Roxanne Messina Captor is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and exciting director/writer/producer. LA Times critic Laurie Winer has called a directing protégé of Francis Ford Coppola, Messina Captor “a director who makes strong choices, while coaxing forth the play’s gentle humor. Under Captor’s direction, Hal Linden becomes a present day Spencer Tracy.”
Most recently Captor’s film “Deployment” won Best Narrative Feature for the Hall of Fame, Women’s History Month.
In 2007 Messina Captor completed the Oscar qualified, “A Couple of White Chicks at the Hairdresser”, which she wrote, directed and produced. The film stars Shelley Long, Harry Shearer, Deborah Theaker, Kate Linder from the “Young and the Restless”and James Kyson Lee from “Heroes”. Film was an official selection for the Cannes Festival Short Film Corner 2009, Downtown Film Festival-LA, LA Short Film Festival, and the New Orleans Film Festival. It also played the Laemmle Theatre Grand Los Angeles. It is on Comedy Central.
Michel Ciment of Positif said, ” It is a delightful and enchanting film. It reminded me of a Bob Altman film…very much like Doctor T. Mario Sesti, Artistic Director, Festival International di Roma: “Thank you for sending us your work. We loved the humor and the dialogue, smart and sharp.” Harry Shearer said, “It was my pleasure to work with Roxanne.” Deborah Theaker: “I’m so glad I got this chance to meet and work with Roxanne. She is a truly original voice and creative force behind the camera.” Shelley Long states, “I feel very fortunate to have been asked to do Roxanne’s film. This is a fantastic opportunity to do something different from my other roles. What a treat.”
Messina Captor directed the feature film, “A Clean Kill” (a.k.a “Seduced”), starring Perry King, Roxana Zal, Daniel Benzali, Susan Blakely, Michelle Green, and T.C Carson. “A Clean Kill” was accepted for it’s world premiere at the 1999 Mill Valley Film Festival, the Telluride Indie Festival, and premiered on Lifetime Television as “Her Married Lover” in prime time during February sweeps 2000. Buzz McClain says “A Clean Kill” creates a seductive aura of delicious danger”. Mike Mayo gives the film 3 bones out of 4, and calls the film an “Intriguing little mystery… some of the best work Benzali has done since Murder One”.
Turning her talents to the web in 2009, Messina Captor has created, wrote, directed and produced the hit web series “The Bag”. This series of one to two minute vignettes based on the contents of a woman’s handbag.
Future film and television projects are: “Pearl” . Talent that has shown an interest in the project are Juliette Binoche, Leehom Wang (Lust, Caution) and Jing Tian (Great Wall). The Pearl S. Buck Foundation chose Captor’s research paper to read at the Buck Symposium in Zhenjiang, China September of 2015. The documentary feature, “Homecoming: Veterans, Wives and Mothers”. Captor writes and directs.
In 2001 Roxanne Messina Captor became the Executive Director of the San Francisco International Film Festival. In five years Messina Captor increased attendance and box office by 40% and celebrity attendance and fundraising by 38%. For her efforts in promoting International film Messina Captor received International recognition and was awarded the prestigious CHEVALIER DE L’ORDRE DES ARTS ET DES LETTRES, REPUBLIC OF FRANCE IN 2005, joining a prominent group of individuals who are knighted for their work in the arts. Messina Captor brought celebrity honors to: Dustin Hoffman, Clint Eastwood, Paul Haggis, Forest Whitaker, Warren Beatty, Kevin Spacey, Terry Semel, Sean Penn, Robin Williams, Tom Waits, Danny DeVito to name a few.
Messina Captor had the first ever series with ABC, The Trujillos that portrayed the true values of a Latin American family. She was asked to speak in Havana, at Cuba’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema on the portrayal of Latin’s in American media. The festival director published her speech. She also started the Latin film program at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Messina Captor’s first film break came when renowned director/producer Francis Ford Coppola chose her to assist Gene Kelly with the choreography of “One From the Heart.” Kelly described Messina Captor, “As a dancer, Roxanne is a young Cyd Charisse.”
She was Coppola’s production apprentice on “The Outsiders,” “Rumblefish” and assistant choreographer on “The Cotton Club” and danced in the films “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” “Xanadu” and “Pennies From Heaven.
An Emmy-nominated producer and one of the original executives who formed Turner Network Television, Messina Captor launched her own independent film and television production company, MESSINA CAPTOR FILMS in fall of 1994.
Messina Captor’s prior producing credits include “Dead On Sight,” a film for MCEG starring Jennifer Beals, Danny Baldwin and Oscar nominated William H. Macy (“Fargo”) and three telefilms for CBS: “In Dreams”; the Emmy-nominated “Home Sweet Homeless” and “Fatal Vows” in association with Steven Cannell Studios.
Messina Captor has an extensive list of theater credits. After performing on Broadway as a “triple threat”, Captor directed and choreographed the Pre-Broadway stage version of the MGM classic “Summer Stock” adapted by Messina Captor and it’s original screenwriter Sy Gomberg. Music is from the Y.I.P. Harburg and Harold Arlen estates. Captor also directed the premiere of “The Vow,” a play by Stephanie Liss starring Alan Rachins, Amy Aquino and Nicholas Guest. She won rave reviews for her direction of the Vincent Canby play “After All” starring Hal Linden for the Showtime Act 1 Festival and for “Trotsky’s Garden” starring Dina Merrill, Kurtwood Smith and Ayre Gross in the Strasberg Theatre production.
Other theatre credits are: “Hamlet,” The N.Y. Public Theater; “A Christmas Carol,” San Diego Repertory Theater; “As You Like It,” Berkeley Shakespeare Festival; “Inner Rhythms,” Cal-Arts Repertory Theater and “Dylan” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”.
After performing on Broadway as a triple threat, Captor directed and choreographer the Pre broadway stage. Messina Captor’s list of directing and choreographing musicals reaches from the classics of “Carousel” to “Chorus Line” and “Pippin” to the new development of “Leonardo” by Chuck Mangione. Her opera credits include “Merry Widow,” “Die Fledermaus,” “Les Pecheurs de Perles” and “La Navarraise.”
Messina Captor has been a guest speaker at numerous industry conventions and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Who’s Who in America, and Women in Film. She is also a member of the Los Angeles Music Center’s prestigious Club 100 Group and is the moderator for the annual Women in the Arts Panel. For the Los Angles Music Center Messina Captor, Executive Produced the Distinguished Artists Awards 1998 honoring Garth Brooks, Jay Leno, and Kurt Douglas.
Messina Captor is a Film and Television Studies Professor at Santa Monica College, and Emerson College (LA). Previously, she has taught at Loyola Marymount, CalArts and UCLA. She is head of documentary production at SMC.