Paul Warner is an award-winning film and stage director, whose productions include: Fall Time (Lionsgate/Artisan) starring Mickey Rourke, Stephen Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, David Arquette, and Jason London, which premiered in competition at The Sundance Film Festival (and subsequently, Outfest), where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. His film In The Name Of The Father, starring British stalwart Trevor Eve, also premiered at Sundance and garnered numerous festival awards world-wide.
Warner most recently completed production on a new feature film, Hamlet/Horatio, about Hamlet's relationship with Horatio in the final moments of his life, set on a sound stage. It is currently in post-production with a projected release in the Fall of 2020.
In June of 2019, he directed the premiere of a new musical, River of Stone, at the Jaffa Festival in Tel Aviv with music and lyrics by long-time collaborator Peter Melnick and book by Ty Dafoe. River of Stone, inspired by an original dance theatre project by Melnick and Warner adapted from Chinese Bronze-Age poems, tells the story of an indigenous female singer's journey towards spiritual healing. We look forward to a US premiere this coming year.
In 2018, he directed an original award-winning movie musical: Kaya: Taste of Paradise featuring Oak (Okieriete Onaodowan of Broadway’s The Great Comet and Hamilton) with music and lyrics by Anna K. Jacobs (POP! and Teeth) and a screenplay by Jerome A. Parker and prior to that, a documentary, For Which We Stand, celebrating the history of LGBTQ recording artists featuring Dolly Parton, Deborah Cox, Chely Wright, and Melissa Etheridge, amongst others.
In 2011, Warner directed Holly Hunter, Patti Lupone, Lily Taylor, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Wendy Whelan, and William H. Macy, as well as numerous multi-disciplinary international artists, in David Michalek’s Portraits in Dramatic Time—a series of forty slow motion cinematic short films. Portraits premiered at The Lincoln Center Theatre Festival and continues to tour museums and festivals world-wide.
In addition to film, Warner has directed more than fifty stage productions. He was awarded the 2013 Princess Grace Foundation’s Works-in-Process Grant to co- conceive and direct a new dance-theatre opera, Women: The War Within by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun and Obie-winning playwright Matthew Maguire featuring choreography by Stephen Petronio and set design by Tony Award-winner (The Great Comet) and MacArthur fellow, Mimi Lien. Women: The War Within explores the rise of female power through the eyes of Hillary Clinton on the eve of the 2016 Presidential election. The first incarnation premiered at The Baryshnikov Arts Center starring Wendy Whelan of The New York City Ballet as Cleopatra, Ching Valdes-Aran as Aung San Suu Kyi, Winsome Brown as Hillary Clinton, and Chinese Opera icon Qian Yi as Wu Zetian.
Warner is grateful for the ongoing support of the Princess Grace Foundation, including a theatre fellowship grant, followed by a Statue Award, the Works-in-Process grant, and most recently, a Professional Development grant for television writing. The Princess Grace Foundation’s Statue Award and fellowships from The Drama League of New York, supported his residency as The Artistic Associate/Resident Director at New York's 2nd Stage Theatre, during which time he directed Out in America starring Daryl Hannah and Stephen Baldwin, as well as assisting on revivals of Lanford Wilson's Lemon Sky, featuring Cynthia Nixon and Jeff Daniels and Tina Howe's Coastal Disturbances starring Annette Bening. A Cite-Read grant from The Drama League funded Warner’s and Mauricio Zacharias’ (Love is Strange) new translation of Nelson Rodrigues' Wedding Dress. His North American premiere production garnered seven Drama-Logue Awards, including best direction and costume design for Mark Bridges (Academy Award for Phantom Thread and The Artist), which The LA Weekly lauded as “A phantasmagorical odyssey--a nonstop, mind-bending roller coaster ride that is as haunting as a nightmare, while also being a touching affirmation of life.”
Additional collaborations with new playwrights and composers include directing the world premiere of Mercury by Gary Sunshine, produced by Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) and HERE Arts Center, as well as radical interpretations of classics, such as his collaboration with composer Peter Melnick on a rock and roll rendition of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, as well as their original dance opera, Chinese Cabaret for Peter Sellars’ Los Angeles International Festival.
Warner was the assistant to mentors Fred Schepisi (Roxanne/A Cry In The Dark/The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith), Daniel Melnick (President of Columbia/All That Jazz/Kramer vs. Kramer), Ed Zwick (Glory/Trial By Fire/thirtysomething), and Robert Wilson (Einstein on The Beach). Zwick encouraged him to attend the American Film Institute, from which he graduated with an M.F.A in filmmaking and the Ashley Amulis Fellowship for directing. Warner is a graduate of Harvard University (B.A.) and The Phillips Exeter Academy, and has served as an adjunct professor of acting, directing, and writing at New York University, The School of Visual Arts, and SUNY Purchase. Currently, Warner is a senior instructor of acting, directing, and producing at The New York Film Academy.
Behind the Scenes Gallery