Monday, August 10, 2009

Biography for Anna Thomas

Photo Credit: Ladye Eugenia Stewart

Anna Thomas was born July 12, 1948 in Stuttgart, Germany to Polish parents who had been prisoners of war. Her family immigrated to the United States when Anna was an infant. She was raised in Michigan and California.

Thomas attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) studying filmmaking. She met Gregory Nava while at UCLA, where she earned an MFA in film. Thomas and Nava married in 1975, and have two children: Christopher and Theodore "Teddy". Thomas lives in Ojai, California and continues to write screenplays, fiction, and cookbooks.

Thomas continues to work as a writer and filmmaker. She shares her talent and experience teaching at AFI, an educational institute focused on instructing young filmmakers in the art of narrative storytelling through film.

Thomas was co-founder of IFP West (now called Film Independent), an organization dedicated to fostering and marketing the development of independent films through Independent Film Week and other film labs, conferences, and seminars.

• The Vegetarian Epicure Alfred A. Knopf, 1972. ISBN 0394717848.
• The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two Alfred A. Knopf, 1978. ISBN 0394734157.
• From Anna's Kitchen, 1996 (UK). ISBN 0140469613
• The New Vegetarian Epicure Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. ISBN 0679765883.
• Love Soup W. W. Norton, 2009. ISBN 0393332578.

(See sidebar at right for links to Thomas' cookbooks.)

The Confessions of Amans. 1973. Co-writer.
The Haunting of M. 1980. Writer. Producer. Director. Editor.
The End of August. 1982. Writer.
El Norte. 1983. Writer. Producer.
A Time of Destiny. 1988. Writer. Producer.
My Family, Mi Familia. 1995. Writer. Producer.
Frida. 2002. Writer.
American Family for PBS television one-hour drama series. Writer, 2 episodes. 2002.
Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner. 2008. Producer.

Oscar, Nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for El Norte

WGA, Nominated for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for El Norte

United States National Film Registry, Elected to Preserve El Norte

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Her Newest Cookbook

With 160 new recipes to taunt the taste buds of ethical eaters and health-conscious adults alike, Love Soup is sure to be a welcome addition to Thomas' collection of vegetarian cookbooks. Available from W.W. Norton & Co. in September 2009.

If you want to order it now, the lowest current price is at Amazon for $15.61, as part of's pre-order price guarantee.

Other book stores pre-selling this title online are Barnes & Noble and Powell's Books

Film Review of "El Norte"
by Roger Ebert.

"At the dawn of the U.S. independent film movement, two of its founders made what Variety called its first epic. "El Norte" told the story of a Guatemalan brother and sister who fled persecution at home and journeyed north the length of Mexico with a dream of finding a new home in the United States. They were illegal aliens, but then as now, the California economy could not function without their invisible presence as cheap labor. "El Norte" (1983) tells their story with astonishing visual beauty, with unashamed melodrama, with anger leavened by hope. It is a "Grapes of Wrath" for our time."

Continue reading Roger Ebert's review.

Los Angeles Times About the 25th Anniversary of El Norte.
Review the IMDb film credits.
Rent the movie.
View the trailer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Frida" Film Review
by Michael Wilmington

""Frida" takes the fervent life of Mexican painter and revolutionary Frida Kahlo and turns it into a wildly colorful fever-dream of a movie that whips and whirls the already extraordinary events of her biography - the crippling adolescent accident, her lifelong alliance with fellow painter Diego Rivera."

Continue reading Wilmington's review at Metromix Chicago.

Watch the film trailer.
Review the IMDb film credits.
Rent the movie.
Buy the biography written by Hayden Herrera
Buy the movie poster.

My Family, Mi Familia Partial Cast & Crew Photo

Photo credit: Nancy De Los Santos Gallery

Edward James Olmos, "Paco"
Anna Thomas, Screenwriter, Producer
Gregory Nava, Screenwriter, Director
Nancy De Los Santos, Associate Producer

The Wikipedia page for this 1995 film co-written by Anna Thomas and Gregory Nava can be viewed here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cookbook Bios Offer Taste of Developing Talent

To recognize the development of Anna Thomas' talent, we first turn to her success as an author of vegetarian cookbooks, beginning with her first which was published in 1972. By comparing three bios presented in her cookbooks, we develop a sense of how she emerged as a writer, film producer, and director of feature films.

The Vegetarian Epicure

"Anna Thomas was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1948, and came to this country as a child. She has been a student most of her life--for the past four years at UCLA in the film department, where she is now producing and directing her third short film. She has supported her interest in film-making by writing press releases, working as a waitress, clerking, modeling--and writing a cookbook. She is strongly committed to the women's liberation movement and has been involved in its activities." (Random House. NY. 1972)

The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two

"Born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1948, Anna Thomas came to this country as a child. After graduating from UCLA she continued to study for several years there in the film department. Her first book, The Vegetarian Epicure, was written during that period, both out of the need to support herself as a young film-maker and to provide herself and her friends with a more exciting repetoire of vegetarian recipes than had ever been collected before. The phenomenal success of that book has enabled Anna Thomas to further her career as a writer, producer, and director of films (she has recently finished her first feature film, shot in Scotland), and to expand her culinary horizons through much travel, tasting, and testing of new recipes. In 1975 she married a film producer with whom she has collaborated, and they make their home in Los Angeles." (Alfred A. Knopf. NY. 1994. First printing, 1978.)

The New Vegetarian Epicure

"Anna Thomas wrote her first cookook, The Vegetarian Epicure, while she was a film student at UCLA, and followed it a few years later with The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two. When she is not cooking, she writes screenplays and produces films. Her screen credits include My Family, Mi Familia and El Norte, both of which were nominated for an Academy Award. She lives in Ojai, California, with her husband, Gregory Nava, and their two sons." (Alfred A. Knopf. NY. 2000. First printing, 1996.)