Anita O’Day The Life of a Jazz Singer
A film by Robbie Cavolina & Ian McCrudden
Executive Producers Nancy Field O’Connor & Caroleen Feeney
Producers Robbie Cavolina, Ian McCrudden, Melissa Davis
Robbie is a Grammy award winning artist and filmmaker. An ongoing collaborator with Joni Mitchell since 1991, he won a Grammy for art direction on her album Turbulent Indigo in 1996. He directed two short documentaries for her—Joni Mitchell Hits And Misses and Shine.
Robbie is a graduate of the Otis Art Institute of Parson School of Design, where he studied painting, sculpture and photography. He gained early recognition as a fine artist when he developed a technique to print photographs on slabs of concrete and had a cover profile in the Los Angeles Times.
He first exhibited with the Jan Turner Gallery in Los Angeles, moving on to Carl Bornstein Gallery and finally landing at the Earl McGrath Gallery, which has represented his art since 1993. His work has been displayed in museums and galleries in the U.S. and Europe.
After a short stint as an art director for print and albums, Cavolina studied acting with renowned acting coach Lesley Kahn, with the intention of directing film.
He was introduced to Anita O’Day in 1992 and became fascinated by her life story. Seven years later they met again and he optioned that life story, whose rights had now become available. It took another seven years to assemble the parts and finish the documentary, working with Ian McCrudden and Melissa Davis.
Robbie also founded KAYO Stereophonics, an independent artist recording label, which is distributed by MRI/Red Distribution.
The youngest of six children, Robbie has a brother, Larry with 17 Emmy® nominations and 10 wins for his work as a live television sports director. His sister Jane is a five-time New York Times Best-Selling author and his other sister Ellen has been on that list once. Robbie’s great grandmother and grand uncle founded Moscow’s famed Solomonsky Circus.
Variety has praised Ian’s work for its “deeply felt performances” and “intimate, powerfully atmospheric” style. The Hollywood Reporter called his previous film Islander, an “intelligent and compelling drama.”
Ian got his start at Stanford University, where he received the Golden Medal for writing and directing. His production of Night Baseball won the National College Theater Festival, and Stanford University Press published his thesis on Samuel Beckett.
McCrudden has directed several films including Islander, starring Philip Baker Hall, Trespassers (Michelle Borth, Alex Feldman), The Big Day (Julianna Margulies), Mr. Smith Gets a Hustler (Alex Feldman, Larry Pine), and Trailer—The Movie.
He also directs original plays in the United States and abroad,
including most recently the acclaimed Patriotic Bitch Off-Broadway in NYC. He is the author of several screenplays including Cigar Diaries, Cowboys and Indians and Man of the House.
Ian has collaborated on many of his films’ scores. He has already written songs and his debut album Start Over from Kayo Stereophonic was released worldwide in March 2007.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons
Producer Melissa Davis, founded Élan Entertainment with director Ian McCrudden. Melissa’s producing credits include The Things We Carry (2008),a 2007 Nicholl Fellowship Finalist Screenplay, Islander (2007), starring Philip Baker Hall, and Trespassers (2006), starring Michelle Borth. Before starting a production company, Melissa worked in development at Spyglass Entertainment and Di Novi Pictures.
Élan Entertainment has a number of projects in development, including A Swedish Midsummer Comedy, a Scandinavian co-production with Casa Nova Films, SE, and Cigar Diaries, a young action adventure film set in Cuba and Miami,in conjunction with the Puerto Rican Film Commission.
Melissa received a Masters Degree in Motion Picture and Television Producing from the Peter Stark Program at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema Arts, and a BA from the University of Michigan.
Nancy Fields O’Connor
The founder of UGO Productions, Nancy is the widow of Carol O’Connor (Archie Bunker in All in the Family).
Bio coming shorlty!
about the film