Welcome to the Zoë Tech Family. You have made an important decision--you have purchased a Zoë Implant for your unborn child. What does this mean? Immortality. Our patented Zoë Chip will be placed in your child's brain at birth to record everything that happens in his or her life. No longer do our cherished moments have to fade and disappear over time...
A Zoë Chip is an implant that records your entire life. When you die, the footage from your life is pieced together by an editor into a "Rememory," a film that is shown at your memorial. A toy for the privileged, Zoë implants are changing the face of human interaction; however, there are those who are against this technology and believe that memories are meant to fade.
Alan Hakman (Robin Williams) is the best "cutter" in the business. His ability to grant absolution to his often corrupt clients has put him in high demand. However, his talent for viewing life without emotion has shaped him into a distant man unable to experience life in the first person. He believes he is a "sin eater," and his work provides him with the ability to forgive the sins of the dead. He hopes that if he exonerates others, he will somehow forgive himself.
While cutting a Rememory for a high-powered Zoë Tech officer, Alan discovers an image from his childhood that has haunted him his entire life. This discovery launches Alan on a high intensity search for truth and redemption.
Omar Naïm's THE FINAL CUT is startlingly different from conventional science fiction films. It's a compelling fable that offers a vision of a world where memory implants record every moment of a person's life. Post mortem, these memories are removed and edited by a "cutter" into a film which depicts the life of the departed for a commemorative ceremony called a "Rememory." It is a story that forces us to question the power of our memories and the sanctity of our privacy.
THE FINAL CUT came from the fertile imagination of 26-year-old writer/director Omar Naïm, whose idea developed while editing a documentary at film school. "There is a false myth of objectivity that became very apparent as I was cutting that film," recalls Naïm. "By moving pieces around and inter-cutting, the context of what people were saying completely changed."
Naïm continues, "I find it a very human need to keep track of memory through images. I think when you combine this need with the subjective power of editing, the representation of our memories is not very truthful. The idea really started to expand in my mind. I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to do justice to all the layers available with an idea like this, which is what led to writing a script, and then rewriting and rewriting, and rewriting..."
Excited by the potential of his story concept, Naïm quit his job to devote himself to writing full time. When he finished the script, Naïm was accepted to The Equinox Project in France, a prestigious workshop for young filmmakers. Naïm befriended Jonathan Nossiter, director of the Sundance Grand Prize winner SUNDAY, who put Naïm in contact with producer Nick Wechsler.
Wechsler was immediately impressed by Naïm. "I found in Naïm endless enthusiasm," recalls the producer. "He was very smart when talking about the material. We spent a lot of time talking about his vision for the look, the editorial, the sound design, how he saw the evolution of the characters and after several discussions I knew I would be able to sell him as the filmmaker. I said, 'All right, I'm going to get this done for you.' And I set about putting the movie together."
As Wechsler and Naïm began to assemble the creative team behind THE FINAL CUT, it began to dawn on Naïm how fully he could realize his dream. When asked by Wechsler to list his ideal filmmaking team, Naïm didn't hesitate naming two living legends, cinematographer Tak Fujimoto (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, PHILADELPHIA, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS) and editor Dede Allen (BONNIE AND CLYDE, DOG DAY AFTERNOON). On the basis of Naïm's script and his impressive vision for the project, both Fujimoto and Allen agreed to sign on.
"I found the script to be unusual, different... very challenging," says Allen. "I'm very much of a character cutter. I'm an actor's kind of person, and that has always been important. I could do chases--I call that dessert." She laughs. "But it's really about trying to get the characters to be real people. If you have good actors--which we did--then you can achieve this. Robin is phenomenal and the other actors all seem to fit in around him."
The filmmakers felt equally blessed when it came time to cast the film. As Wechsler puts it, "I think the movie god shined down on us when it became apparent that Robin Williams would play the role of Alan." Omar Naïm agrees completely. "Robin Williams is a genius, in case you all didn't know," he says, laughing. "My idea of the character changed drastically from the time I wrote it. When I first wrote it, I was into the idea of the character being kind of distant... cool. But with Robin, he's a human being. The way he plays the character is human and so devastating."
As for what attracted Robin Williams to the role of Alan Hakman, it was Naïm's script. "It's basically why I'm in," Williams explains. "I found myself surprised at every turn, which is great. Plus, the idea of that technology... it seems in the last couple of months there have been a lot of articles about the idea of implants, either memory monitors or things that would augment memory. That's fascinating, as is the idea of subjective versus objective memory."
Wechsler agrees with the timeliness of the project, adding, "One of the things we found as we were developing the movie was various articles about, say, a chip to track individuals. To track their events, track their health, monitor their actions. The project seems to be an extension of what's happening today with reality television."
Williams agrees, saying it's "the ultimate home movie. The trend started with digital photography. People now catalog a lot of digital video and share their archives on their own websites. Now, instead of having fifteen minutes of fame, you can kind of augment that with people putting cameras in bedrooms. Everything can be recorded."
In casting the pivotal role of Delila, the antique bookstore owner who is dating Alan, the filmmakers knew that they would need an actress who could stand up to the complexity of the Alan Hakman character. They decided on Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino. "Mira is just an amazingly intelligent, skilled, talented woman," Naïm says. "And this part she's playing is a good combination of many of her skills that she's had in many different films: her humor, her intelligence, her warmth, her sexiness. Delila on the page was never as interesting as Delila is on the screen."
For Sorvino, it was her initial meeting with Naïm that really attracted her to the project. "The first time I met Omar, I was delighted," remembers Sorvino. "Often first-time directors are either insecure or pompous." She laughs. "He was neither. He had written this incredibly brilliant script, had these great ideas for it, was very confident, and yet was very at ease with himself. He invites you to play. He is not threatened if everybody experiments a little bit--which makes for a very interesting stew."
It was the multi-layered character of Delila, as well as the themes of the story, that convinced Sorvino that this was a part she wanted to play. "She runs an antique bookstore, a used bookstore, and she is interested in texture, story, authenticity, and preserving things in their frail reality, rather than in a reconstituted simile of a life," says the actress of her character. "However, I think she also wants to know if people's lives make any sense. Alan, the editor, puts--imposes maybe--structure on lives. There is something almost godlike about what he does. He finds the destiny in people's stories--which I think attracts her. At the same time, she is a little frightened of it."
As for the experience of working opposite Williams, Sorvino says, "He is a wonderful actor. And in this movie, I think people will see him give a very nuanced performance. I don't think you can really compare it to anything he has done yet." Of course, Sorvino admits that when the camera stops rolling, she is no longer in the presence of the mysterious and solemn Alan Hakman, but of Robin Williams. "He is the most generous collaborator--as an actor--I have ever worked with," she says. "He is so kind and hysterical. I would literally have tears in my eyes because he is so hilarious. I have never seen someone with the natural comedic gift that he has."
"We view Robin as one of the world's great actors," adds Wechsler. "What we didn't expect and what has been one of the great surprises of the movie is how entertaining and generous he is on a daily basis."
The matriarch of the community of cutters in THE FINAL CUT is Thelma, played by Canadian actress Mimi Kuzyk. Thelma has a very unique relationship with all of the cutters, and of her connection with Alan Hakman, Kuzyk says, "Oh, she and Alan go way back. We have talked about it. They probably go back, I don't know, twenty, twenty-five years. I think they were contemporaries. And though they use different methods of 'cutting,' Thelma is as close to Alan as anyone gets to Alan. She loves him--as a friend. And they respect each other enormously."
Though it may be described as a science fiction story, THE FINAL CUT is not necessarily a futuristic vision. Wechsler says, "With THE FINAL CUT, we're not trying to create a future or an alternative world. What we're trying to do is create a fable." It is a story that Naïm has described simply as happening in "another time and another place." To create the look of this "time and place," Naïm turned to the talents of production designer James Chinlund (THE 25TH HOUR, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM).
Director Naïm recounts, "I needed someone very special to design this film. This is a film about a world drenched in nostalgia. That's the concept. It's idolizing the past. So what I wanted was a film that looks like a memory of a film. It's like a period piece made 100 years from now, about 150 years ago. The first thing James said to me was, 'Wouldn't it be great if the "guillotine" (the cutters' primary editing bay) was carved out of wood?' That's when I knew something unique was going to happen."
"Part of what I envisioned was this idea of craftsmanship, taking technology and couching it in the familiar," says Chinlund about the guillotine. "The tech elements are still there, but they're housed in a handcrafted casing. We were excited about being able to put those two ideas together. It's right there, both layers--the future and the past."
Costume designer Monique Prudhomme also aided in creating a wholly original aesthetic for the project. "The main idea of working with production designer James Chinlund is that we wanted to create a movie that is ageless, so you couldn't pinpoint the period." Prudhomme explains, "It's a science fiction theme, but instead of going to the leather jump suit and an invention of a world that does not exist, we preferred to create a world that we know but is timeless. We were all inspired by European movies and film noir. The wardrobe and the styles we're using go from the thirties to the eighties, and we shamelessly mix everything. You can't ever pinpoint a fifties outfit or a forties gown."
Prudhomme describes how her designs contribute to the evolution of Williams' character. "As the movie goes through this catharsis, there is a rejection of love and then the redemption of love. As this happens, Alan's wardrobe gets deconstructed. He loses the three-piece suit. He loses the jacket. He loses the vest. Then the colors change. From white, we go to gray, then blue. By the end of the movie, he wears the same colors as Delila. We created a transition for him that works really well."
Individuals in every department identify a single source for their own energy and enthusiasm on this project: the imagination and the drive of the young writer/director Omar Naïm. As Wechsler put it, "The one thing I'm sure about in developing and making the movie up to this stage is that Omar is a real filmmaker. It's hard to compare him with any filmmaker that I've worked with or any filmmaker that's already out there. He's distinct, and will have a unique and successful career. We'll be hearing a lot more from him in the next twenty years."
Omar Naïm (Writer/Director)
THE FINAL CUT marks Omar Naïm's feature film directorial debut. A Lebanese filmmaker based in the United States, Naïm was raised in Jordan, Cyprus and Lebanon. He attended Emerson College in Boston, where he made the Student Academy Award nominated documentary film GRAND THEATER: A TALE OF BEIRUT. His early experience included serving as cinematographer on several low budget short films and one feature.
Naïm, born in 1977 to a journalist father and an actress mother, currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Nick Wechsler (Producer)
Nick Wechsler launched his successful producing career with a pair of seminal features that ushered in a new era of independent filmmaking in Hollywood: SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE, a Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner, and DRUGSTORE COWBOY, both in 1989. That same year, his high-profile production operation merged with best friend Keith Addis' thriving management business. Hollywood history was made when Addis-Wechsler and Associates became the first firm to combine top-notch talent management and first-rate feature film and television production into one innovative, dynamic and multi-faceted entity. In 1998 the company re-christened itself Industry Entertainment.
Wechsler's producing and executive producing credits include the following slate of acclaimed films: Spike Lee's 25TH HOUR, starring Ed Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Barry Pepper; Philip Kaufman's film QUILLS (2000, National Board of Review Award for Best Film), starring Geoffrey Rush (for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar), Michael Caine, Joaquin Phoenix, and Kate Winslet; REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, Darren Aronofsky's film for which Ellen Burstyn was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar; THE PLAYER (1991, National Society of Film Critics Best Film, Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy); James Gray's film THE YARDS for Miramax, starring James Caan, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, and Mark Wahlberg; LITTLE ODESSA (1995, Venice Film Festival Silver Lion Award); John Herzfeld's FIFTEEN MINUTES, starring Robert DeNiro, Ed Burns, and Kelsey Grammer for New Line; LOVE JONES (1997, Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Best Film) and EVE'S BAYOU (1998, Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature). Other credits of Wechsler's that have pushed the artistic envelope include Michael Tolkin's THE RAPTURE and THE NEW AGE, and Steve Buscemi's TREES LOUNGE.
Nancy Paloian-Breznikar (Executive Producer)
Nancy Paloian-Breznikar executive produced the critically acclaimed ANTOINE FISHER, directed by Denzel Washington. She served as co-producer on Twentieth Century Fox's DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR? starring Ashton Kutcher and Sean William Scott, and Fox Searchlight Pictures' Penelope Cruz starrer WOMAN ON TOP. Paloian-Breznikar's co-production credits include Twentieth Century Fox's DRIVE ME CRAZY, directed by John Schultz; BEST LAID PLANS, starring Reese Witherspoon and Josh Brolin; and BLUNT FORCE.
Her other credits as a line producer include LURED INNOCENCE, with Dennis Hopper and Talia Shire; Martin Bregman's A WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY, starring Jack Lemmon and Dudley Moore; THE MAKER, with Matthew Modine; SOMEBODY IS WAITING, starring Gabriel Byrne; and the telefeature OUT THERE, with Rod Steiger, Julie Brown and Billy Bob Thornton.
Tak Fujimoto, A.S.C. (Director of Photography)
Tak Fujimoto is one of the most respected cinematographers working today. Having collaborated with director M. Night Shyamalan on his groundbreaking box office smash THE SIXTH SENSE, he again brought his unique visual style to the director's thriller SIGNS. Fujimoto is perhaps best known for his longtime successful collaboration with Academy Award winning director Jonathan Demme, for whom he has photographed several feature films, including: CAGED HEAT, LAST EMBRACE, MELVIN AND HOWARD, SWING SHIFT, SOMETHING WILD, MARRIED TO THE MOB, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, PHILADELPHIA, BELOVED, THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE, and Demme's upcoming remake of the classic thriller THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.
He was awarded the National Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography for his work on DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, which was executive produced by Jonathan Demme and Edward Saxon. Fujimoto also served as cinematographer on THAT THING YOU DO and MIAMI BLUES, which were produced by Demme along with Gary Goetzman and Edward Saxon.
Fujimoto's additional credits include A THOUSAND ACRES, GRUMPIER OLD MEN, NIGHT AND THE CITY, GLADIATOR, SINGLES, CROOKED HEARTS, COCOON: THE RETURN, SWEET HEARTS DANCE, PRETTY IN PINK, FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, HEART LIKE A WHEEL, DEATH RACE 2000 and BADLANDS.
Dede Allen (Editor)
Dede Allen is one of the most highly respected film editors working today, having contributed her talents to many seminal films of the past four decades.
Allen got her first job in film as a messenger at Columbia Pictures. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, while working in the sound effects department at Columbia Pictures, she also spent many nights and weekend hours working in theatre at the Actor's Lab, an offshoot of New York's Group Theatre in Los Angeles.
Dede was also involved in documentary filmmaking. It was on such a project, researching a film on interracial housing toward the end of World War II, that she met her future husband Steve Fleischman, a freelance documentary writer. In New York their film careers and their family life become intertwined. Dede worked for a company called Film Graphics, making industrial films and commercial spots for television, the beginnings of a burgeoning industry. Steve became a network news and documentary producer-writer.
Working in commercial spot houses, Dede learned how to tell a story in sixty or thirty seconds, and to lay out her own opticals--the forerunner of the kind of special effects we see in movies today. Her sound editing years and the innovative use of sound and picture used in cutting industrials and commercials foreshadowed many of the editing techniques used in films like BONNIE AND CLYDE.
After a seven year stint as a Warner Brothers executive, Dede is again enjoying her favorite occupation--film editing. Her impressive resume includes the films TERROR FROM THE YEAR 5000, ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, THE HUSTLER, AMERICA, AMERICA, BONNIE AND CLYDE, RACHEL, RACHEL, ALICE'S RESTAURANT, LITTLE BIG MAN, SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, SERPICO, VISIONS OF EIGHT ("The Highest" segment), DOG DAY AFTERNOON, NIGHT MOVES, THE MISSOURI BREAKS, SLAPSHOT, THE WIZ, REDS, MIKE'S MURDER, HARRY AND SON, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, OFFBEAT, THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR, LET IT RIDE, HENRY AND JUNE, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, WONDER BOYS and JOHN Q.
Robert Brakey (Editor)
THE FINAL CUT is the second feature film for editor Robert Brakey. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, Brakey quickly started work on the film DAZED AND CONFUSED, which eventually brought him from Austin, Texas to Los Angeles, California. For the next decade, Brakey worked as an assistant editor and associate editor on over ten films and television series, including ASSASSINS, MULAN, DINOSAUR, FALLEN, BLESS THE CHILD, FRAILTY and the first season of "NYPD Blue." In that time, he had the privilege of learning his craft from some of the best film editors in the industry, including Sandra Adair, Alan Heim, Arnold Glassman, Lawrence Jordan, Sheldon Kahn and Richard Marks. In 2002, Brakey edited his first feature, the independent comedy LADY KILLERS. It is an honor for him to be co-editing THE FINAL CUT with the great Dede Allen. Brakey also regularly contributes articles to publications such as Editorsnet.com and the Motion Pictures Editors Guild magazine. He currently lives in Venice, California with his wife Alyssa.
James Chinlund (Production Designer)
Production Designer James Chinlund has worked with some of the most innovative filmmakers in the business today. He most recently collaborated with director Spike Lee on the much heralded THE 25TH HOUR. He received critical praise for his vision and attention to detail, defining the world of Bob for Paul Schrader's AUTO FOCUS. Additional credits include: Darren Aronofsky's AFI Movie of the Year winner REQUIEM FOR A DREAM; Todd Solondz's STORYTELLING; Demane Davis' 2001 Sundance Film Festival hit LIFT; and Rob Schmidt's SATURN. Early in his career, he served as the art director on Vincent Gallo's BUFFALO '66.
Chinlund has worked extensively in the world of music videos and commercials. Some of those credits include music videos for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, the Black Eyed Peas, Ben Harper, Kelis, and Sheryl Crow. He has had productive collaborations with many directors in the field, including Roman Coppola, Lance Acord, Kevin Bray, Vincent Gallo, and Gus Van Sant.
Monique Prudhomme (Costume Designer)
Monique Prudhomme was born and raised in Montreal, where she studied fine arts at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts de Montreal. After graduating, she had a contract teaching arts to high school kids. She realized it was not her calling, however, and decided to go into the movie industry. A job in the costume department suited her more artistic temperament and interest in textiles and three-dimensional forms. Inspired by the books of Louis Jobin, an award winning Canadian costume designer and production designer, Prudhomme studied her craft by learning from mistakes and successes. She moved to Vancouver, where she has been working steadily ever since.
She has designed the costumes for more than thirty projects, from feature films to made-for-television movies. She was honored by the American Film Institute for her work on BEST IN SHOW. Her other designing credits include LIZZY MCGUIRE, SNOW DOGS, TRIXIE, ALASKA, NEVERENDING STORY III, NEEDFUL THINGS, STEPHEN KING'S IT, among many others.
Robin Williams (Alan Hakman)
Robin Williams was most recently seen in the critically acclaimed ONE HOUR PHOTO, directed by Mark Romanek. Prior to that, he appeared in the 2002 releases INSOMNIA, directed by Christopher Nolan and co-starring Al Pacino, as well as Danny DeVito's DEATH TO SMOOCHY.
Williams received both the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award and the Screen Actors Guild Actor award for his compassionate, intelligent portrayal of Dr. Sean McGuire in the 1997 film GOOD WILL HUNTING.
His first feature film was Robert Altman's POPEYE in 1980. Audiences then embraced a more poignant Williams in THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, followed by Paul Mazursky's MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON. Barry Levinson's landmark film GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM earned Williams his first Academy Award nomination, and Peter Weir's enormously popular DEAD POETS SOCIETY earned him a second Oscar nomination.
Subsequently, Williams starred opposite Robert De Niro in Penny Marshall's AWAKENINGS (bringing him a special honor from the National Board of Review), followed by Terry Gilliam's THE FISHER KING, for which Williams received his third Academy Award nomination. He also starred in Barry Levinson's TOYS, Steven Spielberg's HOOK, and Mike Nichols' THE BIRDCAGE.
Williams received Golden Globe Awards for his unforgettable performances in MRS. DOUBTFIRE and THE FISHER KING, and also earned a Special Achievement Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for his vocal contributions as Genie in the animated blockbuster feature ALADDIN.
First capturing the attention of television audiences when he guest-starred as Mork on the hit sit-com "Happy Days," Williams was quickly signed for the spin-off series "Mork & Mindy." Williams, who began his career as a stand-up comedian, has won four Grammy Awards, including one for "Robin Williams: Live at the Met on HBO," the culmination of a 23-city SRO tour. On July 14, 2002, Williams returned to HBO in another Grammy winning performance, "Robin Williams: Live On Broadway," his first live comedy special in more than sixteen years. He also won Emmy Awards for the television specials "Carol, Carl, Whoopi, and Robin" and "ABC Presents A Royal Gala."
Williams is active in several humanitarian organizations, and has been a primary force in Comic Relief, an annual benefit to aid the homeless, which has raised America's consciousness, and $50 million to date.
Mira Sorvino (Delila)
An Academy Award-winning actress with seemingly limitless versatility, Mira Sorvino continues to add to her repertoire of diverse roles.
In 1995 Sorvino left an indelible impression as the unaffected helium-voiced call girl/porn actress Linda Ash in Woody Allen's MIGHTY APHRODITE. For her breakthrough performance, she was honored with Best Supporting Actress Awards from the New York Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review, received the Golden Globe, and ultimately, the Academy Award.
Sorvino most recently appeared opposite Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, David Arquette and Natasha Lyonne in Tim Blake Nelson's drama THE GREY ZONE, as an Auschwitz prisoner smuggling explosives to rebels. She also starred in the Bernando Bertolucci production, TRIUMPH OF LOVE, opposite Ben Kingsley and Fiona Shaw.
Sorvino's recent films have included Spike Lee's acclaimed drama SUMMER OF SAM, opposite John Leguizamo; Antoine Fuqua's action thriller THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS, opposite Hong Kong star Chow Yun-Fat; and Paul Auster's LULU ON THE BRIDGE, with Harvey Keitel, Willem Dafoe and Vanessa Redgrave. Both SUMMER OF SAM and LULU ON THE BRIDGE premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Additional film credits include Sorvino's role as a scientist in Guillermo del Toro's MIMIC; David Mirkin's comedy ROMY AND MICHELLE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION, with Lisa Kudrow; Gary Winick's critically acclaimed drama SWEET NOTHING, opposite Michael Imperioli; Ted Demme's BEAUTIFUL GIRLS; a cameo opposite Harvey Keitel in Wayne Wang's BLUE IN THE FACE; BETWEEN STRANGERS, opposite Sophia Loren; opposite Rob Morrow in Robert Redford's QUIZ SHOW; and Whit Stillman's critically acclaimed film, BARCELONA. Robert Weiss' AMONGST FRIENDS, an audience favorite at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, marked Sorvino's feature film debut.
Behind the camera, Sorvino has served as associate producer for AMONST FRIENDS as well as co-producer on FREEDOM TO HATE, a documentary about anti-Semitism in Russia. Most recently, Sorvino produced LISA PICARD IS FAMOUS, an official entry at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.
On television Sorvino earned 1996 Best Actress Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal of the legendary Marilyn Monroe in the HBO production, NORMA JEAN AND MARILYN. She acted opposite Alan Alda in the CBS Hallmark presentation of Neil Simon's JAKE'S WOMEN. She also appeared with Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands in the Showtime production of PARALLEL LIVES, and as Conchita Closson in the BBC mini-series, THE BUCCANEERS, based on Edith Wharton's unfinished novel. Sorvino also starred as Daisy in A&E's THE GREAT GATSBY, which premiered earlier this year.
On stage Sorvino has appeared in Joyce Carol Oates' Greensleeves and in Best of Schools in UBU Repertory's Festival of New Plays. Most recently, she performed off-Broadway in the Classic Stage's production Naked.
Raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, Sorvino is a magna cum laude graduate from Harvard University, where she majored in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, living for eight months in Beijing and writing a Hoopes Prize-winning thesis on racial conflict in China. After working on social-programs targeting illiteracy and prejudice, Sorvino gravitated towards acting. Sorvino currently lives in Manhattan with her dog, Deer.
Jim Caviezel (Fletcher)
Since his breakthrough performance in 1999 as Witt in Terrence Malick's THE THIN RED LINE, Jim Caviezel has rapidly become one of the busiest actors in Hollywood.
Most recently, Jim played the role of Jesus for director Mel Gibson in the controversial blockbuster THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. In 2001 audiences saw him star in three films: Buena Vista Films' critically acclaimed THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO; 20th Century Fox's HIGH CRIMES, opposite Ashley Judd; and the Warner Bros. film ANGEL EYES, opposite Jennifer Lopez.
Jim co-starred with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment in the Warner Bros. film PAY IT FORWARD as a homeless recovering heroin addict taken by a boy looking to start a program of good deeds. He also starred opposite Dennis Quaid and Andre Braugher in the New Line Cinema sci-fi feature, FREQUENCY, portraying a New York cop who discovers he can communicate with his late firefighter father who died in 1969. Also in 1999 he appeared in RIDE WITH THE DEVIL, the Civil War epic directed by Ang Lee.
Growing up in rural Mount Vernon, Washington, acting was far from Jim's mind. While still in his teens, however, he decided to test his abilities by auditioning in Seattle for a small part as an Italian ticket agent in Gus Van Sant's MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO. He landed the role by fooling casting agents into believing he was a recent Italian immigrant.
Upcoming for Jim are starring roles in the New Line thriller, HIGHWAYMEN, and the independent film, MADISON, the true story about the economically depressed community of Madison, Indiana and their desire to win a Gold Cup hydroplane boat race to be held in their small town. Also upcoming is the Lions Gate release, I AM DAVID.
Mimi Kuzyk (Thelma)
In the past year alone, Ms. Kuzyk completed five feature films, including THE HUMAN STAIN, based on the novel by Philip Roth and starring Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise; THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, featuring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhal; THE LAST SIGN, which was shot in Montreal and stars Andie MacDowell; and A DIFFERENT LOYALTY, a romantic drama starring Sharon Stone and Rupert Everett. Her extensive body of film work also includes Chris Philpott's independent feature, FAIRYTALES AND PORNOGRAPHY; Bryan Goeres' PHASE IV, opposite Dean Cain; Lea Pool's LOST AND DELIRIOUS, which earned Ms. Kuzyk a Genie nomination for Best Supporting Actress; THE DEFENDERS, with Beau Bridges; WAKING THE DEAD, with Hal Holbrook; CRUEL JUSTICE, with A. Martinez; STRANGE JUSTICE, with Mandy Patinken; and, one of her personal favorites, MY DATE WITH THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER, in which she played the first lady to Dabney Coleman's president.
On television, Ms. Kuzyk was recognized for her role as Detective Patsy Mayo on "Hill Street Blues," and as Jimmy Smitts' potential love interest on "L.A. Law." Her performances in the CBC drama LITTLE CRIMINALS and as Deputy Chief Kay Barrow in BLUE MURDER earned her Gemini nominations for Best Supporting Actress. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native also performed recurring roles in the CBC sitcom "Our Hero," and Global TV's "Traders," as well as a guest-starring role on "The Chris Isaak Show."
Seven years ago, Ms. Kuzyk moved from Los Angeles to Toronto, which she now considers her home.
Thom Bishops (Hasan)
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Thom Bishops recently graduated with honors from NYU with a double major in Economics and Cinema Studies, while studying in acting coach Susan Batson's master class. At the time of graduation, Bishops worked in off-Broadway theater and appeared in some small, independent films. Moving to Los Angeles only a year ago, Bishops appeared opposite Tony Shalhoub in the feature premiere T4T, executive produced by the Farrelly Brothers, which went on to win Best Picture honors at the Boston International Film Festival.
Bishops met director Omar Naïm at a dinner and was asked to read for the part of Hasan. After a lengthy month-and-a-half-long casting process, Thom won the coveted part over many established young actors.