Trudie Styler’s dynamic personality and incredible determination have made
her one of the most powerful women in today’s entertainment industry. Her
passionate concerns for the environment and human rights motivate many of
her career choices, and are reflected most clearly in her documentary
films and fundraising activities.
With her production company, Xingu Films, Trudie has used her creative
talents and expertise in the field of cinema to produce award-winning
Trudie’s first documentary, “Moving the Mountain” was made for the BBC.
Directed by Michael Apted, it told the stories of the student leaders of
the 1989 student demonstration for democracy in Beijing’s Tiananmen
Square, and won an International Documentary Association Award. Subsequent
documentaries include two with director John-Paul Davidson: “Boys from
Brazil” (1993), about Brazilian transvestite prostitutes; and “The
Sweatbox” (2002), a documentary on the making of the Disney animated
feature “The Emperor’s New Groove” which Trudie also stepped behind the
camera to co-direct. She also produced the documentary “A Kind of
Childhood” (2002), directed by Cannes award-winning team Catherine and
Tareque Masud (“The Clay Bird” 2002). The film follows the lives of a
group of working children in Bangladesh over a period of six years,
providing a fascinating document of their young lives.
Feature films and collaborations include “The Grotesque” (1995) directed
by John-Paul Davidson; Guy Ritchie’s “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”
(1998); the sequel “Snatch” (2000); and Joel Hershman’s “Greenfingers”
(2001) starring Clive Owen and Helen Mirren. In 2003 Xingu completed
“Cheeky” by David Thewlis (co-produced with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp); and
in 2005 released “Alpha Male”, written and directed by Dan Wilde.
Trudie’s directorial follow-up was the significantly praised romantic
short “Wait” (2005). This popular film was prominently featured in Glamour
Magazine’s Reel Moments, and stars Tyson Beckford, Anna Chlumsky, and
Her most recent and critically acclaimed feature is the award-winning “A
Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” by writer/director Dito Montiel. This
autobiographical picture about first-time writer and director Dito
Montiel’s troubled adolescence in Astoria, Queens won the coveted Dramatic
Directing Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and was honored with a
Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Cast, which includes Robert Downey
Jr., Shia LaBeouf, Chazz Palminteri, Dianne Wiest, and Rosario Dawson.
Other notable awards the film received include the Venice Film Festival's
Critics Week Lion for Best Feature, the Venice Isvema Award for Dito
Montiel and the Hollywood Life Breakthrough of the Year Award for Channing
Tatum's performance. In addition, Channing received a nomination for
Breakthrough Actor at this year’s Gotham Awards. The film was also
nominated for three 2007 Independent Spirit Awards including Best
Supporting Actor for Channing Tatum, Best Supporting Actress for Melonie
Diaz and Best First Screenplay for Dito Montiel.
Forthcoming projects include an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s novel
“South of the Border, West of the Sun”, a co-production with Ruby Films
(“Proof”; “Elizabeth”) and to be directed by Michael Radford. Trudie has
also recently acquired film rights to Joshua Doder's "A Dog Called Grk"
children's book series. The deal covers all four books in series, which
have been compared to the Tin-Tin comic series. In the first story we meet
12-year-old Timothy Malt and a lost dog, Grk. Tim’s quest to return Grk to
his owner leads him on an exciting adventure in Eastern Europe – and the
rest of the series doesn’t disappoint with many amazing adventures in
exotic locations around the world.
A leading player in the Royal Shakespeare Company during the 1980s, Trudie
studied drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has extensive
experience in British repertory theatres. In many major roles she has
co-starred alongside such notables as Peter O’Toole, Harvey Keitel, Greg
Henry, Richard Berry, Alan Bates, James Earl Jones and Danny Huston. Her
recent TV work has included roles in the “The Scold’s Bridle” (BBC, 1998);
“Midsomer Murders” (ITV, 1999); a guest appearance in the US sitcom
“Friends” (2002); a major role in the US series “Empire” (ABC); and “Love
Soup” (BBC, 2005). Her recent film work includes roles in “Me Without You”
(2001); the ABC film “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister” (2002); “Cheeky”
(2003); and“Alpha Male” (2005).
In 1988, along with her husband Sting, Trudie started the Rainforest
Foundation, an organization devoted to protecting rainforests and their
indigenous peoples. Her efforts over the years have aided in expanding the
project over three continents: South America, Africa and Asia. Since 1991,
Trudie has produced the annual benefit concert at New York’s Carnegie
Hall, working with some of the world’s most exciting and talented artists
across the range of musical fields and raising more than $20 million
dollars. Her fundraising for the Rainforest Foundation has also taken
Styler’s career into the record industry, with the 1997 release of an
album entitled CARNIVAL! on the RCA Victor label. The album debuted at #3
on the world music chart, and features an unprecedented assembly of top
international artists from the classical, pop and world music genres. 2008
is a special year, marking the 20th anniversary of the founding of the
Rainforest Foundation Fund and the 15th Rainforest Benefit Concert.
Trudie’s charitable work for human rights and the environment has also
been recognized by many award-giving bodies. Styler was the Keynote
Speaker at the Reebok Human Rights Awards in 1994; and her honors include:
the 1994 Rainforest Hero Award by the Rainforest Action Network for her
efforts in protecting the Xingu Park in Brazil; Outstanding Woman
Environmentalist by the Center for Environmental Education; The
Humanitarian Award (1995) from the Hospitality Committee for the United
Nations delegations; the Ermenegildo Zegna International Environmental
Award (1998) from GQ magazine; the Human Rights Champion Award (2000) from
Amnesty International; a Forces for Nature Award (2002) from the Natural
Resources Defense Council; and most recently the Liz Tilberis Humanitarian
Award (2004). As an ambassador for UNICEF, she remains committed to
working to improve the lives of impoverished and exploited children all
over the world.
Styler published The Lake House Cook Book in 1999, co-written with
international chef Joseph Sponzo. Alongside Sponzo’s recipes, she
describes her family’s move to the countryside and their subsequent move
towards self-sufficiency through organic farming, a subject on which she
has spoken publicly and passionately on several occasions. Styler now
plays an active role in the UK’s leading organic organization, The Soil
Association. Trudie and her husband Sting practise yoga year-round, making
frequent trips to their home in Italy, where they also run annual yoga
retreats. (For more information please visit: www.palagioretreats.com.)
In the spring of 2006, Trudie and Sting joined together on Broadway for
the US debut performance of “Twin Spirits” to benefit Broadway
Cares/Equity Fights Aids. This emotional piece about the lives of
composers Robert and Clara Schumann will be filmed by the BBC in December
As an actress, director, producer, and humanitarian, Trudie Styler
continues to amaze us with her unique depth and range in the creative
arts. Her ability to balance her artistic vision with her inspiring and
revolutionary charitable campaigns allow us to recognize her as a true
leader in making a difference in the world.
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The following post was originally delivered at the UN General Assembly's meeting on climate change on Thursday, November 19th.
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When I began Xingu Films more than 15 years ago, I was driven by the need to take control of my own career, rather than sit at home waiting for my agent to call. As a first-time producer, I suddenly had to learn a great deal in a short amount...
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