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Leslie Urdang and Dean Vanech
Leslie Urdang and Dean Vanech founded Olympus Pictures in 2007 to develop, finance and produce feature films at all budget levels. Olympus provides an extremely supportive environment for filmmakers and quality entertainment in a wide range of genres.
The company’s first feature, writer/director Max Mayer’s Adam, starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne, was released in 2009. Olympus most recently was represented in theaters with John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole, which it produced and financed. Rabbit Hole was adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play and starred Academy Award-nominated Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, and Dianne Wiest.
Olympus has wrapped production, alongside Likely Story, on Julian Farino’s The Oranges, starring Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, and Leighton Meester. The comedy was scripted by Jay Reiss & Ian Helfer. The company is currently developing, with HWY61, a film inspired by the life of Sal Masekela; an adaptation of Pearl S. Buck’s novel Peony; Wendy and the Lost Boys, written by Jon Robin Baitz and Michael Hoffman; and, with Rob Morrow, Spin, adapted from the book by Robert Charles Wilson. Beginning production in the spring of 2011 is Mr. Pip, adapted by director Andrew Adamson from Lloyd Jones’ Commonwealth Writer’s Prize-winning novel and starring Mr. Laurie.
Olympus Pictures is affiliated with Olympus Theatricals, LLC, an independent commercial theater production company. Both companies are subsidiaries of Olympus Productions, LLC, which is owned by Olympus Holdings, LLC; the latter is an independent firm engaged through its various subsidiaries and affiliates in energy, commercial finance, and entertainment.
Prior to the formation of Olympus, Ms. Urdang’s credits as an independent film producer included Michael Hoffman’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which headlined an all-star cast, and Game 6, starring Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr.; Daniel Algrant’s People I Know, written by Jon Robin Baitz and starring Al Pacino and Kim Basinger; Don Scardino’s Me and Veronica, starring Elizabeth McGovern and Patricia Wettig; Danny Leiner’s The Great New Wonderful, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal; and Michael Cuesta’s Twelve and Holding, for which she shared in the production’s Independent Spirit Award nomination for the John Cassavetes Award.
Mr. Vanech was also an executive producer on François Velle’s The Narrows, starring Kevin Zegers and produced by Ms. Urdang. After collaborating on that film, they joined forces to form Olympus.