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Andrew Shea is a versatile, award-winning director and screenwriter who has enjoyed success in film, television and theatre. His films have premiered at several of the most prestigious and selective film festivals in the world: the Cannes Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the South by Southwest Film Festival.
Shea began his career in Santa Fe, where he founded the New Mexico Repertory Theatre, a regional professional company that grew to become the largest theatre in the history of the state. During his years in New Mexico Shea directed and produced over forty plays, including several world premieres by Mark Medoff, author of Children of a Lesser God.
In the early 90s Shea moved to Los Angeles, where he opened a new chapter of his career as an independent feature filmmaker. As one critic put it, life teaches the characters in Shea's films a whole new set of three R’s: Ruin, Revenge, and Redemption. Santa Fe, starring Gary Cole, Lolita Davidovich and Tina Majorino, explores the destructive allure of cults; The Corndog Man, featuring Noble Willingham (nominated for an Independent Spirit Best Actor award for his performance) as a boat salesman haunted by the past, explores the connection between torment and regret; Forfeit, starring Billy Burke, Sherry Stringfield, Gregory Itzin and Wayne Knight, is at once a heist caper, a psychological thriller and a modern morality tale of reckoning and revelation; Take My Breath Away, the story of a condemned inmate who sells the rights to film his execution in the California gas chamber as a music video, was one of two American shorts that were invited to screen in the International Critics Week of the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.
During his years in Los Angeles Shea also worked as a television writer. He co-wrote the television movie, Beat of a Different Drum, for ABC, Fox Television Studios and Edmonds Entertainment. He also co-wrote a drama pilot for ABC and Fox Television, The Crew, set in the world of college rowing.
Shea is a native of New York City, which is the principal location of his most recent release, Portrait of Wally, the story of a Nazi-looted painting by Egon Schiele that was discovered on the walls of the Museum of Modern Art in 1997, triggering a historic court battle that pitted the Manhattan District Attorney, the United States Government and the heirs of a Viennese gallery owner against a major Austrian museum and MoMA. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, 2012, to excellent notices. Seventh Art Releasing released the film following its Tribeca premiere in art house theatres nationwide and also booked it in numerous fine art museums, film festivals, universities, and community centers.
Shea is currently in production on a new documentary, Wrestling Alligators, the story of James Billie, the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar Indian gaming industry and the Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the only Native American Indian Tribe that never surrendered to the United States and never signed a peace treaty. Other projects in development include The Last Ironist, a new play by longtime collaborator Mark Medoff, and a narrative feature film about the experiences of Donnie Nelson, the General Manager of the Dallas Mavericks, behind the Iron Curtain in the mid 1980s, when he outwitted the Soviet bureaucracy to successfully recruit the first Eastern European basketball players to the National Basketball Association.
Shea has an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Art, an M.F.A. from California institute of the Arts, a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, and a B.A. from Hampshire College. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.