Jon Avnet presenting Art Directors Guild award in 2014
Jonathan Michael Avnet
November 17, 1949
Brooklyn, New York City
|Alma mater||Sarah Lawrence College|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, film producer|
|Known for||co-founder of Avnet-Kerner Productions|
|Parent(s)||Joan Grossman Avnet|
Lester Francis Avnet
|Family||Charles Avnet (grandfather)|
Jonathan Michael "Jon" Avnet (born November 17, 1949), is an American director, writer and producer.
Avnet was born in Brooklyn, the son of Joan Bertha (née Grossman) and Lester Francis Avnet, a corporate executive with Avnet (a Global distributor of IT & electronics) founded by his grandfather, Charles Avnet. He has two siblings, Carole Avnet Rocherolle and Rosalind Avnet Lazarus. He attended Great Neck North High School in Great Neck, New York. He earned a B.A. degree in film and theater arts from Sarah Lawrence College in 1971.
Avnet directed his first movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, in 1991, followed by The War in 1994, with Elijah Wood in the lead and Kevin Costner in a supporting role as his father. He directed Up Close & Personal in 1996, which was loosely based on the life of Jessica Savitch. It was written by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne and starred Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer. Avnet addressed political issues with his fourth film Red Corner in 1997, a movie about the Chinese legal system, starring Richard Gere and Bai Ling. Because of Gere's presence and support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama, they could not film in China, and the settings had to be recreated in Southern California. Avnet, however, did film a few scenes in Beijing and also put in some footage of actual Chinese executions. Avnet was also the executive producer of the 2010 movie Black Swan.
Have you ever seen the story of the resistance? Have you ever seen a Jew pick up a gun and kill a German in the Holocaust? asked Mr. Avnet, 51, who is Jewish.
Alexandra Lester Avnet, a daughter of Barbara Brody Avnet and Jon Avnet of Topanga, Calif., was married at her parents' home Saturday evening to Thomas John Costantino, the son of Carole Costantino and Salvatore Costantino of Grassmere, Staten Island. Rabbi David Baron officiated.