A native New Yorker, writer-director Maggie Greenwald’s first feature film, HOME REMEDY, (1987) from her original screenplay, premiered at the Munich Film Festival then went on to screen at the London and Torino Film Festivals before opening at the prestigious Film Forum in New York.
Her passion for noir novelist Jim Thompson’s work then led her to write and direct THE KILL-OFF, (1990) based on his novel. Acquired by Channel 4 in Britain, the film also appeared at film festivals around the world including; Sundance (in Dramatic Competition), Munich (opening night, American Independent section), London, Florence, Deauville, Toronto and Edinburgh before winning the Best Director Award at the Torino Film Festival before its release in the US. The BFI (British Film Institute) Screen Guides lists the film as one of the 100 best American Independent Films. The film established Greenwald’s place as a significant independent filmmaking voice.
Maggie, who had always dreamed of making a Western went on to write and direct her acclaimed, groundbreaking film THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO which was released worldwide by Fine Line Features and Polygram Filmed Entertainment. Star Suzy Amis was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award while co-star David Chung won the award for Best Supporting Actor. A great deal has been written about the film by scholars of the Western, who consider “The Ballad of Little Jo,” a landmark revisionist film within the genre.
Subsequently, Greenwald wrote and directed SONGCATCHER. An unconventional, naturalistic musical the film premiered in Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2000 where it garnered a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance. The film received the first Sloan Foundation Award, Deauville Film Festival Audience Award, two Independent Spirit Award nominations (for Emmy Rossum and Pat Carroll) and a GLAAD Award nomination. Lionsgate 2000.
Greenwald’s most recent film, SOPHIE AND THE RISING SUN (2016) is based on the novel by Augusta Trobaugh. She adapted, produced and directed the film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2016, Salt Lake City Gala World Premiere. The film stars, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Lorraine Toussaint and Diane Ladd.
Over the years, Greenwald shifted back and forth between features and television. Her numerous TV movies, include WHAT MAKES A FAMILY, starring Brooke Shields and Whoopi Goldberg and Cherry Jones. It was produced by Barbara Streisand and Whoopi Goldberg and Academy Award winning producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The Lifetime movie went on to win a prestigious GLAAD Award. Other TV movies include: GET A CLUE, starring Lindsey Lohan, TEMPTED starring Virginia Madsen, COMFORT AND JOY, Lifetime Television’s Christmas standard, and GOOD MORNING, KILLER starring Catherine Bell, based on April Smith’s Ana Grey novel.
Forays in directing for episodic television expanded Greenwald’s work to include children’s television. For Nickelodeon she directed several episodes of THE ADVENTURES OF PETE AND PETE, created the look of the show THE MYSTERY FILES OF SHELBY WOO for which she directed 6 episodes over two seasons. She also directed the non-air pilot for the show BACKYARDIGANS and an episode of WILDFIRE for ABC Family.
Current projects include TV series, CALLED TO GILEAD as creator/writer. She is also developing Nella Larsen’s novel QUICKSAND as a feature film.