About The Director - Gigi Gaston

With three screenplays sold to major companies and a fourth, "Madame Lupescu," optioned by Imagine Entertainment, screenwriter/director Gigi Gaston is now well on her way to becoming one of the most sought after writer/filmmakers in the business. Last year she directed her first feature, The Cream Will Rise, a dark, surprising documentary about controversial singer/songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins, which has been screened at film festivals around the country receiving excellent reviews. This led to Gaston's directing her first music video -- Olivia Newton John's updated version of her hit song "I Honestly Love You." When Gaston was sixteen, director George Cukor, a family friend, encouraged her to pursue an acting career; she was never able to commit to acting because she already knew she wanted to write and direct. However, as a teenager she did pursue a career as an Olympic athlete, becoming a champion jump rider, and later used this experience as the basis for her first screenplay. After teaching herself the fundamentals of writing from Syd Field's book "Screenplay," Gaston wrote "Like A Lady," in 1988, in between jumping events. This autobiographical story is about a tomboy Olympic athlete, who asks a drag-queen to teach her how to "act like a lady."

Gaston will executive produce Mockingbird, her adaptation of Walter Tevis's science-fiction novel about a love triangle in a drug-ridden future, which Oscar-winner Steve Tisch will produce. Unreliably Yours, a wild comedy which has been sold to Initial Entertainment, shows the other side of Gaston's sensibility: it's about a wife and mistress who hate each other, but join forces to sabotage the man they share when he goes on a trip to Mexico with their new "replacement."

If Frank Capra's films sharpened Gaston's sense of screen comedy when she was growing up, her heart belonged to historical epics like Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia and Greta Garbo's Queen Christina. Madame Lupescu, which she first brought to Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment, is her first opportunity to write a story which draws on her fascination with historical subject matter. A drama set in Romania between 1900 and 1940, Madame Lupescu tells the story of crown Prince Carol II of Romania - monarch in an anti-Semitic country - who abdicated his trhone for the love of Magda Lupesco, a Jewish commoner. This summer Gaston will travel to Romania to extensively research this project.

A native of Greenwich, Connecticut, Gaston began her athletic career when she began riding at age three. She moved to Los Angeles with her family five years later, and in 1976 became the youngest rider to win an Olympic competition at the Washington International Horse Show. A top contender for the U.S. Olympic team in 1980, she spent years training during winter sessions for the event, but suffered disappointment when President Carter announced that the U.S. would boycott the Games in 1980. After winning every top award an amateur jumper can win, Gaston retired in 1983, but made a "comeback" appearance at the L.A. Forum in 1989, emerging as a ranked champion in every division.

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