Jamie Babbit: Wikis


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Jamie Babbit
Born November 16, 1970 (1970-11-16) (age 39)
Shaker Heights, Ohio, United States
Occupation Film director
Years active 1986–present
Domestic partner(s) Andrea Sperling

Jamie Babbit (born November 16, 1970 in Shaker Heights, Ohio) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. She directed the films But I'm a Cheerleader, The Quiet and Itty Bitty Titty Committee. She has also directed episodes of television programs including Gilmore Girls, Malcolm in the Middle, Nip/Tuck and The L Word. She is involved with film production company POWER UP.



Babbit grew up in Cleveland, Ohio with her father, a lawyer and law school professor, and her mother who ran a treatment program for teenagers with drug and alcohol problems,[1] before her death in 2006. The program was called New Directions, and it provided inspiration for the fictional "reparative therapy" (conversion therapy) camp "True Directions" in But I'm a Cheerleader. Babbit began acting at the Cleveland Play House at the age of seven,[1] later moving into stage management and lighting. She studied West African Studies at Barnard College (graduating in 1993)[2][3] and began taking film classes at New York University during her summer vacations.

Babbit's partner is producer Andrea Sperling[4] with whom she has collaborated on several projects. They live in Los Angeles with their children.[5][6][7]


After graduating from Barnard in 1993, Babbit's first job was as a production assistant for Martin Scorsese on The Age of Innocence.[1] After that she worked as a production assistant on John Sayles's The Secret of Roan Inish where she worked with fellow aspiring filmmakers Karyn Kusama and Jasmine Kosovic.

Babbit's next job was as script supervisor on John Duigan film The Journey of August King - a job that with little experience she "lied her way into".[1] This was followed by Su Friedrich's television film Hide and Seek. In 1996, after working on If These Walls Could Talk, where she met her future partner Andrea Sperling, Babbit got a job as script supervisor on David Fincher's film The Game. This proved to be influential to her career as a director.

Short films

In 1996, Babbit, with Ari Gold, directed Frog Crossing, a short film about an animal rights activist who protects frogs as they hop across a highway.[1] She followed this with 1999 comedy short Sleeping Beauties. While working on The Game, she discussed her idea for a short film based on a fairy tale with Fincher. He was interested in the project, which would be Sleeping Beauties, and gave Babbit about 6,000 feet of 35 mm film. His editor gave her free use of an Avid editing machine. The star of The Game, Michael Douglas, wrote to Paramount and asked them to let Babbit access to their costume department. As a result she was able to make Sleeping Beauties for about $10, 000.[1] Based on the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, the film is about a young woman (Sarah Lassez) who works as a makeup artist at a funeral home. Obsessed with an unavailable ex-girlfriend, she eventually meets and falls in love with a photographer's assistant (Clea DuVall).

But I'm a Cheerleader

In 1999, Babbit directed her first feature film, But I'm a Cheerleader. Starring Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall, it is a romantic comedy about a high school cheerleader who is sent to a so-called "reparative therapy" camp when her parents suspect she is a lesbian. The film was inspired by an article that Babbit read about a man who had been sent to a similar camp.[8] The camp in the film was partly based on a halfway house for young people with drug and alcohol problems run by her mother.[9] Babbit appeared in This Film Is Not Yet Rated discussing this film and her struggle to get it rated R.[5] In 2000, the film won the Audience Award and the Graine de Cinéphage Award at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival, an annual French festival which showcases the work of female directors.[10]

The Quiet

Babbit's second film was 2005 thriller film The Quiet. Starring Elisha Cuthbert and Camilla Belle, the plot revolves around a deaf girl who, when sent to live with her godparents, discovers some dark secrets about the family.

Itty Bitty Titty Committee

Babbit's latest film is 2007 comedy Itty Bitty Titty Committee.

Breaking the Girl

In 2010 Babbit will begin production on Breaking the Girl, a thriller film written by Mark Distefano and Guinevere Turner.[11]


Babbit has directed episodes of several television programs including Undressed, Popular, Maybe It's Me, The Bernie Mac Show, Malcolm in the Middle, Miss Match, Nip/Tuck, Gilmore Girls, Castle, Alias, Ugly Betty, Dirty Sexy Money, Swingtown and The L Word. She enjoys working in television because it helps her to "keep her skills up". She says that because television directors have less overall responsibility than film directors, she is able to concentrate on working with actors. Television work also enables her to earn money while pursuing her long term goals of making feature films.[1]


Babbit is on the board of directors of non-profit organization and film production company POWER UP.[12] Founded in 2000 by Stacy Codikow and Amy Shomer, POWER UP promotes the visibility of lesbians in entertainment and the media.[13] Two of Babbit's films, Stuck and Itty Bitty Titty Committee were produced by POWER UP. She has also been involved with feminist group Guerrilla Girls and pro-choice groups.[6]






  1. ^ a b c d e f g Dixon, Wheeler Winston; Gerald Duchovnay (Ed.) (2004). Film Voices: Interviews from Post Script. State University of New York Press, Albany. pp. 153–165. ISBN 0-7914-6156-4.  
  2. ^ Krach, Aaron. "INTERVIEW: Happy Camp-er, Jamie Babbit, Comes Out with "Cheerleader"". indieWIRE. http://www.indiewire.com/people/int_Babbit_Jamie_000710.html. Retrieved 2007-09-08.  
  3. ^ "The Quiet - about the Director". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movietimes/moviepn.asp?movieID=54413. Retrieved 2007-08-12.  
  4. ^ Warn, Sarah (June 2004). "Interview with Jamie Babbit". AfterEllen.com. http://www.afterellen.com/archive/ellen/People/interviews/62004/jamiebabbit.html. Retrieved 2007-05-14.  
  5. ^ a b Dick, Kirby (director). (2006). This Film Is Not Yet Rated. [Motion picture (DVD)]. New York, NY: IFC Films. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493459/. Retrieved 2007-06-16.  
  6. ^ a b Belge, Kathy (2007-06-24). "Jamie Babbit Interview". LesbianLife.com. http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/artistswriterset1/a/JamieBabbit.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-22.  
  7. ^ Ryder, Caroline (2008-01-18). "We Rabbit With Babbit". OurChart.com. http://www.ourchart.com/node/262286. Retrieved 2008-01-18.  
  8. ^ Stukin, Stacie (2000-07-04), "But she's serious" (), The Advocate, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1589/is_2000_July_4/ai_63059697, retrieved 2007-05-20  
  9. ^ Gideonse, Ted (July 2000), "The New Girls Of Summer", Out: 56, http://cleaduvall.net/press/magazine-out-0700.php  
  10. ^ Sullivan, Monica (2000), "But I'm a Cheerleader-- Jamie Babbit Wins Créteil Films de Femmes 'Prix du Public'", Movie Magazine International, http://www.shoestring.org/mmi_revs/but-im-a-cheerleader.html, retrieved 2007-05-26  
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (2009-09-11), "Crew, Palicki to star in 'Breaking the Girl'", Variety, http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118008507.html?categoryid=1043&cs=1, retrieved 2009-11-07  
  12. ^ "POWER UP! Feel the Surge!". POWER UP. http://www.power-up.net/about.html. Retrieved 2007-05-20.  
  13. ^ Gomez, Enrique (2007-04-04). "Interview with Jamie Babbit and Lisa Thrasher". Quirkee.com. http://www.quirkee.com/content/view/783/131/. Retrieved 2007-05-14.  

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