Myra Paci

Myra Paci is a writer/director/camerawomxn whose work includes her award-winning debut feature Searching for Paradise, developed at the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriting and Directing Labs, with “first-rate performances” (The Boston Globe) by Chris Noth, Susan May Pratt, Jeremy Davies and Italian star Michele Placido, distributed by Sundance Channel and Showtime Entertainment; her short thriller Girls Night Out, starring Rosario Dawson, distributed on the Sundance Channel; and Transeltown, distributed by Criterion and which The Village Voice called “a sci-fi and horror–inflected hallucination, whose vision of gender dysphoria and fluidity now seems years ahead of its time.” Transeltown is in the Joanie 4 Jackie Archive at The Getty Research Institute and is distributed by Cinenova Film and Video Distribution in Europe. With her terror-tinged play The Fairy Queen, set during and immediately after 9/11–written for and starring Ruth Maleczech, founder of celebrated NYC experimental theatre company Mabou Mines–Paci was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Voice and Vision Theatre’s Envision Residency at Bard College, New York Theatre Workshop, and Chicago’s Millennium Park “In the Works” Series. As a co-writer of a docu-fiction hybrid project about Margaret Mead, James Baldwin, and Ruth Benedict, Paci received a development grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Most recently, Paci was awarded residencies by the San Francisco Film Society and at Middlebury Script Lab at Bread Loaf to develop her psycho-horror feature, BESTIA, which was shortlisted for a Sloan Science in Cinema Fellowship and a Djerassi/SFFS Screenwriting Fellowship.  She shot and directed a personal essay/art feature entitled Adventures in Peterland: A Mystery of Art and Love, which is beginning its festival life.

With her production companies, Casa Madre Films and SLAP Agency, Paci has created numerous videos for clients such as AAA, Kaiser Permanente, Intel, Lending Club, Schwab, and The San Francisco YMCA. 

Paci has taught screenwriting and directing at San Francisco State University and California College of the Arts. She received a B.A. in History from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Film/Video Production from N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts.

Resume

Education

  • New York University Graduate Film and Television.  Masters of Fine Arts, January 1994
    • Winner of New York University GFTV Excellence in Screenwriting Award
  • Yale University, Bachelor of Arts, May 1988. ( Major: History ) Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
    • Andrew D. White Prize for senior thesis, “Janet Flanner and Her Circle: Women in Paris between the Wars.”
    • Robert E. Bates Fellowship to study fourteenth century Jewish and Muslim criminal cases at the Archivio General de la Corona de Aragon.

Professional Fellowships

  • Envision Theatre Lab at Bard College, Voice and Vision Theatre, July 2005 for play The Fairy Queen.
  • Southern Circuit (annual program of the South Carolina Arts Commission supporting independent filmmakers and providing them the opportunity to travel throughout the Southeast to screen their films to new audiences), September 2003, for Searching for Paradise .
  • Sundance Institute Directing Lab, June 1998, for feature screenplay Searching for Paradise.
  • MacDowell Colony, March-April 1998, for play The Fairy Queen.
  • Sundance Institute Screenwriting Lab, January 1998, for Searching for Paradise.

Teaching Experience

  • California College of the Arts, Graduate Screenwriting and Graduate Film Production (Independent Study), January 2002 – May 2003
  • San Francisco State University, Graduate and Undergraduate Screenwriting, January 2002 – December 2002

Awards

Searching for Paradise:

  • Grand Prize – Best Feature Film, Festival du Cinema Americain Independent d’Agen, France
  • Kodak Award for Cinematography, Hamptons International Film Festival
  • Rising Star Award (Susan May Pratt), Hamptons Int’l Film Festival
  • Best Actress Award, Milan International Film Festival

Girls Night Out:

  • Certificate of Merit, Chicago International Film Festival, 1997
  • Silver Award, Worldfest-Charlston/Charlston International Film Festival, 1997
  • Jury Award, New York Exposition of Short Film and Video, 1997

XXXTASY: Two Days in the Life of a Saint

  • Best Student Film, Hamptons International Film Festival, 1994
  • Director’s Choice, Atlanta Film and Video Festival, 1994
  • Jurors’ Choice Award, Charlotte Film and Video Festival, 1994
  • New York University Craft Awards for Excellence in Filmmaking, Sound Design, Best Actress  (Elzbieta Czyzewska), and the Nestor Almendros Award for Cinematography, 1994

Transeltown:

  • Honorable Mention, Best Experimental Short,  Atlanta Film and Video Festival, 1993
  • Jury Prize for Best Experimental Short, Chicago Filmmakers and 12th Chicago Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival, 1992
  • New York University Craft Awards for Excellence in Filmmaking, Art Direction, Sound Design, Editing, and Musical Score,  1992.

Advertising Awards:

  • Communication Arts for Preppy Girl LIFEbeat p.s.a.,  March1996.
  • Silver Plaque for Jerky Boys 2 Atlantic Records spot at the 31st Chicago International Film Festival Television Commercial Competition, October 1995.