Maria Giese Biography

American Feature film Director, Maria Giese

Maria Giese wrote and directed the British film “When Saturday Comes” starring Academy Award nominated actor, Pete Postlethwaite, Sean Bean and Emily Lloyd. This film, shot on location in Sheffield, England for Capitol Films, was released theatrically around the world in 1996.


Giese also wrote, directed and produced the digital feature film “Hunger” (available on Amazon 2011), her contemporary adaptation of Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun’s 1890 existentialist masterpiece. The San Francisco Examiner called the film “A champion,” “A shot-on-video wonder” and named it the “The pick of the pack” at the SF Independent Film Festival. It won Best Feature Film and Best Underground Film at international festivals.


Giese re-wrote “North Star,” directed by Nils Gaup (“Pathfinder”) and starring James Caan, Christopher Lambert and Catherine McCormack. She also wrote the original feature drama “The Life Story of Che Guevara” and adapted the British novel “Free To Trade” for Capitol Films. In addition, she has written two original feature films and co- wrote the children’s feature adaptation of “The Wheel on the School” based on the classic Newbery Prize-winning novel by Meindert DeJong.


A graduate of Wellesley College and UCLA’s Graduate School of Film & Television, Giese is currently attached to direct two feature films, “RAIN” and “Treasure Hunt.”  She previously completed a short documentary and two short films including the Student Academy Award finalist, “A Dry Heat.” She was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree in film production in 1994.


The recipient of numerous awards, Giese won two Golden Cine Eagles, a Kovler Writing Award, a Spotlight Award, First Prize at the American International Film Festival, a Charles Speroni Scholarship, and an MPAA Award of Excellence. She has taught film & TV production at UCLA Extension, lectures regularly, and writes extensively about the under-representation of women directors in America on her blog,


In 2014, Giese was elected DGA Women’s Director Category Representative.  She is an activist for women directors and is the co-founder of the globally read web forum, “Women Directors: Navigating the Boys’ Club.” She lives in Venice, CA and has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1999.


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