Gary Hawkins was born and raised in the countryside near Thomasville, North Carolina. While remaining true to his Southern sensibilities, he has explored through prose and cinema, fiction and nonfiction, subjects as diverse as the female surf culture at Folly Beach, the current state of Russian ballet, small-town pony league baseball and the effect of Scriabin on Mose Allison's left hand.
Hawkins is currently at work on three projects — a 30-minute mood piece that draws from Haitian voodoo, an independent feature called SUNRISE MATINEE and a short film about Blind Willie Johnson's song, "Dark Was the Night” which was included in the 1977 Voyager I probe. He is co-producing the Blind Willie film with essayist and former Paris Review editor, John Jeremiah Sullivan.
Earlier this year Hawkins premiered his experimental short, ZERO IRONY at the 44th International Film Festival in Rotterdam. From the Program Guide- "ZERO IRONY is an experimental, structuralist film that finds its form in a series of poetic, repeating loops, set atop a soundtrack of 21st century prayer requests." ZERO IRONY also screened at Poetry International on June 8th 2015, and will enjoy its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 25th, 2015. His new film, ME AND YOU, will premiere at the International Festival of New Film in Split, Croatia later this year.
On April 4th, 2015, Hawkins' performance-based documentary, IN MY MIND, screened at the National Gallery of Art as part of its prestigious, "Saturday At the Gallery" lecture series. Hawkins, along with producer, Emily LaDue and acclaimed jazz pianist, Jason Moran, conducted a Q&A afterwards. Jason Moran is the director of the Kennedy Center and the composer for the SELMA soundtrack.
Hawkins wrote the screenplay for JOE, an independent feature released in 2013, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by David Gordon Green. Critic Anthony Lane praised JOE as “the strongest feature to date from Green”, while the Guardian UK picked Hawkins as “a wild card to receive an Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay”. Nicolas Cage, who refers to Hawkins’ screenplay as a “hundred-point script”, received unanimous praise from The Independent, the New York Times and Vanity Fair for turning in one of the best performances of his career.
Hawkins’ ROUGH SOUTH documentaries have won numerous awards, including the Emmy Award for THE ROUGH SOUTH OF HARRY CREWS. THE ROUGH SOUTH OF LARRY BROWN, endorsed by Variety president Scott Foundas as "a beautiful documentary inquiry”, was re-released in 2014 by Westend Films of London. It aired in in France and in most Francophile territories that year.
Gary Hawkins is a contributor to The Paris Review, the Oxford American and Garden & Gun magazines. He is a Sundance Fellow and a mentor to both the Accademia dell Arte conservatory in Tuscany and the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda. In 2009 he was endorsed by Daily Variety as one of the top ten filmmaking instructors in America. He currently teaches screenwriting, acting for the camera and nonfiction filmmaking at Duke University.
Name: Gary Hawkins
Lives in: Hillsborough, North Carolina
Company: SUNRISE MATINEE LLC