Film producer Paul Heller’s successful career has spanned over 50 years and includes 30 feature films and projects. In 1962, Heller produced his first film, the Frank and Eleanor Perry drama DAVID AND LISA starring Kier Dullea and produced under Heller’s company, Lisa and David Company. The film was a major success garnering a Golden Globe win for Dullea, two Oscar nominations and four BAFTA nods. In 1972, Heller founded Sequoia Pictures Inc. an affiliate of Warner Bros. The company’s first production was the world-renowned hit Enter the Dragon (1973), a film that ushered in the martial arts boom of the 1970s and made Brue Lee an international star.
Heller went on to create another company, Paul Heller Productions, which produced the successful film First Monday in October (1981) starring Walter Matthau and Jill Clayburg. Heller soon after served as the executive producer of the first made for cable feature, Falcon’s Gold (1982), as well as Showtime’s Pygmalion (1983) with Peter O’Toole and Margot Kidder. In 1987, he produced the British cult classic Withnail & I and two years later produced the internationally acclaimed Irish-American drama My Left Foot starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Both films appear on the British Film Institutes’ list of top 100 British Films, while My Left Foot earned Lewis and co-star Brenda Fricker Academy Awards for best performance.
Heller later began teaching film and developed a production program for the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Studies. He has previously taught Film and Television Design at New York University and Columbia University, and founded the Community Film Workshop Council with American Film Institute. He is the founder of ASK Theatre, a nonprofit group dedicated to new plays and playwrights. Currently, Heller heads the Education and Outreach Committee of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles.
He has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1975, and serves on the board of directors of the BAFTA as well as on the board of the Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation. He is also a member of the Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild and United Scenic Artists.