JOE WRIGHT recently received international accolades as the director of the British romantic drama “Atonement,” the 2008 BAFTA and Golden Globes Award winner for Best Picture (Drama), and an Academy Award® nominee for Best Picture. “Atonement” was nominated for seven Academy Awards®, including Best Art Direction, Cinematography, Costumes, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, and Score (which it won).
For his feature film directorial debut, Focus Features and Working Title Films’ “Pride & Prejudice,” Wright won BAFTA’s Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in Their First Feature Film. He was also honored with the London Film Critics Circle’s Award for British Director of the Year and the Boston Society of Film Critics’ Award for Best New Filmmaker.
“Pride & Prejudice” was nominated for five additional BAFTA Awards, four Academy Awards® (including Best Actress Keira Knightley), and two Golden Globe Awards; and won a second London Film Critics Circle Award for Best British Supporting Actor (Tom Hollander), among other honors. Wright had earlier won a BAFTA Award for the miniseries “Charles II: The Power & The Passion” (which aired in the U.S. as “The Last King”), which he directed and which starred Rufus Sewell. The project won two additional BAFTA Awards, and was nominated for three more.
Joe recently completed his latest feature film, “The Soloist”, for Dreamworks / Paramount Pictures. The film, which will be released in 2009, stars Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr and Catherine Keener, and is adapted from a true story by Academy Award nominated writer Susannah Grant.
His prior credits as director include another highly acclaimed miniseries, the epic drama “Nature Boy” (for which he was a BAFTA Award nominee), starring Lee Ingleby; the miniseries “Bodily Harm” starring Timothy Spall; and episodes of the television series “Bob & Rose” (which won several international awards).
Wright has also directed two short films, “The End” (written by Kathy Burke, it aired on the U.K.’s Channel 4) and “Crocodile Snap” (starring Claire Rushbrook, which aired on the BBC). The latter was a BAFTA Award nominee.
He directed his first short film, “Whatever Happened to Walthamstow Marshes,” back in 1991, while enrolled at the Camberwell School of Arts. From 1991 to 1994, he studied Fine Art, Film and Video at St. Martin’s.
In 1993, Wright was awarded a Fuji Film Scholarship to make “The Middle Ground.” As part of the development process, he spent six weeks teaching drama at Islington Green School, where the short was cast and subsequently filmed.