Allison Anders is an award-winning film and television writer and director. She attended UCLA film school and in 1984 had her first professional break working for her film mentor Wim Wenders on his movie Paris, Texas (1984). After graduation, Anders had her first film debut, Border Radio (1987), which she co-wrote and co-directed with Kurt Voss. The influential indie film examined the Los Angeles punk scene in the 1980s and went on to be nominated by the Independent Feature Project for Best First Feature, and it recently had its TCM premiere. Anders and Voss would partner again on Sugar Town (1999), another film about the Los Angeles music industry, starring several of their friends, including the lead singer of X, John Doe. Sugar Town was also nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards.
Anders’ other credits include Gas, Food Lodging (1992), Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) (1993), Grace of My Heart (1996) and Four Rooms (1995). In 2001, Don Cheadle was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor for his work on Anders’ film Things Behind the Sun (2001). The powerful movie about the long-term effects of rape went on to garner the SHINE Award as well as the Peabody Award.
Anders is also well known in television for directing episodes of hit shows such as Sex and the City, Gross Pointe, Cold Case, The L Word, Men in Trees, What About Brian?, Southland, The Mentalist, Orange Is The New Black, Gang Related, The Divide, Murder In The First, Proof, AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies, and CW’s much lauded Riverdale (she will return to direct Season 2 of Riverdale this summer 2017).
In 2003, Anders became a professor of the Film and Media Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara, and in 2006 she made an appearance in the film documentary Wanderlust. Anders and her daughter Tiffany Anders together co-founded the “Don’t Knock the Rock Film and Music Festival” in Los Angeles. Throughout her career she has been recognized for her achievements in film and nominated for various awards and prizes; other major highlights include a New York Film Critics Circle Award, as well as the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.
Anders film Strutter had its Los Angeles premiere April 2013, and the film she directed for Lifetime TV Ring Of Fire, on the life of country singer June Carter Cash with singer Jewel in the title role, aired in May 2013 and garnered Anders an Emmy nomination for best director. In 2016 Anders directed a remake of Beaches for Lifetime with singer Idina Menzel and Nia Long.