Biography

 


David Burton Morris began his career directing his first feature film while a student at UCLA.  “Loose Ends” went on to play at over twenty international film festivals. Vincent Canby of The New York Times called it "one of the most interesting American films I've seen in years", after it premiered at The Museum of Modern Art. It also landed on Andrew Sarris' Top Ten Films of the Year List in The Village Voice.


In partnership with his screenwriter wife, Victoria Wozniak, David directed “Purple Haze”, which won the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and has since turned into a 'cult' classic with fans from around the world reaching out to the director.


His follow up after winning Sundance was the critically acclaimed “Patti Rocks” which won the Coup de Coeur (Grand Prize) at the Deauville International Film Festival in France. Upon release, the film went on to play for eleven months in Paris.


The film was nominated for 5 IFP Independent Spirit Awards, the independent film community's equivalent of an Oscar.  It was also in competition at the prestigious Critics Week at the Venice International Film Festival where David received a two minute standing ovation after the conclusion of the screening.


“Patti Rocks” was also the first motion picture in cinema history to be initially rated ‘X’ for its language. The rating was twice appealed and was subsequently released with an 'R' rating. The New York Post called it  "A sexual hand grenade of a film! Gut funny." and Newsday proclaimed the film was "A work of genius!".


David then started directing at HBO on the critically acclaimed “Vietnam War Story” series for producer Francis Ford Coppola.  His resulting work was twice ACE nominated and he won the ACE Award for Best Director for his episode “Dirty Work”.  That same year he co-wrote “Laguna Heat” for HBO in which Rip Torn won an ACE Best Actor Award.


Continuing to work for HBO, he wrote and directed the “Tales From The Crypt” episode, “Three’s A Crowd”, for producer Joel Silver and received another Ace Award nomination for directing. That same year he also developed and directed the feature film, “Hometown Boy Makes Good”, starring Anthony Edwards for HBO head of programming Chris Albrecht.


He went on to develop and direct the feature film “Jersey Girl” starring Dylan

McDermott, Jamie Gertz and Aida Turturro for Interscope Films and Columbia Pictures.


Following “Jersey Girl”, David returned to HBO and directed “A Body to Die For”, which he and lead actor Ben Affleck each received Emmy nominations. David also received a Directors Guild of America nomination for Best Director.


He next developed two projects at Showtime. “Under Color of Law” and “Parable of the Sower”, adapting the much-acclaimed novel from the 'genius grant' recipient, writer Octavia Butler.


Turning to network television for the first time his Fox Movie of the Week, “The Price of Love”, received stellar reviews.  The Los Angeles Times wrote: "A sensitive, deeply moving film," and PEOPLE Magazine said: "This is the TV movie format at its best."  USA TODAY acclaimed: "It's a near perfect vehicle." The telefilm also won The Prism Award for socially conscious cinema.


He then directed “The Almost Perfect Bank Robbery” for CBS which The Los Angeles Times called "an engaging caper, a refreshing bit of Preston Sturges like daftness...sweet and poignant...where we find Brooke Shields finding her footing as a comic actress."


His critically acclaimed LIfetime Network telefilm “Any Mother’s Son” received the prestigious GLAAD AWARD and lead actress Bonnie Bedelia received a Best Actress Emmy nomination for her performance.


His ABC Move of the Week “And The Beat Goes On”, a bio about Sonny and Cher,

was one of the Top Ten highest viewed movies of the week and was nominated for three Emmy Awards.


The CBS mini-series, “Jackie – A Life”, was nominated for three Emmys and won the Golden Reel for Best Editing. That same year he and his wife developed “Wiggers” for MTV Films, a high school drama about suburban white kids emulating African Americans in dress and music.


In the past three years he has directed Lifetime's “The Governor’s Wife”, Hallmark's “Ice Dreams” with Jerry Stiller and Shelly Long, “Miles from Nowhere” starring Treat Williams and “Accidentally In Love” starring Jennie Garth from a screenplay developed with her husband, Peter Facinelli, that aired in February 2011 on the Hallmark Channel and was the highest rated cable film of that week with 3.3 million viewers.


His independent romantic comedy that he also co-wrote, “Immigration Tango”, won the Best Picture and Best Actor awards at the Boston International Film Festival in April 2010 and was theatrically released by Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate in Feburary 2011.


Currently he is co-producing the much praised cult novel “A Fan’s Notes” by Frederick Exley.  He is also in preproduction on the romantic comedy, “Tablecloth Waltz”.


He is currently writing “Girl Gone Crazy” for Stage 6/Sony Pictures and a screenplay he co-wrote, “Border/Line”, is in preproduction by Garcia/Bross Films for a 2011 shoot in Mexico directed by Daniel Gruener.


He is a founding member of the IFP/WEST and in 1988 was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Director’s Branch.


In all, his directing work has garnered 25 nominations, including seven for an Emmy.