Phil Joanou Biography

Phil Joanou photo

Born: November 20, 1961


Date of Birth: November 20, 1961

How many directors can claim they were Steven Spielberg's protégé? Phil Joanou can.

After winning the Best Student Film prize in 1984 for the film Last Chance Dance, from the University of Southern California's film school, California-born Joanou was hired by Spielberg to direct episodes of the director's Amazing Stories TV show in 1986.

Following his first feature, the high school comedy Three O'Clock High, Joanou was selected by the rock band U2 to helm their acclaimed documentary, U2: Rattle and Hum. His next features were the gangster story State of Grace (1990) starring Sean Penn, the thriller Final Analysis (1992) with Richard Gere and Kim Basinger and, following a brief stint of TV work, the crime story Heaven's Prisoners with Alec Baldwin.

All three films were box office failures, prompting Joanou to abandon the Hollywood scene. In addition to producing his own independent film, the largely autobiographical Entropy, Joanou directed several successful TV ad campaigns for clients such as Diet Coke and Nike. Gridiron Gang is his first feature film since 1999.


Hammer Down (2007)
A Walk Among the Tombstones(2006)
Gridiron Gang(2006)
Entropy (1999)
Heaven's Prisoners (1998)
Final Analysis (1992)
State of Grace (1990)
Three O'Clock High (1987)

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