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Kimberly Peirce staked her place as a director of singular vision with her unflinching debut feature, BOYS DON'T CRY, which became one of the most acclaimed and talked about films of the year, earning numerous honors including the Best Actress Oscar and Golden Globe for the film's star, Hilary Swank. Chloe Sevigny was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and along with Swank won the Independent Spirit, National Board of Review, CFCA, BSFC, NSFC, Boston, Chicago and LA Critics Awards for acting.
BOYS received the Independent Spirit Award, the International Critics prize for Best Film at the London and Stockholm Film Festivals, the Satyajit Ray Foundation Award for Best First Feature at the London Film Festival, and was named "Best American Feature" by Janet Maslin. Peirce won honors as Best Debut Director from the National Board of Review and Best New Filmmaker from Boston Society of Film Critics.
A tireless advocate for lesbian, gay and trans rights, Peirce also received the GLAAD Media, the Lambda Legal Defense, the People for the American Way, as well as the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project Awards (along with Matthew Shepard's mother, Judy). Peirce was recently featured at Butch Voices San Francisco 2010 & Los Angeles 2011, Yale Trans/gender Awareness Week 2010, and at the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality with Professor Lauren Berlant "On Passion Realism and the Arts Career: A Conversation with Kimberly Peirce BA 90." She will be giving the keynote address at the University of Iowa for Pride Week, 2011.
Peirce's most recent film, STOP-LOSS, is a topical and emotionally penetrating drama inspired by real-life stories of American soldiers, including her own brother, fighting in Iraq and coming home. The film was named Best Film Promoting Peace 2008 by the Political Film Society and given the 2009 Prism Award for best and most accurate depiction of mental illness. Peirce was also honored with the Hamilton Behind the Camera True-Grit as well as Andrew Sarris Directing Awards.
Continuing her work in the public eye, Peirce appeared on numerous news and media shows including Charlie Rose, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Joe Scarborough, CNN Presents, NPR, Democracy Now and the CBS Early Show. In Washington D.C., Peirce spoke before the National Press Club; along with Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH), Peirce spoke before members of Congress on behalf of soldiers and the Stop-Loss Compensation Act, which subsequently passed.
Peirce will next direct THE KNIFE for Imagine Entertainment and
Universal Studios, an action-thriller inspired by true events set
in the world of LA gangs and the FBI. In the spirit of The Town and
Departed, THE KNIFE tells the story of two men from opposite sides of the law - a rookie gang-banger trying to make it out of the gang alive and a hot-headed FBI agent intent on avenging the death of his partner - who must overcome their mutual mistrust of one another and risk their lives in order to infiltrate the organization of a ruthless gang leader threatening to spread armed violence across Los Angeles and the urban centers of America.
Peirce is also gearing up with Fox TV Studios, USA Network and writers Andre and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men) to produce and direct THE ENCLAVE, an 8-hour mini-series about an American family that relocates to an America compound in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Suspense and danger ensue when the wife, a former Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist, uncovers a mysterious murder that may be connected to her husband's employers, Saudi officials, and even the CIA.
Peirce can be seen featured on the DVD and Blu-ray re-releases of THE GODFATHER TRILOGY, CHINATOWN and RAGING BULL. She recently presented the GODFATHER and BOYS DON'T CRY at the historic Music Box theater as part of THE FILM THAT CHANGED MY LIFE series. Along with Steven Soderbergh, the Duplass Brothers and James Mangold, she will be featured in the Directors Guild of America's 75th Anniversary tribute to "GAME CHANGERS IN INDEPENDENT FILM," November 2011.
Peirce received her BA from the University of Chicago, her MFA from the Columbia University Graduate Film Program, and is a graduate of Sundance Institute's Writing and Directing Film Labs. She served on the 2011 Sundance Film Festival US Dramatic Jury, is a member of the Writer's Guild of America, and serves on the Directors Guild of America Independent Film Committee, as well as on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors.