Armondo Linus Acosta, a.k.a. Armand Acosta and Armando Acosta (born September 23, 1938), is an American-born award-winning film director, screenwriter, cinematographer, producer and designer who in recent years is best known for his motion picture "Romeo.Juliet."
Personal and professional Life
Acosta was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the eldest of three children, to theatrical parents. Both his parents were popular musicians during the Big Band era. Kay Bratton, Acosta's mother, was a charismatic jazz singer, and his father, Alex Acosta, a drummer. During the first eleven years of Acosta's life, the road was home and he traveled around the country, wherever his parents performed.
At the age of eight, he began a precocious education in music, art and theater. Acosta later went on to study at the Tomlinson Technical Institute, Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and the famed Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California.
Blending his studies with prestigious assignments, Acosta rapidly became established as an international designer and motion picture visual consultant. He directed, created, designed and lit over 250 major international award-winning commercials for institutions, companies and organizations that demanded an individual "grand style." Assignments and clients included Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Chrysler, NASA, MGM, ABC, CBS, NBC, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Eastman Kodak, Chanel, Herman Miller, The New York World’s Fair, and Alka-Seltzer. His work is represented in the International Design Annuals and the Television Hall of Fame.
During this time, Acosta, as an "A and R" and design consultant, designed numerous record album covers for producer Richard Bach, founder of Pacific Jazz Records (also known then as World Pacific Records).
With a love for motion pictures, Acosta became a part of the 1960s Hollywood film world. From 1958 through 1963, he shared the distinction of being in the Roger Corman stable of "maverick" up-and-coming young filmmakers. There, Acosta learned first-hand Roger Corman’s production genius. Acosta worked with Francis Ford Coppola on Corman’s The Young Racers (visual consultant) and Battle Beyond the Sun. Wearing many hats, Acosta also worked on other Corman film projects including The Haunted Palace.
In 1962 Acosta was appointed Filmic Designer for the Emmy nominated, avant-garde television variety show “The Lively Ones.” The show, sponsored by Ford Motor Company, aired for two seasons on NBC and starred Vic Damone, directed by Barry Shear with music by Jerry Fielding.
In the early 1960s, The Vatican commissioned Acosta to create, write and design a series of 15 short feature films illustrating the Psalms. The films were produced by Father Patrick Peyton’s Family Theater Productions. The collection of short films was screened at The Vatican Pavilion during the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Among these short films was The Soldier, featuring the then young William Shatner, which won many important film festival prizes.
Based on his very first screenplay, Acosta was "picked up" and represented for over three decades by the great and considered by many, the most distinguished and influential show business agent, Dennis Selinger of ICM London. Selinger’s illustrious client list included Michael Caine, Peter Sellers, Sir Ben Kingsley, Marlon Brando, Bette Davis and Barbra Streisand. Acosta’s long-time legal representative was Lee Steiner of Loeb & Loeb.
A protégé of entrepreneurial icon Walter Blake, Acosta quickly moved into the world of cinema as consultant, writer and cinematographer-director. His elegant, chic, and "quiet" style brought him onto the sets of many 1960s films. He worked officially, and unofficially, with virtually every iconic Hollywood producer and director including: Alfred Hitchcock, Blake Edwards, Pandro Berman, Joseph E. Levine, Vittorio De Sica, Stanley Kramer, David Lean, Vincente Minnelli, Robert Aldrich, Shirley Clarke, James B. Harris and Orson Welles.
In 1988, Armondo Linus Acosta began working on an independent film project as director, writer, cinematographer and producer. The world-acclaimed Romeo.Juliet, Acosta’s first feature film, held its world premiere at the 1990 Venice Film Festival. Romeo.Juliet is an artful choreography of its feline actors (feral cats from around the world) featuring the score of Serge Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet Ballet" as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by André Previn. The film stars John Hurt (the only human character) and the award-winning voice-over cast of Dame Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Powell, Sir Ben Kingsley, Francesca Annis, Victor Spinetti and Quentin Crisp.
Mr. Acosta is the director, mentor, and founder of The Academy of Film and The Arts, an international studio and film school based in Ghent, Belgium.
Acosta is working on several motion picture projects, including Shooting Stars (in post production), The Legend of Laila and Majnun (musical), Stealing Angels (drama), Joy (musical drama) and The Last Supper According to Judas (in development).
On November 14, 2009, Acosta attended the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' Governor’s Award Ball honoring his mentor, Roger Corman.
Touch of Evil (1958), Orson Welles, director
Two Women, or La Ciociara (1960), Vittorio De Sica, director
El Cid (1961), Anthony Mann, director
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Stanley Kramer, director
Days of Wine and Roses (film) (1962), Blake Edwards, director
Experiment in Terror (1962), Blake Edwards, director
Lawrence of Arabia (film) (1962), David Lean, director
The Connection (1962), Shirley Clarke, director
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Robert Aldrich, director
War Hunt (1962), Denis Sanders, director
The Soldier (1962), from the PSALMS
Wonder (1962), from the PSALMS
"The Lord is My Shepherd" (1962) from the PSALMS
"The Escape" (1962) from the PSALMS
The Young Racers (1963), Roger Corman, director
The Haunted Palace (1963), Roger Corman, director
The Birds (film) (1963), Alfred Hitchcock, director
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) Stanley Kramer, director
The Pink Panther (1963), Blake Edwards, director
Battle Beyond the Sun (1967), Roger Corman, director
Shooting Stars (post-production)
The Last Supper According to Judas (in development)
"Follow the Sun" (1961–1962), series, United States
"The Lively Ones" (1962–1963), series, United States