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GARY ROSS (Director / Writer), a four-time Academy Award-nominated writer, director and producer, creates original stories that explore humanity through equal parts drama and humor. From his original screenplays for "Big" and "Dave," and his adaptations and direction of "Seabiscuit" and "The Hunger Games," to his original screenplays and direction of "Pleasantville" and "Ocean's 8," Ross's work as a filmmaker has been distinguished by a fascination with that which influences the best and worst in human behavior.

Previously, Ross developed, co-wrote and directed the record-setting box office hit "The Hunger Games," which spawned a hugely successful four-part franchise based on Suzanne Collins' dystopian trilogy. His last film, "The Free State of Jones," was the product of years of research, including a two-year fellowship at Harvard University, where he studied the Civil War era and Reconstruction.

Ross launched his career as co-writer of the hit film "Big," starring Tom Hanks, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Next, he drew on his experience in and love of the American political process for his screenplay for the Capra-esque comedy hit "Dave," for which he received his second Academy Award nomination and won the esteemed Writer's Guild of America (WGA) Paul Selvin Award.

In 1998, Ross marked his directorial debut with the ambitious and critically acclaimed "Pleasantville," which he also wrote and produced. In 2003, he wrote, directed and produced the much-celebrated epic feature "Seabiscuit," starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, and Chris Cooper. The film received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay for Ross. He also received Directors Guild of America (DGA), Producers Guild of America (PGA) and WGA Award nominations, the USC Scripter Award, and several other critical award recognitions. Ross also developed, wrote and produced the animated adventure "The Tale of Despereaux," based on Kate DiCamillo's best-selling children's novel.

Ross's first book, Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind, was published in fall 2013 by Candlewick Press. A children's fantasy, the illustrated book is written completely in verse. Ross is active in civic and charitable work. During his tenure as President of the Los Angeles Library, he established mentoring programs for inner city youth and expanded teenage and youth-at-risk services throughout the Los Angeles library system. He has served on numerous boards and charitable organizations, including his current service on the L.A. River Revitalization Corps, which is working with Architect Frank Gehry to transform the LA River into one of the largest urban parks in the nation.

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