Meet The Team
Bill Sackter and Kim Peek were lost souls when filmmaker Barry Morrow first encountered them. Bill had just gotten out of a state mental institution after 44 years of incarceration, while Kim, a solitary fellow, languished in an upstairs bedroom in his home, his mega-savant mind unknown even to his family. Then Morrow told their stories.
The multiple Emmy Award-winning television movie BILL was hailed as the first authentic portrayal of a person with mental retardation in television history, and the Oscar-winning “Best Motion Picture,” RAIN MAN, brought global attention to autism and savant syndrome, making them household terms and the beneficiaries of unprecedented medical research funding.
Morrow has been active in a variety of charitable organizations for over 35 years, including numerous public speaking engagements in the U.S. and abroad. Though his experiences in Hollywood are richly entertaining, his personal tales of Bill and Kim go far deeper, revealing the power of story to transform lives – both theirs and ours – while laying bare the simple truth that everyone has a story worth telling; that no one is beyond redemption.
After completing high school (Robbinsdale, ’66) where he was active in stage plays and claimed a State declamation contest title, Morrow joined The Stagecoach Players summer stock company (Shakopee), and later toured with a children’s theater troupe in Honolulu, Hawaii. Back in Minnesota, his interests turned to film and video. He was among the pioneers of the so-called guerrilla television movement in the ‘70s, and a founding member of University Community Video Center (later Intermedia Arts) in Minneapolis.
Morrow’s early documentary work examined the plight of vanishing Twin City ethnic neighborhoods, and he taught emerging video technologies at the Minneapolis-based Afro-American Cultural Arts Center before accepting the position of media specialist position at the University of Iowa. His entrée into Hollywood came as a film researcher for an early TV reality show, which Morrow describes as the aptly-named, “You Asked For It!”
Media projects related to disabilities, homelessness, poverty, and child and elder abuse, led Morrow to become an advocate for marginalized groups, and in 1991 he was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Social Workers. In his typical fashion, Morrow gifted his Emmy Award to Bill Sackter and his Academy Award statuette to Kim Peek for their inspiration and lifelong friendships.
Despite a rewarding career writing and producing “serious” dramas, Morrow had long held a bucket list desire to create something in a lighter genre, more specifically a fanciful comedy along the lines of A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. Thus, when that opportunity finally presented itself in 2015, Morrow, at the well-seasoned age of 67, dove headlong in All You Ever Wished For, the romantic tale of a bungled kidnapping, a gypsy spell, and a little love cottage that turns desperate men into fools.
Barry resides in California with Beverly, his high school sweetheart and wife of 49 years. They have two children, four grandchildren, and a world of stories to tell.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1986: Using a borrowed Community Access video camera the size of a suitcase, in a time where iPhones and DIY projects didn’t exist, Julia Rask, gathered a handful of family and friends and made her first short film. Mentored from afar by an Emmy Award winning writer who attended her same high school, An Uncommon Bond starring the then-unknown Steve Zahn was a ground-breaking piece at the onset of the AIDS epidemic.
Winning Best Picture at the Minnesota Shorts Film Festival gave Rask the confidence to pursue her filmmaking dreams. She left the safe confines of a teaching career and moved to Hollywood to work for a fledgling film and TV production company founded by that same writer/mentor, Barry Morrow, who helped with her short (and soon after win a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Rain Man). Rask thrived in the environment and became a producer in 18 months, working on movies-of-the-week and series TV before branching out into features and theater.
Fast-forward: Italian Alps/Rome. Little did Rask know from her start at Morrow-Heus Productions that decades later she would be producing Barry Morrow’s directorial debut in Italy. After years of development and a never-say-die attitude, she and Morrow teamed to raise funds outside the normal Hollywood channels to bring the independent feature All You Ever Wished For to audiences worldwide.
Rask has worked with dozens entertainment luminaries over the years, including award-winning actors Annette Bening, Colin Farrell, and Lynn Redgrave. Theatrically, she teamed with actor, producer and impresario Tom Hulce to produce the off-Broadway, Obie Award-winning, Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, and developed Ten Million Miles at the Atlantic Theater. She was also lead producer of the Tom Waits inspired musical Warm Beer, Cold Women at the renowned Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
Rask’s previous feature films include the indie A Home at the End of the World, and Sony’s Race the Sun – shot in Australia. In television, she has worked on such distinguished shows as Early Edition (Kyle Chandler), The Big “C” (Laura Linney), The Mindy Project (Mindy Kaling). Additionally, she has worked with George Sanchez Productions, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and Owen Burke on the pilot, Mission Control, and the TV series Bad Judge starring Kate Walsh. Julia (“Jules”) has co-created and is developing a half-hour comedy, Shopgirls, and is currently co-producing the as-yet-untitled Aseem Batra pilot for NBC/Universal.
American film producer David Nichols was raised in the U.K., and began working in the film industry as a runner on commercials before advancing to
first assistant director. His feature film career began in 1982 when he was tapped as the second assistant director on Merchant-Ivory’s Heat and Dust in India.
Later, David became a location & unit manager specializing in challenging, large-scale location films, such as David Lean’s A Passage to India, Roland
Joffe’s The Mission, and Peter Weir’s The Mosquito Coast. In 1987, he became a production manager, then a line producer in 1989.
His executive producer & co-producer credits include War of the Buttons for producer David Putnam and Warner Bros.; At Play in The Fields of The Lords for producer Saul Zaentz; Cutthroat Island for Renny Harlin, Race The Sun for Tri- Star Pictures, and Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Seven Years In Tibet for Columbia Pictures.
David produced the 1998 HBO film Excellent Cadavers, filmed in Rome and Sicily. In 2004, he was the supervising producer on Mike Barker’s A Good
Woman, and again in 2007 on segments of The International for Sony Pictures. In 2010, he line-produced The Tourist, shot in Venice, Italy, with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
In 2011, David co-produced Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love, and in 2013-14 he co-produced Everest for Universal Pictures, shot in the Italian Alps. In 2017, he was co-producer for multiple episodes of Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle filmed in Venice.
Based in Los Angeles for several years, David returned to Europe in 1998 to work in Rome, where he launched Cineroma S.r.l., a film production service company. In 2014, he returned to the U.S., where he currently divides his time between Connecticut and Rome.
“I was enchanted by the script. It’s sweet but earnest, and you don’t see films like this anymore – a whimsical tale with aspects of magical realism.”
Darren Criss is an American stage, screen, and TV actor, singer and songwriter. A founding member of the Chicago-based musical theater company, StarKid Productions, he first garnered attention playing the lead role of Harry Potter in A Very Potter Musical. Darren also starred on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Darren is widely known for his portrayal of Blaine Anderson on the Fox musical comedy-drama series, Glee. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2015 for writing the song “This Time” for the Glee finale. In addition to his music endeavors, Darren starred in the second installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace in 2018, winning an Emmy for Best Actor. Other feature film and TV credits include the comedy Girl Most Likely, American Horror Story, Web Therapy, and Eastwick.
In his words:
“When I met the director Barry Morrow and producer Jules Rask – and maybe it’s because I went to school in Michigan and have a deep affection for artists from the Midwest – they charmed the pants off me. I just wanted to hang out with them. I was coming off a weighty stage role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and this was just something that looked light and fun. And we get to shoot in Italy? Absolutely!
Our main location was in the north, a place not well known to Americans, and I’m sure that when audiences see this film they’ll say, “Where is this?” because it looks like it’s out of an actual fairy tale. There’s been many moments over the course of the film where I’ve been doing a scene and had to pinch myself and say, “Wow, I really get to shoot here.”
When you think of Barry you think of Rain Man, a film that’s mentioned a lot in pop culture. So, to meet this guy and hear his stories and become his buddy was pretty cool. I forget the exact context, but one day I was talking to him and absently used “Rain Man” in a colloquial way, when it dawned on me that not only was this phrase coined by Barry, I was using it to speak with Barry, which is sort of like being with Elvis and wearing blue suede shoes.”
“All You Ever Wished For is about love. In all its shapes, sizes and flavors. Just how vital it is, how it comes and goes, and when it goes, how much it hurts.”
Romanian actress and international fashion model Madalina Ghenea made her acting debut in the Italian film I soliti idioti, and in 2013 appeared alongside Jude Law in Don Hemingway.
In 2015, she was tapped by director Paolo Sorrentino for the role of Miss Universe in Youth with Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, and Jane Fonda. That same year, she also took part in Ben Stiller’s Zoolander 2 with Owen Wilson and Penélope Cruz. Madalina describes herself as a citizen of the world, carrying life in a suitcase, always open to embrace any culture or tradition. She speaks five languages.
In her words:
“From the moment when we first met in Los Angeles, and Barry and Jules spoke about the film with so much passion, I knew they were putting their hearts into All You Ever Wished For Barry, he always seems to have emotion in his eyes; it doesn’t take much for him to explain things to me, it’s all from his eyes. He knows my character very, very well, so I really listened to whatever he thought Rosalia should do, and we almost never had moments where we didn’t agree.
I think the choice of cast is brilliant. And it was just so beautiful there; everybody on set kept wanting to take pictures. Actually, I didn’t even want to leave the set, I wanted to take it with me.” [Note: Madalina had Rosalia’s Cantina shipped and reassembled in her native Romania.]
“Simply a wonderful film!”
Editor Paul Millspaugh is both a rising star and a tested veteran, having launched his feature film career with the 2002 drama American Gun, starring the legendary James Coburn. Paul’s recent work includes Malcolm D. Lee’s 2017 smash hit comedy Girls Trip, starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Regina Hall, as well as Lee’s 2016 Barbershop: The Next Cut, with Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer, among others. Paul is currently working on Night School for Universal.
In his words:
“Just watched All You Ever Wished For, again. After Mary Poppins, it is the most charming movie that comes to mind.”
“All You Ever Wished For is one of those life experiences that comes along only rarely. It represents everything I love about cinema – a timeless story, a universal theme of love, and a beautiful setting that transports you to another world.”
Jeff Cardoni’s musical talents range from the intimate to full orchestral majesty. With over 40 feature film scores and many network series to his credit, his work can be heard worldwide. He studied classical piano in school, but rock and roll would lead him to Los Angeles in 1997. After a stint as lead guitarist for the Warner Bros. band “Alien Crime Syndicate,” he left to pursue film scoring full time.
Jeff’s work includes HBO’s Silicon Valley, the CBS drama Training Day, the hit comedy Young Sheldon, and Jerry Bruckheimer’s CSI:Miami. Recent scores include Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life; the Netflix dramedy Girlboss; Whitney Cumming’s The Female Brain, and the upcoming Netflix series The Kominsky Method, starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin.
Jeff has been nominated for the ASCAP 2018 TV Composer of The Year.
In his words:
“After watching an early cut of the film, I pretty much begged Barry for the chance to work on it, then went home that night and wrote what became the main theme. It was honestly one of the most artistically rewarding experiences of my career, and the score I am most proud of. I suppose having an Italian last name doesn’t hurt either, but I can’t wait for audiences to experience this special film.”