Mr. Avnet has directed, written, and produced nearly 60 motion pictures, television movies, and Broadway Plays over the last 30 years, from box office hits like Risky Business and Fried Green Tomatoes to the critically acclaimed Uprising and The Burning Bed for television, and The Tony Award-winning "The History Boys" and "Spamalot" on Broadway. His work has won or been nominated for multiple Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, Directors Guild of America Awards, as well as Writers Guild of America Awards, The Cannes Film Festival Award, the Peabody, the Humanitas, Tonys (35 nominations and 12 wins), Drama Desk Awards (31 nominations and 10 wins), the Television Critics Awards and Cable ACE awards. Jon is the executive producer of Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and directed by Darren Aronofsky. Released by Fox Searchlight, Black Swan received five Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, Best Director and won Best Actress for Natalie Portman) as well as multiple nominations from the PGA, WGA, SAG (Ms. Portman won Best Actress), BAFTA (Ms. Portman won Best Actress), AFI, and the Golden Globes (Ms. Portman won Best Actress).His career has taken him literally all over the world, working with Nelson Mandela in South Africa while he was in Polsmor prison and interviewing him in his home in Soweto in the days following his release from jail; questioning many of the principals of the Civil Rights movement for the Pulitzer Prize winning "Parting the Waters;" traveling throughout China and studying Mandarin, meeting with the leading Holocaust experts and personally interviewing over 200 survivors in preparation for his film about the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising.Mr. Avnet has recently completed directing Mitch Albom's Have a Little Faith starring Laurence Fishburne, Martin Landau, and Brad Whitford, which will air Thanksgiving on ABC. He is preparing to direct A Redbird Christmas, which is based on the novel by Fannie Flagg (the author of Fried Green Tomatoes). The script is by Ms. Flagg and Mr. Avnet. Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman are producing with Mr. Avnet and Marsha Oglesby. The film is scheduled to shoot in 2012. A recent reading of the script included Annette Bening, Kathy Bates, and Debra Messing in the lead roles. Mr. Avnet is also launching a web series with Rodrigo Garcia and Jacob Avnet for YouTube to go online in 2012.For two seasons, Mr. Avnet has directed multiple episodes of the critically acclaimed FX network series Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant and adapted by Graham Yost from Elmore Leonard's short story "Fire in the Hole." Justified received a Peabody Award, among others. Mr. Avnet produced and directed Robert De Niro, Al Pacino in Righteous Kill, which was released in September 2008. In 2007, he directed and executive produced The Starter Wife, a six-hour limited series for the NBC Universal and the USA Network, shot in Australia, and starring Debra Messing, Judy Davis, Miranda Otto, Stephen Moyer and Joe Mantegna. Based on the novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer, it aired May 2007 as the highest-rated limited series on cable that year. The Starter Wife received ten Emmy nominations, as well as Directors Guild of America and Producer's Guild of America nominations for Mr. Avnet. Judy Davis won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress.On Broadway, he produced the Tony Award winning "History Boys" and the Tony Award winning "Spamalot." He also produced "The Pillowman," which was nominated for a Tony for Best Play of the year; "Inherit the Wind," starring Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer, which garnered 4 Tony nominations, including Best Revival; and "The Seafarer" by Connor McPherson, with 4 Tony nominations. He most recently produced the Mike Nichols-directed "Country Girl," starring Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand.In 2004, Avnet produced and co-financed with Aurelio DeLaurentiis Paramount's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie. The film, written and directed by Kerry Conran, was shot entirely on a blue screen stage in London and was comprised of 2200 CGI shots. Mr. Conran's work on this film is considered groundbreaking by the special FX community. In 2002 and 2003, Avnet executive produced with Graham Yost and directed Boomtown for NBC, which received a Peabody award, an AFI Award, a Humanitas Award, and the Television Critics Association Award for best new drama and best drama of the year as well.In 2001, Avnet directed, co-wrote with Paul Brickman, and produced the critically acclaimed four hour miniseries Uprising for NBC. It was the first motion picture to focus primarily on Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, specifically the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It was shot on location in Poland, Slovakia and Austria. Starring Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Stephen Moyer, Jon Voight, and Donald Sutherland, Uprising was nominated for a Golden Globe and a DGA Award and won the ASC Award for Cinematography as well as an Emmy. Additionally, Mr. Avnet received another Christopher Award for this film, as well as the prestigious Janus Korchak Educational Award.Prior to Uprising, Avnet directed and produced Red Corner for MGM, starring Richard Gere, for which he was honored with the National Board of Review's Human Rights Award. He also directed and produced Up Close and Personal for Touchstone/Disney, starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer. Previously, he directed, produced and co-wrote the highly acclaimed Fried Green Tomatoes for Universal starring Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates, Mary Louise Parker, and Mary Stuart Masterson. It received Oscar, Golden Globe and Writers Guild nominations. His first directing outing (which he also co-wrote with Larry Grusin and produced) was the TV movie Between Two Women, starring Colleen Dewhurst and Farrah Fawcett, which earned Dewhurst an Emmy for her performance.Mr. Avnet enjoys supporting and launching new writer/directors, such as Mr. Brickman (Risky Business). He also produced the first films of David Frankel (Miami Rhapsody), Kerry Conran (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow), Rodrigo Garcia (Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her) and many others. In 1984, Avnet produced for David Geffen and Warner Bros. Paul Brickman's film Risky Business, which launched Tom Cruise's career. He actively participated in the movie's 25th Anniversary DVD edition, doing the commentary with Mr. Brickman and Mr. Cruise as well as the making-of documentary. Avnet also produced Brickman's next film, the cult classic Men Don't Leave, starring Jessica Lange, Joan Cusack, Arliss Howard, and Chris O'Donnell.In 1985, Avnet produced and co-wrote The Burning Bed, starring Farrah Fawcett, which garnered eight Emmy nominations and was the highest-rated television movie ever aired on NBC. It won the Writer's Guild Award, the Televisions Critics Award and a Golden Glove as well for Paul Le Mat, best supporting actor. A national hotline received over 100,000 phone calls from women seeking shelter from abuse, information or counseling. It has also made the public aware of the legal concept of "the battered women syndrome," which has gone on to become accepted as part of the justice system.Along with Jordan Kerner, Avnet produced Less Than Zero, which launched the career of Robert Downey Jr and James Spader, When a Man Loves a Woman, Miami Rhapsody, the Mighty Ducks films and George of the Jungle, to name a few, as well as Mama Flora's Family, based on the Alex Haley novel. Mr. Avnet has produced or executive produced many soundtracks which have created hit singles, from revivals, such as the Risky Business soundtrack featuring Tangerine Dream as well as Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll." For Less than Zero, Mr. Avnet hired Rick Rubin to produce the album that featured The Bangles' cover of "A Hazy Shade of Winter." "Because You Loved Me," "When a Man Loves a Woman," and "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" are some of the other singles he brought to the screen.Mr. Avnet attended the University of Pennsylvania and received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. After working with director Wilford Leach at the La Mama ETC theatre company, he made his first film Confusion's Circle, with a then unknown actor, Richard Gere. On the strength of that film, he received a fellowship in directing at the Center for Advanced Film Studies at the American Film Institute, where he worked two jobs to pursue his studies, one of which was as a staff photographer for the AFI and the other was reading scripts for Mike Medavoy at United Artists. Today, Mr. Avnet is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at the American Film Institute where he has been a guiding force for over 20 years (he was chairman for the ten prior years.) In addition, he serves on the Board of Overseers of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.Mr. Avnet participates as a mentor in the Director's Lab at Sundance and its sister program Emergence in France. He also lectures at numerous universities worldwide and has supported a diverse range of charitable organizations. He is a member of the Motion Picture Academy, the DGA, WGA, PGA and SAG. Mr. Avnet lives in Topanga Canyon, California, with his wife, artist Barbara Brody. He has three children: Alexandra, a Penn Graduate, who works as a producer/editor for nfl.com and has had her first child, Isabella Rose Costantino; Jacob, also a Penn graduate, who received his Master's degree from USC's Peter Stark Graduate Program and has produced a web series for Fox; and Lily, graduated from Penn on the Dean's list, who worked at Mad Men last summer and is currently writing screenplays.