Thursday, November 16, 2017

Happy Birthday to Film, TV Director Jamie Babbitt

Jamie Babbitt was born today, November 16, in 1970. She is a film director, producer, and screenwriter. She directed the films But I'm A Cheerleader, The Quiet and Itty Bitty Titty Committee. She has also directed episodes of television programs including Gilmore Girls, Malcolm in the Middle, United States of Tara, Looking, Nip/Tuck, and The L Word.

Babbit was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and grew up in Cleveland. 
After graduating from Barnard College in 1993, Babbit's first job was as an assistant to the assistant for Martin Scorsese on The Age of Innocence

In 1996, Babbit, with Ari Gold, directed Frog Crossing, a comedic short film about an animal rights activist who protects frogs as they hop across a highway. 

In 1999, Babbit directed her first feature film, But I'm A Cheerleader. Starring Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall, it is a romantic comedy about a high school cheerleader who is sent to a so-called "reparative therapy" camp when her parents suspect she is a lesbian. The film was inspired by an article that Babbit read about a man who had been sent to a similar camp. The camp in the film was partly based on a halfway house for young people with drug and alcohol problems run by her mother. 

In 2000, the film won the Audience Award and the Graine de Cinéphage Award at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival, an annual French festival which showcases the work of female directors. Film scholar Wheeler Winston Dixon described the film as a commercial and critical success, which became a cult film on DVD in later years.

Babbit lives in Los Angeles with her wife, Karey Dornetto.She has two daughters, Finley and Ryder, with her former partner, producer Andrea Sperling.

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