George Tillman, Jr.

Sunday, January 26, 1969
Birth Place: 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

George Tillman, Jr. is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. he first became inspired to make films of his own after seeing the film Cooley High, which was filmed in Chicago and directed by michael Schultz. George later entered Columbia College where he majored in Film and Video. He graduated in 1991. It was at Columbia that George met Robert Teitel with whom he entered into a directing/producing partnership with the formation of Menagerie Films. With the production of their short film, Paula, George displayed his talents as a writer/director. The film, which told the story of a 17 year-old, African-American single mother, received numerous accolades and awards including the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Student Academy Award and the Black Filmmakers' Hall of Fame Award. In 1994 George wrote and directed his feature film, Scenes for the Soul, which was shot entirely in Chicago using local talent and resources. In Scenes, George skillfully interweaved three different stories by casting himself as a documentary filmmaker who peeks into a day in the life of a disparate group of characters. The film, which cost $150,000 to produce, caught the attention of Doug McHenry and George Jackson who acquired it for Savoy pictures for the sum of $1,000,000. Following on the momentum of this success, George began to write Soul Food. Soul Food originated with George's hunger to make a deeply, imaginative, from-the-heart story about a contemporary African-American family. He based the story on his own childhood experience of growing up in his family. George approached Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds with the idea of producing a soundtrack to accompany the film. Mr. Edmonds loved the story so much that he brought it to Fox 2000. Soul Food began production on November 6, 1996 on a hectic 30 day schedule. The film, which stars Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Irma P. Hall, and Brandon Hammond opened to critical and financial success. George crafted a memorable story that deeply resonated in the hearts and minds of moviegoers, touching on the themes of family bonds and traditions. As a result of Soul Food's success, George and his producing partner landed a two year, first look deal at Fox 2000. State Street Pictures became their company's new name--a reference to their early film years in Chicago.

George is currently in post-production on MEN OF HONOR, an epic story inspired by the life of Carl M. Brashear--a man who came from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to battle the obstacles of racism, lack of education, and serious injury to chase the dream of becoming the United States Navy's first African-American Master Deep Sea Diver. Large in its scope and action, MEN OF HONOR is a period drama spanning the years of 1943-1968. The film stars Oscar winning actors Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert DeNiro with an ensemble cast that includes Charlize Theron, Michael Rapaport, Lonette McKee, Glynn Turman, and Hal Holbrook. The film is slated for an October 20th release.