Kanbar Institute of Film & Television
BiographyJoe Pichirallo is a veteran studio executive, film producer and a former Washington Post reporter. He began his film career as a creative executive with HBO Pictures and was one of the original executives hired by Fox to set up Searchlight Pictures, where he worked for nearly eight years and rose to be a senior vice president. He later was an executive vice president at Universal's Focus Features. Most recently he has worked as a producer, serving as head of feature film production for The Gold Co., a management/production company led by Eric Gold. He also was head of the feature film unit for Overbrook Entertainment, Will Smith's company, where he produced "The Secret Life of Bees" with Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and executive produced "Lakeview Terrace," directed by Neil LaBute and starring Samuel L. Jackson. While at Focus Features, he executive produced "Hollywoodland," starring Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck and Diane Lane, and directed by Allen Coulter and "Something New," with Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker and Alfre Woodard.
At Searchlight his films included "Antwone Fisher," the directorial debut of Denzel Washington, "One Hour Photo," starring Robin Williams and directed by Mark Romanek, "The Banger Sisters," with Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon, "Quills," which was nominated for three Academy Awards, starring Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet and Michael Caine and directed by Philip Kaufman, "The Slums of Beverly Hills," with Alan Arkin and Marisa Tomei and directed by Tamara Jenkins, "Girl Six," directed by Spike Lee and "The Brothers McMullen," a Grand Jury prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival.
Arts Professor Pichirallo has taught at the American Film Institute (AFI) for the last 14 years and also at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television.
Prior to his career in the entertainment business, he was on the staff of the Washington Post, where he covered national security, the criminal justice system and politics. He made the transition into the film business by spending a year as a screenwriting fellow in the AFI's graduate film program. He has an A.B. in Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, "The Daily Californian."