Robert J. Siegel
Siegel attended NYU Film School and as a student shot Arrivederci, Darling, That's My Advise to You, the first NYU student film to be theatrically released. His senior thesis film, City of Fire, was one of a select few ever offered world wide distribution by the USIA and was chosen for broadcast on Stanley Kaufman's tv show, The Art of Film. After graduation, Siegel enjoyed a successful career in advertising where he worked for J. Walter Thompson, Carriety-Hoffman Associates and McCann Erickson producing and directing tv commercials. His commercial work for Coca-Cola was selected into Advertising Age's Ten Best.
Siegel's work as a producer/director includes the features Parades written by George Tabori and The Line, an ABC Pictures International/Robert J. Siegel Production with Brad Sullivan and Jacqueline Brookes. Parades was the first theatrical American film to confront America's role in the Viet Nam War, preceding such films as Deer Hunter and Hearts and Minds by several years. It premiered at the USA Film Festival in Dallas, Texas to a firestorm of controversy. When it played at New York's Plaza Theater and the Forum on Broadway, it provoked fist fights in the audience. Released at the height of the war, it was considered too controversial and was eventually withdrawn from distribution. His concerns for political themes reemerged in the HBO World Premiere political thriller, Descending Angel, which he co-wrote and co-produced. Starring George C. Scott, Diane Lane and Eric Roberts, Descending Angel explored Rumanian Nazis in America and their infiltration of the Romanian Orthodox Church throughout this country.
Siegel's films have received recognition at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Montreal Film Festival and the USA Film Festival in Dallas. The Line was honored by invitation to the Montreal and Deauville International Film Festivals, and his work has been selected into the National Film Archives.
For the past ten years, he has been an Associate Professor of Film at Purchase College where he heads the Narrative Directing Program.
Currently he has two screenplays in development. In The Pink is a comedy set in the 50's about the dark cloud of McCarthyism hanging over a Catskills' hotel. The second, Teabo's Coup, inspired by the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup, is about a venture capitalist and a contemporary Joan of Arc who conspire to create a revolution in an obscure Eastern European country.
Robert J. Siegel Facts