"I believe the cinema is one of our principal forms of art. It is an incredibly powerful way to tell uplifting stories that can move people to cry with joy and inspire them to reach for the stars." - Wes Craven
Wes Craven has been challenging audiences with his bold visions for more than 25 years. Marked by both creative and commercial milestones, Craven's career includes some of the most audacious films of the 70's and 80's, including his first film, Last House on the Left, which he wrote, directed, and edited in 1972. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Craven holds a Master's Degree in writing and philosophy from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Although horror films have, historically, attracted a certain niche audience, Craven's work successfully shattered those walls through its clever style and its extraordinary insight into the human psyche. An eclectic and refined blend of stories comprise Craven's career. Films like Shocker (1989), Deadly Friend (1986), and the cult classic, The Hills Have Eyes (1975), reveal Craven's curiosities with the absurd as much as The People Under the Stairs (1991) and The Serpent and the Rainbow (1998) exhibit his penchant for examining society's myths and urban legends.
In 1984, Craven breathed new life into the youth horror genre with A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film that spawned a multi-billion dollar series of sequels and electrified the genre with refreshing intelligence and a unique brand of humor. Although Craven did not direct any of the five sequels, he deconstructed the genre a decade later with the adventurous Wes Craven's New Nightmare, which was nominated Best Feature at the 1995 Independent Spirit Awards. Most recently, Craven has gained even greater notoriety through his Scream trilogy--to be completed with the release of Scream 3 this year. The irreverent, genre-bending winner of MTV's 1996 Best Movie Award, Scream, has come to be known as one of the highest-grossing horror films of all time, giving Craven the freedom to pursue a career-long dream. The former teacher and long-time lover of classical music was able to create Music of the Heart, a film based on the real-life story of a violin teacher in East Harlem that garnered its star, Meryl Streep, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.
Wes Craven's imagery and storytelling have entranced and haunted audiences worldwide. It is his wisdom and command as a director that define the complex, startling, and often funny humanity of his terrifying films, and it is his boldness, fortitude, and strength of personal vision that earn him the title maverick. - Mike Rabehl