Daniel Minahan

Daniel Minahan

Raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Minahan is the latest in a long line of graduates of SUNY, Purchase to make his mark in the world of independent film. After graduating, he worked for several years in various production capacities on TV documentaries for the BBC, Channel Four, MTV, PBS and For two years in the mid-1990s, Minahan was the film and video curator of the famed arts organization The Kitchen in NYC. Eventually, he teamed with another former documentarian, Mary Harron, and scripted "I Shot Andy Warhol," a well-received look at the fringe figure who sought to make her "S.C.U.M. Manifesto" popular. Minahan expected to make his feature directorial debut with a biopic of fashion designer Halston, but the project was put in turnaround. Instead, he spent the time developing "Series 7," which drew loose inspiration from Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." Tapped to attend the Sundance Writers Lab, Minahan drew on his experiences working in television and structured his film as if it were episodes of a fictional series called "The Contenders." With the object being the survival of the fittest, the film, shot on digital video, is both a parody of exploitation programming and shrewd commentary on society's lust for blood sport. (The fact that such programs as "Survivor" and its many imitators proved popular certainly made his screenplay seem prescient.) After "Series 7" premiered to generally good notices at Sundance and was released in theaters several weeks later, Minahan turned his attentions back to his proposed film version of the life of Halston.