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.
Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan
A film writer and curator, among her books are monographs devoted to Clint Eastwood, John Carpenter, George Romero, Walter Hill, John Milius, Robert Aldrich, William Friedkin and John Landis. Giulia’s last volume, Altman, was published by Abrams Books in 2014. Her writings have appeared in major Italian publications such as the national daily newspaper “il manifesto”, La Stampa and Marie Claire, as well as Cahiers du Cinema and Film Comment. Her tributes and retrospectives have been featured in Italy’s most important festivals as well as Film Forum and the Museum of Moving Image in New York; the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles, the Cinématheque Française in Paris, and the Brisbane and Melbourne Film Festivals. From 2003 to 2006 she was the co-director of the Torino Film Festival. She is the US Programmer and a Selection Committee member of the Venice Film Festival. She lives in New York.
Daniel Kraus is a New York Times bestselling author. He coauthored The Shape of Water with Guillermo del Toro, based on the same idea Kraus and del Toro created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus coauthored Trollhunters, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. Kraus’s The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch was named one of Entertainment Weekly's Top 10 Books of the Year, and he has won two Odyssey Awards (for both Rotters and Scowler). He is a multiple Library Guild selection, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Bram Stoker finalist, and more. His work has been translated into over 20 languages. In June 2020, Kraus will publish The Living Dead, an epic collaboration with legendary filmmaker George A. Romero.
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.
Malcolm McDowell is arguably among the most dynamic and inventive of world-class actors, yet also one capable of immense charm, humor and poignancy. McDowell has created a gallery of iconic characters since catapulting to the screen as Mick Travis, the rebellious upperclassman in Lindsay Anderson’s prize-winning sensation, If… His place in movie history was subsequently secured when Stanley Kubrick finally found the actor he was searching for to play the gleefully amoral Alex in A Clockwork Orange; when McDowell himself conceived the idea for Mick Travis; further adventures in Anderson’s Candid-like masterpiece, O Lucky Man!; and when he wooed Mary Steenburgen and defeated Jack the Ripper as the romantically inquisitive H.G. Wells in, Time After Time.
McDowell’s distinctive motion picture characterizations include Royal Flash, Cat People, Tank Girl, Figures in a Landscape, The Raging Moon and the Chaplinesque studio boss in Sunset. His film credits are further highlighted by his compellingly sinister Caligula; Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, In Good Company, I Spy, The Company; Hugo Pool, Just Visiting, Mr. Magoo, My Life So Far, Blue Thunder, Doomsday in 2007, Rob Zombie’s Halloween I & II, and the voice of villain, Dr. Calico, in Disney’s 2008 box office hit, Bolt.
Gaylen Ross has directed, produced, and written award-winning documentary films for over 25 years. She has had two films previously in the Berlin International Film Festival: the Emmy award-winning Blood Money: Switzerland¹s Nazi Gold, a feature-length documentary on the Swiss Banks and the Holocaust accounts, and her film on diamond dealers Dealers Among Dealers which aired on PBS P.O.V and is considered the only inside look into this very cloistered world. Among her films, Killing Kasztner: The Jew Who Dealt With Nazis, was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival, broadcast BBC Storyville, shown in 11 countries and has enjoyed an unprecedented theatrical release in the US, Israel and France. It was named by the LA Times as one of the best documentary films of 2010. Her film Caris' Peace about an actress who lost her memory premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival, won first place Athens Film Festival, Ohio; and presented as the featured film for the Rubin Museum of Art¹s Brainwave series in New York. Currently Ms. Ross is in post production on her film Title Shot, a stark chronicle of professional boxing through the rise and fall of 1990¹s junior middleweight contender Godfrey Nyakana as it focuses its lens on sides of the sweet science rarely seen. And Ross collaborated with Andy Cohen on the documentaries, Beijing Spring, Ximei (Executive Producer Ai Weiwei) and the Village Gate.
Ben Rubin is the Horror Studies Collection Coordinator, Archives & Special Collections for the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh. He serves as the main point of contact for students, faculty, and researchers seeking to explore scholarly studies in horror at the University of Pittsburgh. Using the George A. Romero Collection as a foundation and building upon existing strengths within the Archives & Special Collection, he will also be working to establish a first of its kind, international, scholarly resource within the University Library System dedicated to the research and study of horror and science fiction. This includes seeking out archives of other pioneering figures in horror as well as other materials related to horror literature, film, and more. As a lifelong horror fan, Ben is excited to have the opportunity to turn his fandom into a career and build the first academic collection dedicated to horror.
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).
Steve Schlozman is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a seminar instructor at the faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard College. Steve is also the co-director at The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has authored more than 40 academic publications, often focusing on the relationship of the humanities and popular culture to medical education and practice. He blogs for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today, and he has written articles for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsweek and The Guardian.
Steve is also a novelist and short story writer. George A. Romero optioned Steve’s first novel, The Zombie Autopsies, for film. The Zombie Autopsies has also been used to create curricular offerings in neuroscience, and as the substrate for a virtual reality mini-series. Steve’s second novel, Smoke Above Treeline, was a finalist in the North Street Book Prize competition. His stories have appeared in 99 Pine Street, The Fourth River, Dark Moon Digest, The Southwest Airlines Magazine, and See The Elephant. He also has delivered a TEDx talk focusing on the importance of the horror genre as an artistic invitation for self-reflection and for making sense of neurobiologically derived maladpative behaviors.
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).
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).
Adam Simon is a veteran of the Roger Corman film factory where he wrote and directed cult-classics Brain Dead and Carnosaur among others. His award-winning plays for Tim Robbins and The Actors Gang have been staged Off-Broadway, at the Edinburgh Festival and around the world. He has written scripts for Oliver Stone, John Schlesinger, James Cameron, John Woo, Jackie Chan and many others; created miniseries and pilots for NBC, HBO, Showtime and USA networks and Sony television; and directed and produced award winning documentaries for BBC, Channel Four and the Independent Film Channel - including The Typewriter, the Rifle and The Movie Camera on maverick director Sam Fuller, and The American Nightmare on the traumatic North American Horror films of the late sixties and early seventies. His horror films include Bones, starring Snoop Dogg and Pan Grier and The Haunting in Connecticut. He was the creator and head writer of WGN's television series Salem.