With an emphasis on strong women, Tamar Halpern has written and directed 8 features for film and TV. Her sixth, the human trafficking thriller Missing In Europe, was shot in Belgrade, Serbia in 2017 and stars Miranda Raison (Match Point, MI-5, My Weekend With Marilyn), Emmett J Scanlan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Charlie Casanova) and introducing Sophie Robertson. She has since directed two more thrillers for A+E in 2018.
Her feature documentary Llyn Foulkes One Man Band, about the LA painter rediscovered at age 77 by the international art world, premiered in competition at LA Film Festival, had an Oscar qualifying run in 25 cities in the US and abroad, and is available on Amazon, iTunes and Netflix. “A joy to watch,” The Hollywood Reporter. “Undeniably fascinating,” Variety.
Halpern wrote and directed the feature Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, starring Mira Sorvino, Michael Urie and Joe Pantoliano. Prior work includes writing and directing the award-winning comedy Shelf Life, introducing Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad, Life in Pieces) and called "a whip smart film that taps into a fresh source for American comedy” by Variety. Her comedic short, Death, Taxes and Apple Juice, has been invited to 40+ festivals and winning 16 awards including Boston Women in Comedy.
Halpern has adapted four books and three life stories, including the script on legendary journalist Nellie Bly for Paramount Studios, now under option with Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures and Sobini Films. She adapted a book by S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders, Rumble Fish) for producers Jack Dalgleish and Susan Stover and is slated to direct in 2019. Previously, she scripted Stacey Moskal Parsons' life story as well as adapting two books for screen by New York Times best selling author Wendy Mass.
Thanks to Halpern’s grandfather, a civil rights activist twice arrested for marching with the Reverend Martin Luther King, she was brought on to pen a TV series about forgotten civil rights figure Clyde Kennard. Her script Ezzy Fish was on the Black List, a Nicholl’s semi finalist, IFP/NY Top Ten finalist, Slamdance Finalist and accepted into Film Independent’s Producer and Director Labs. On stage, she's directed for One Axe Plays and written and directed for Public Assembly and Hero Theatre. She has a new full-length play going up 2019 with In House Theatre in Los Angeles.
Selected as a 2016-2017 American Film Showcase Film Expert for the US Dept of Education and the USC School of Cinematic Arts, she taught filmmaking and screenwriting in Amman, Jordan. The recipient of the Paramount Pictures Fellowship and the winner of the Jack Oakie Comedy Screenwriting Award while earning her MFA in film from USC, she's been awarded three residencies at Hedgebrook, a funded writing retreat where women author change. She recently directed a VR project for EventBrite at the Los Angeles Women's March and is devoted to working with Look What She Did, a non profit that supports amazing women talking about other amazing women who have been forgotten or ignored by history.
Her fiction and non fiction appears in Joyland, Huffington Post, Retro, SheRa, ByLine, Ms In the Biz, Gulf Coast and Sundress, winning the Best of the Net for Short Fiction. She’s written and directed commercials for DeBeers, Pepsi ,YSL, Amazon, EventBrite and Armani. Halpern has taught screenwriting at USC and been a screenwriting and directing panelist for New York Women in Film, Savannah College of Art and Design and festivals including Port Townsend Women & Film.
Previous work in the digital space includes writing and producing for Bob Abel’s seminal interactive multimedia company and Knowledge Adventure, leading her to become a founder of CitySearch. As the first person authorized by the Roald Dahl estate to write in his voice, she created interactive stories for Nestle.com. Halpern is developing VR based on the YA novel A Mango Shaped Space, about a 13 year old girl with synesthesia who sees sound and music, which Halpern optioned and penned the screenplay.
Her mother, Abigail Gumbiner, is a visual artist who hand sculpts photography, her father is a theoretical physicist and her son, Jordan Halpern Schwartz, is a composer for HBO, Vice, Showtime, as well as documentary and film. Her stepfather is the artist and master lithographer Peter Holmes and her husband is simply amazing.