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Overview for Allison Anders
Allison Anders

Allison Anders


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 16, 1954 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Ashland, Kentucky, USA Profession: Director ...


Raised in Kentucky until father left family when Anders was five; mother moved her around a great deal thereafter
Was gang-raped at age 12 (date approximate)
Family settled in Los Angeles when Anders was 15; stepfather at one point pulled a gun on her (date approximate)
Was placed in a mental hospital in Los Angeles at age 15 because of suicidal feelings and a retreat into a fantasy world; depression exacerbated by, among other things, the widely circulated rumors of the death of her favorite Beatle, Paul McCartney
Dropped out of high school at age 17; headed back to Kentucky by bus to live with other relatives (date approximate)
Moved to London at age 18 to live with an English-born philosophy student she had met on the Greyhound she took to move back to Kentucky (date approximate)
Worked as a barmaid in London until she got pregnant; when lover did not want her to have baby, moved back to Los Angeles alone and supported herself and child with welfare and with work as a waitress
Attended junior college (dates approximate)
Returned to junior college for another two years after the birth of her second daughter (dates approximate)
Was accepted by, and attended, UCLA's film school, beginning in the early 1980s
Became fascinated with the films of Wim Wenders; sent the filmmaker dozens of letters, some of which were as long as 60 pages, as well as audiocassettes of music she liked; Wenders only wrote back a few times, but the two began to communicate by telephone
First feature film credit, as a production assistant on Wim Wenders' film, "Paris, Texas"
Moved to the Echo Park section of Los Angeles shortly after graduating from UCLA; supported herself and her daughters for a time with money from a screenwriting grant she had received
Feature film directorial and screenwriting debut, "Border Radio" (b&w, 16mm), co-directed and co-written with fellow UCLA film students Kurt Voss and Dean Lent
First solo directorial effort, "Gas Food Lodging", for which she also wrote the screenplay, based on a novel by Richard Peck; Lent served as director of photography
Actor Hugh Grant backed out of Anders' "Paul Is Dead" project a scant month before shooting was to start, and funding disappeared with him
Won praise for "Mi Vida Loca/My Crazy Life", her authentic picture about Latina gang members; shot film only a month after the Los Angeles riots of 1992
Awarded a MacArthur "genius" grant ($255,000)
Signed two-year deal with Miramax Films to write, produce and direct features
Helmed and scripted the "Strange Brew" segment of "Four Rooms"
Wrote and directed "Grace of My Heart", about a female singer struggling to make it in the music business in the 1950s and 1960s; executive produced by Martin Scorsese
Executive produced "Lover Girl", on which Lent was director of photography
Reteamed with Voss to co-write and co-direct the comedy-drama "Sugar Town", about a group of aging musicians; premiered at the Sundance Film Festival
With Voss, co-wrote "Things Behind the Sun", a drama about a young female rock musician coping with a rape; also directed; premiered at Sundance Film Festival; sold to Showtime; inspired by events from Anders' own life

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