WORKSHOPS MENTORS
John Luessenhop
is a writer and director, who successfully rebooted the iconic horror franchise Texas Chainsaw while recording his second #1 U.S. box office opening in a little more than two years. Two summers before, Mr. Luessenhop made a splash when his stylish action film Takers surprised the field and opened #1. Upon its video release, Takers followed its box office success by topping U.S. charts for sales, rentals and video-on-demand purchases. Mr. Luessenhop made his directorial debut in the world of feature films with Lockdown, an independently produced, urban prison drama acquired by Columbia Home Entertainment. The film struck a chord with urban audiences, opening the UrbanWorld Film Festival in New York City and closing the Hollywood Black Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film premiered internationally at the Toronto Film Festival. Mr. Luessenhop began his film career by writing and directing the hard edged, 33-minute featurette TICK...TICK...TICK..., which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Short Film at Universal's Florida Film Festival. Because of his gritty style, from 1997 to 2001, Mr. Luessenhop directed more than 20 episodes for America's Most Wanted, including two national cop-of-the-year stories. Prior to making the leap to writing and directing, Mr. Luessenhop was a successful corporate attorney.