British citizen, Anthony Waller, was born in October 1959 in Beirut, Lebanon to English parents. He grew up both in the Middle East and England. As an 11 year-old, Anthony started experimenting with Super-8 film. While still in his early teens, three of his animated films were finalists in two international film competitions sponsored and televised by the BBC. In 1978 Waller was admitted to the UK's National Film School as the youngest ever student, where he studied until 1981. Director John Schlesinger awarded him the Shakespeare Scholarship 1981 with which he spent a year on attachment at Munich's HFF (Film and Television School) in Germany. In November 1981 Waller won 1st prize in the fiction category for his graduation short film When the Rain Stops, at the first International Festival of Film Schools in Munich. Waller stayed on in Germany for 8 years, initially working for German television as a vision mixer and editor. He subsequently directed and edited over 200 commercials, music videos and movie trailers, and co-founded the commercial production company Cobblestone Pictures in Hamburg in 1992. Waller also began composing music professionally in 1984 with a Christmas Carol he wrote for the German football team FC Bayern. Since then, he has composed some of the jingles for the commercials he directed, including MB Games, Bahlsen, Baileys and notably Old Spice, the song of which was also sung by him and released as a Maxi CD by Intercord in 1993. Waller's first feature film was the thriller Testigo mudo (1994) filmed entirely in Moscow in 1993, and financed privately by himself and his co-producing partners. Filming was complicated by its coincidence with Russia's October revolution, a diphtheria outbreak, -23 degree temperatures, local mafia extortion and last minute cast changes. Despite these initial difficulties, Mute Witness was sold to Columbia TriStar as a completed movie, and was distributed worldwide in all major territories, and invited to 23 festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Courmayeur (Audience Award), Gerardmer (Audience and Grand Jury Award), Moscow (Audience Award), Birmingham (Grand Jury Award) Sundance, Toronto and Tokyo. It included a cameo performance by Sir 'Alec Guinness (I)', shot 8 years earlier in 1985. In 1995, Waller co-founded the Amsterdam based Cometstone Pictures. In 1996, Cometstone's first production was Un hombre lobo americano en París (1997), which Waller directed, co-wrote and executive produced. With a budget of $22 million, the movie was an entirely European co-production, sold to Hollywood Pictures in a negative pick-up deal for a Buena Vista release on Christmas Day 1997. Further projects Waller has directed are the psychological thriller Presunto homicida (2000), and the supernatural thriller El Infierno Bajo Tierra (2009).
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