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Peter Saraf (Producer) founded Big Beach in August 2004 with Marc Turtletaub to produce and finance independent feature films. The company’s production of Little Miss Sunshine won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin) and Best Original Screenplay (Michael Arndt), and won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature, among many other honors.
Mr. Saraf has served as a producer on the company’s acclaimed films, including Little Miss Sunshine, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris; Liev Schreiber’s Everything Is Illuminated, starring Elijah Wood; and Ramin Bahrani’s Chop Shop, which world-premiered at the 2007 Cannes International Film Festival and for which the filmmaker was honored with the Independent Spirit Award for Someone to Watch.
Big Beach’s most recent features produced by Mr. Saraf were Sunshine Cleaning,directed by Christine Jeffs and starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Alan Arkin; and Is Anybody There?, directed by John Crowley and starring Michael Caine. Venturing into stage work, the company also recently produced the hit off-Broadway show Sleepwalk with Me, written by and starring Mike Birbiglia and directed by Seth Barrish, which won the 2009 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show.
Upcoming from Big Beach are a new documentary feature from director Jeffrey Blitz, who was an Academy Award nominee for Spellbound; and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Jack Goes Boating, in which Mr. Hoffman stars opposite Amy Ryan.
Prior to founding Big Beach, Mr. Saraf was an independent producer and longtime partner with director Jonathan Demme and Away We Go producer Edward Saxon at the production company Clinica Estetico. There, he co-produced Victor Nunez’ award-winning Ulee’s Gold; produced Mr. Demme’s The Truth About Charlie, starring Mark Wahlberg, Thandie Newton, and Tim Robbins; executive-produced Spike Jonze’s award-winning Adaptation; produced Mr. Demme’s The Agronomist, which won the Gotham Award for Best Documentary; co-produced Angus Gibson and Jo Menell’s Academy Award-nominated documentary Mandela: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation; produced Juan Botas and Lucas Platt’s documentary One Foot on a Banana Peel, the Other Foot in the Grave; executive-produced Mr. Demme’s short The Complex Sessions, with Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and produced Mr. Demme’s feature-length Storefront Hitchcock, with Robyn Hitchcock. Mr. Saraf also joined David Byrne to remix and remaster the 15th-anniversary rerelease of Mr. Demme’s Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense.