Peter Ross Newman

Associate Arts Professor

Photo of Associate Arts Professor Peter Newman

Over the past 4 decades Peter Newman has established himself as one of the motion picture industry's leading producers of theatrical films. Having produced more than 30 films, New York-based Peter Newman Productions has worked with some of the world's most renowned filmmakers including Robert Altman, Wes Anderson, Paul Auster, Noah Baumbach, Jonathan Demme, Horton Foote, John Sayles, and Wayne Wang. The company has received a total of 21 Independent Spirit Award nominations - the leading honor in American Independent Film.

Noah Baumbach's "The Squid and the Whale," which Newman produced, won the Best Writing and Directing Awards at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The film, which stars Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, was a co-production with Wes Anderson's American Empirical Pictures. It was nominated for six Spirit Awards, including Best Picture; three Golden Globes®, including Best Film - Musical or Comedy; and an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay.

A former sportscaster, Newman began his road toward producing when he served as executive producer and host of the PBS special, "Muhammed Ali: One More Miracle." He went on to produce documentary profiles of ballet dancers Gelsey Kirkland and Natalia Makarova before turning to feature filmmaking in 1982 with Robert Altman's "Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean." The film, which starred Cher, Sandy Dennis, Karen Black, and Kathy Bates, was the grand prize winner of the Chicago International Film Festival.

Newman then moved into features full-time, serving either as producer or executive producer on numerous films including two-time Academy Award-winner Horton Foote's "1918" and "On Valentine's Day," Spalding Gray's "Swimming to Cambodia," Harry Hook's re-make of "Lord of the Flies," Altman's "O.C. & Stiggs," Jay Russell's "End of the Line," Anthony Drazan's "Zebrahead" - the Sundance Filmmakers Trophy winner which he co-executive produced with Oliver Stone - and John Sayles' "The Secret of Roan Inish."

In 1989, Newman produced Nancy Savoca's "Dogfight," a Warner Brothers release starring River Phoenix and Lili Taylor. He then went on to produce Savoca's "Household Saints" for Fine Line Features starring Taylor and Tracy Ullman before collaborating with Savoca again on "The 24 Hour Woman."

With future partner Greg Johnson, Newman produced "Smoke," directed by Wayne Wang and written by Paul Auster, and starring Harvey Keitel and William Hurt. "Smoke" was the winner of three major awards at the 1995 Berlin Film Festival, and was voted best film at the 1995 Locarno International "Blue in the Face," the extemporaneously created companion piece to "Smoke," as well as on the sci-fi comedy "Space Truckers," which premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.

Among Newman's other producing credits are: Sara Kernochan's "All I Wanna Do," starring Kirsten Dunst and Rachel Leigh Cooke (Miramax), and Auster's directorial debut "Lulu on the Bridge," which premiered at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. Newman also produced Wayne Wang's "The Center of the World" (Artisan) as well as Bob Gale's ("Back to the Future") "Interstate 60" (7 Arts), featuring James Marsden, Gary Oldman, and Michael J. Fox. He was executive producer on Alfredo De Villa's "Washington Heights," which won the audience prize at the 2002 Los Angeles Film Festival. In conjunction with Crusader Entertainment, he produced "The Game of Their Lives," directed by David Anspaugh ("Hoosiers").

Newman was a featured speaker at the Sundance Institute's Producers Conference in 1991 and 2005; as well as having appeared on numerous film festival panels, including Cannes and New York. Additionally, he has lectured on the film business at Yale, Columbia, and Harvard Universities.

Since, its inception in 2006, Newman has headed up the MBA/MFA Graduate Dual Degree Program for Tisch at New York University. It is the first and only program of its kind in the country.

Peter Newman Productions, Inc. has more than six feature film projects in active development. Currently, he is preparing a film based on the life of Janis Joplin which will be starring Michelle Williams.

Newman is a member of the Academy OF Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producer's Guild of America.

He lives in New York City with his wife Antonia and their three children. Newman is a graduate of Northwestern University.


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