The GARF is dedicated to honoring the life work and cultural influence of George A. Romero, and supporting a new generation of filmmakers and artists inspired by his legacy.
The GARF Advisory Board Members
Dario Argento began his career as a movie critic for the Rome daily newspaper, "Paese Sera". A professional screenwriter by the age of 20, Dario joined Bernardo Bertolucci in 1967 to write the screenplay for Sergio Leone's epic western Once Upon A Time in the West in 1967. Dario has gone on to direct 15 films. He has also been involved in producing and writing films. Dario has also worked on three series for Italian television: The Door of Darkness (1972), Giallo (1987), and Turno di notte (1988).
Lamberto Bava is the third generation of Italian filmmakers. His father, Mario Bava (1914-1980), was a legendary cinematographer, special effects designer, and director. Lamberto entered the cinema as his father's personal assistant, starting with Planet of the Vampires (1965). He enjoyed his best commercial success to date with Demons (1985), produced by Dario Argento, co-written by Dardano Sacchetti, and filmed in West Berlin, Germany. The film’s international success allowed Lamberto to co-write, produce and direct a sequel, Demons 2 (1986). Lamberto returned to "giallo" thrillers with Delirium (1987). He continues to divide his time between television work and occasional movies.
Lori Cardille is an award-winning actress best known for her iconic role as Sarah Bowman in George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead. Sarah was considered the first strong female role in the horror genre. Her other credits include a running role on The Edge of Night and Ryan’s Hope. She appeared on Broadway with Jessica Tandy and Glenda Jackson. She also created the role of Rachel Fitzimmons in Craig Lucas’s play Reckless. It was during this play that George saw Lori and offered her the role of Sarah Bowman. Lori also starred in the movie Parole alongside Elen Barkin and James Naughton. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Lori also worked at Trinity Repertory Company. Lori is the daughter of Pittsburgh’s Chilly Billy, Bill Cardille.
Carl Kurlander is a film and television writer/producer whose credits include co-writing the semi-autobiographical Columbia Picture film St. Elmo's Fire and writing and producing for NBC’s popular Saved By The Bell franchise as well as producing the documentary A Shot To Save the World on the Salk polio vaccine which aired on the Smithsonian Channel and BBC and won the CINE Golden Eagle Award for best science program and the Starz network’s documentary TV series The Chair which won the 2015 TV Critic’s prize for “Best Reality Program.”
After several decades in Los Angeles, Carl moved back to his hometown to teach at the University of Pittsburgh for what he thought would be a one year Hollywood sabbatical. Instead, the journey led to the creation of a non-profit Steeltown Entertainment Project with the unlikely mission of helping Pittsburgh become a player in the entertainment industry. It was through this non-profit work that Carl met George Romero who participated in the inaugural Steeltown Entertainment Summit and helped Steeltown raise funds for independent filmmakers through the Pittsburgh premiere of Land of the Dead. In 2017, George returned to Pittsburgh to accept the Entertainment Pioneer Award at the Elly Awards, named for Ellen Weiss Kander who co-founded Steeltown with Carl.
Greg Nicotero is a gifted special effects and make-up wizard who learned his trade under the watchful eye of special effects, splatter guru Tom Savini. In 1988, Greg, Howard Berger, and Robert Kurtzman started KNB EFX Group, which has provided eye-popping and jaw dropping special effects for over 400 film and television projects. Greg’s first major job in special effects was on the George A. Romero film, Day of the Dead. He is currently working as an executive producer, special make-up effects supervisor, and primary director on the AMC television series, The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
Pittsburgh-born actor, special effects wizard, stuntman, and director, Tom Savini did a tour of duty as a combat cameraman in Vietnam and has since acquired a remarkable cult following among film fans, primarily because of his ground-breaking special effects in the "splatter movie" explosion of the early 1980s. Tom’s first work was in low-budget fare, providing special effects and make-up for independently made horror films such as Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974) and Martin (1978).He caught the attention of horror buffs with his grisly effects in the cult George A. Romero-directed zombie film, Dawn of the Dead (1978), and then in the controversial slasher film, Friday the 13th (1980), the movie generally identified as the beginning of the "splatter movie" genre. He is known for his make-up and special effects work on many of the films directed by George A. Romero, including Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Creepshow, and Monkey Shines. Tom also created the special effects and make-up for other cult classics, like Friday the 13th (Parts I and IV), The Burning (1981), The Prowler (1981), and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986).
Thelma Schoonmaker Powell was born in Algiers, Algeria, where her father worked for the Standard Oil Company. She grew up on the island of Aruba and, after returning to the United States, attended Cornell University, where she studied political science and Russian, intending to become a diplomat. While pursuing graduate work at Columbia University, she answered a New York Times ad that offered on-the-job training as an assistant film editor. The exposure to the field sparked a desire to learn more about film editing, and her career was set.
During a six-week summer course at New York University’s film school, Thelma met Martin Scorsese and Michael Wadleigh. She edited Scorsese’s first feature, Who’s That Knocking at My Door. She continued working with Scorsese over the next 50 years, editing all his films since Raging Bull (1980). She then edited a series of films and commercials before supervising the editing of Wadleigh’s 1971 film, Woodstock, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. She has received seven Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing and has won three times: Raging Bull, The Aviator (2004), and The Departed (2006). She is currently working on Scorsese’s The Irishman, scheduled for release in 2019.
In addition to editing, she works tirelessly to promote the films and writings of her late husband, the film director Michael Powell, including The Red Shoes (1948).