s films have been nominated for 20 Academy Awards. The Silence of the Lambs received five Academy Awards in 1991—for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay Adaptation. His films have won screenplay Oscars twice, Melvin and Howard (Best Original Screenplay, 1980) and The Silence of the Lambs (Best Screenplay Adaptation, 1991), and two of the Best Actor awards of the 1990s went to Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, 1991) and Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, 1993), with Jodie Foster receiving the Best Actress award (The Silence of the Lambs, 1991) as well.
Demme, a strong advocate of human rights, has also produced and directed a number of documentaries about the Haitian plight, including The Agronomist; Haiti: Dreams of Democracy; Haiti: Killing the Dream; Tonbe Leve; and Courage and Pain. In addition, he directed the documentary Cousin Bobby, and produced the Academy Award-nominated biography Mandela as well as Into the Rope!, about Double Dutch; The Uttmost, a portrait of producer Kenny Utt; and One Foot on a Banana Peel, the Other Foot in the Grave, about living with AIDS. He also produced the Peabody Award-winning documentary Beah: A Black Woman Speaks, about the life of Beah Richards.
Demme’s creative talents have also lured him into the music domain. He released the acclaimed concert film Neil Young: Heart of Gold, in 2006, re-teaming with Neil Young, with whom he worked on The Complex Sessions, the 1994 film featuring six songs from the “Sleeps with Angels” album. Demme’s follow-up film, Neil Young Trunk Show was released in 2010 and Neil Young Journeys released in 2012 completed a Neil Young trilogy.
His most recent documentary is of renowned Neapolitan saxophonist and singer/songwriter Enzo Avitabile. The film, Enzo Avitabile Music Life premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2012 and has recently been released.
He directed the Robyn Hitchcock concert film Storefront Hitchcock as well as the award-winning Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. In addition, Demme has directed music videos for Bruce Springsteen, Les Frères Parent, The Neville Brothers, New Order, KRS-One and the Feelies, among others. He also produced Konbit, an album of Haitian music.
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