Gwendolyn Giovanna Wynne

Director

GWEN WYNNE is a Director, Producer, Screenwriter and Stage Director.  Wynne is also CEO of The Eos World Fund, a new initiative to champion emerging and established innovative filmmakers, telling the untold and taboo stories often marginalized in cultures around the world.

Wynne directed, produced and wrote film festival favorite Wild About Harry (aka American Primitive) a narrative feature set in 1973, about gay couples as parents, influenced by her own childhood. American Primitive was cited by Tom Gregory in The Huffington Post as "an indie gem… the 'why' that drove early activists like Harvey Milk and the Stonewall demonstrators to demand equality..."  The film played in film festivals around the world including Austrailia, England and Scotland; it received Best of the Fest at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival; the film also won Best Feature and Best Cinematography at the 2010 Cinegear Expo at Paramount Studios

Presently, Wynne is developing and writing a long form drama for episodic television with a companion documentary series: MOST SECRET: Agent 0017.   The series reveals the embryonic beginnings and long hidden history of Winston Churchill's secret army, called S.O.E. (Special Operations, Executive). The story specifically focuses on the women and men led by Agent 0017, a famous Arctic explorer, who was the very first commando, secret agent and an unknown World War II hero.  

Starting in 2000, Wynne and her production company, Apricot Films, LLC developed and produced the feature length documentary about Tyrus Wong's life and art with Director/Producer Pamela Tom. Starting with the premise that nearly all of America, if not the world, has seen Tyrus's art work, and most likely deeply moved by it, few could ever tell you who created the look of the unforgettable Bambi.  Going through Tyrus's archives and illustrations, files and drawers at his home studio as well as studying his life's work in various and diverse mediums like his Hollywood cinema concept art, pen and ink illustrations, hand made kites, painted pottery, and various water color paintings scattered around the world --  over time it became clear that even fewer people were aware of the impact Tyrus's illustrations, concept art, home decor, and paintings made on American art, culture, and worldwide cinema. 

The unlikely story of a Chinese American immigrant working at major Studios during the Golden Era of Hollywood -- creating the look for such classics as The Wild Bunch, Rebel Without a Cause, Mildred Pierce, PT 109, Harper -- began to emerge.  Tyrus had its World Premiere at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival and has played in over a dozen film festivals winning many awards. On September 8, 2017 Tyrus: The Story of Tyrus Wong had its national broadcasting premiere on PBS/American Masters

Wynne's roots are in theater; she worked for Zelda Fichandler's Arena Stage and Tedd Mann's Circle in the Square on Broadway, then later becoming Artistic Director of the The No-Neck Monsters Theatre Companywhich she co-founded with Helen Patton in Washington, D.C.  Wynne directed, developed and co-produced forgotten dramas and new plays. Extensive workshops prior to the rehearsal process were conducted with the writer(s) and actors when producing a new play at the No-Neck Monsters Theatre Co.  

Wynne brought together emerging artists and established Broadway talent.  Wynne created a successful drama program for at-risk youth in inner city Washington, D.C. in conjunction with other not-for-profits fighting against homelessness and drug abuse. She taught directing and acting.  One of the programs Wynne founded at her theatre was given special recognition by Hillary Clinton at The White House for the company's drama program for children. Wynne's funders included the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, and Comic Relief. 

Wynne's professional theatre productions included the first American rap musical, Sanctuary, D.C. by Ralph Brown and composed by Scott Davenport Richards. The musical captured the life of runaways, homeless youth and the epidemic of "crack" and murder in the nation's capitol and became an underdog hit in Washington, D.C.  The production was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards including Best New Musical and Best Actress in A Musical.   Her production received attention from NPR, The Washington Post, the McNeil/Lehrer News Hour, and many other national and local newspapers and organizations. 

Another production, Stuart Browne's (Bloomsbury's acclaimed British novelist of Dangerous Parkingworld premiere ANGEL, was an epic drama capturing the political and environmental upheaval of the 20th century in the form of the largest hurricane ever to hit  England utilized as a weapon to destroy world civilization. The play was first developed by Joint Stock Theatre Co. in London. Wynne's ANGEL was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards: Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Lighting Design and Outstanding Sound Design.

Wynne's theatre company also cast emerging talent, like Westworld's Jeffrey Wright before his Tony winning starring role in Angels in America on Broadway.  Wright played leads in Angel and Tennessee Williams' rarely produced play Kingdom of Earth.

Another directing highlight includes staging a live performance for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, A NIGHT TO UNITE; it was their first Benefit Gala Fundraiser held in Washington, D.C. The Gala brought together celebrities/performers as well as Democratic and Republican Senators to raise awareness about children with AIDS. Cher, Alan Alda, and Meredith Baxter-Birney were the featured entertainers. Coordinating thirty Hollywood stars and directing over twenty children for a musical number for an audience of one thousand was just one of the many tasks involved. The event raised over one million dollars.

Ms. Wynne was selected by the Fulbright Committee in the United States to do theatre workshops and productions in Zimbabwe focusing on the everyday dilemmas women faced with AIDS and/or unwanted pregnancies. Zimbabwe declined her candidacy due to the proposed productions and workshops' controversial nature. 

Ms. Wynne graduated from Brown University, receiving degrees in Literature & Society and Theatre Arts. She also received her M.F.A. in Production at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. Wynne also serves on the DGA's Women's Committee. Wynne's family has lived throughout the world including Columbia, Venzuela, Ecuador, Jamaica, Italy, England and Spain.  These family narratives from both World Wars have shaped Ms. Wynne's credo and perception of the kind of cinema to make now.

Credits

Director, Producer, Screenwriter, American Primitive (aka Wild About Harry) (Cape Cod Films, 2009). Ensemble with Susan Anspach, Johanna Braddy, Stacey Dash, Tate Donovan, Adam Pascal, Josh Peck, Anne Ramsay, Danielle Savre, Corey Sevier, James B. Sikking, Skye McCole Bartusiak. 

Produced by, Tyrus: The Story of Tyrus Wong.   National broadcast on September 8, 2017 on PBS/American Masters.  World Premiere at 2015 Telluride Film Festival,  Winner of the Special Jury Award at Center for Asian American Media Festival (CAAM Fest), Hawaii International Film Festival, Spring Showcase, Chicago Asian American Showcase; Winner of Best Feature Documentary at Austin Asian American Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, Boston Asian American Film Festival, Reel Asian International Film Festival, Brattleboro Film Festival; other festival screenings around the country and Europe include: Southern Circuit Tour, Sheffield Doc Festival in England, Cinetopia, Asian American Film Series, 

In Production & Development

Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Most Secret: Agent 0017 (present)

Since 2003, Wynne has been interviewing and filming World War II Secret Agents in England and France. In Europe, Wynne secured permission to film secret ceremonies for the World War II heroes from Buckingham Palace and MI6.  Some of the personalities and events already filmed are the World's greatest living explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Princess Anne, French resistance veterans gathering in the countryside of France, Ambassadors throughout Europe marking the birth of S.O.E.,the Louvre, and national French treasure Frederique Hebrard, a famous French author and actress, who as a little girl famously slept with Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa because her curator parents led a cabal of museum officials to remove priceless masterpieces out of the Louvre to hide from the Nazis. Filmed Interviews of WW II secret agents and various cultural heroes include: Bob Maloubier - French agent with the S.O.E. who worked with the most famous and notorious of agents such as Violette Szabo, Christine Granville, and Henri Dericourt. He performed heroic missions during the World War II known only to a select and secret elite.

Producer, Minotaur Rex directed and written by Nina Menkes. To be filmed in Palestine and Israel.

Professional Theatre:

Director, ProducerSanctuary, D.C: A Rap Musical by Ralph Brown, music composed by Scott Davenport Richards. (No-Neck Monsters Theatre Co.)

Director, Producer. Angel by Stuart Browne (both productions nominated for Helen Hayes Awards) (No-Neck Monsters Theatre Co.)

Director, Producer. Kingdom of Earth by Tennesse Williams with Jeffrey Wright. (No-Neck Monsters Theatre Co.)


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