Without Jonathan Demme’s generosity, vision, and guidance,
this film would not exist.
Jonathan was a fearless and radical filmmaker, an artist passionately dedicated to shedding light onto the darkest corners of the American experience by tackling difficult but important subjects, a director who succeeded in both mainstream and independent cinema.
No one perfectly lives what they speak, but Jonathan did so about as well as anyone. He spoke the truth as he keenly saw it and deeply felt it, regardless of audience or consequences, and he used his public capital to help others, especially those not famous or powerful.
We had the privilege and good fortune to meet Jonathan nearly a decade ago, when he lent his ideas, encouragement, and time to our effort to build a media literacy community outreach program in Oberlin, Ohio. He effectively became the patron saint of the Apollo Outreach Initiative (now in its ninth year) and, through that experience, our dear friend.
When Toni Morrison, Jonathan’s friend and neighbor, sought his advice about footage her son had shot during her Louvre exhibition in 2006, he guided the project to us, and for that, we were deeply honored and will be forever grateful.
We miss Jonathan terribly, but his insight, energy, and love of human beings is present throughout The Foreigner’s Home.
Jonathan Demme (Director) began his career as a writer and producer with Roger Corman in 1971 and directed and produced more than 40 movies. His films have been nominated for 20 Academy Awards, including Beloved, Melvin and Howard, Philadelphia, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Who Am I this Time?, Rachel Getting Married, The Manchurian Candidate, and Silence of the Lambs, for which he won the Oscar for Best Director in 1991.
His documentaries and performance films include Cousin Bobby, The Agronomist, Haiti Dreams of Democracy, Stop Making Sense, Swimming to Cambodia, Neil Young Heart of Gold, Neil Young Trunk Show, Neil Young Journeys, Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains, I’m Carolyn Parker, The Good the Mad and the Beautiful, New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward, Tavis Smiley's Been In the Storm Too Long and Enzo Avitabile Music Life.
Demme’s most recent projects were Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Audra McDonald, Mamie Gummer and Rick Springfield, released in 2015 and a concert film featuring Justin Timberlake and his band, the Tennessee Kids which was released in 2016.