Academy Award-nominated production designer, costume designer, director, and producer Kristi Zea will address the graduates at Manchester Community College’s 47th commencement ceremony, to be held Thursday, May 26, 2011.
Zea most recently completed the production design of Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. Before that her work was seen in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2. Prior production design credits include the critically acclaimed Sam Mendes film, Revolutionary Road, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. Zea has also designed P.J. Hogan’s Confessions of a Shopaholic, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; Neil Jordan’s The Brave One, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (nominated for an Art Director’s Guild award); Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate, as well as other projects including Red Dragon, Changing Lanes and Sleepers. She also oversaw the production design on a number of major films of the ‘80s and ‘90s that include Jonathan Demme’s Beloved (1998), Oscar winners Philadelphia (1993) and Silence of the Lambs (1991) as well as Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990) and New York Stories (1989).
Following an education at Middlebury College and receiving an English degree from Columbia University School of General Studies, Zea became a costume designer for, among many other directors, Alan Parker on Fame (1980) and Shoot the Moon (1982) and James L. Brooks on Terms of Endearment (1983).
Zea was also associate producer on James L. Brooks’ Broadcast News (1987) and produced Brooks’ Oscar nominee & Golden Globe winner As Good As It Gets (1997). Zea directed ACE-nominated Domestic Dilemma for the HBO Series Women and Men 2 (1990) starring Ray Liotta and Andie MacDowell, as well as the DVD of Annie Lennox’s 2003 Concert Tour. In 2008, Zea produced and designed the production of the independent feature The Joneses starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny.
Zea taught at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts from 2005 until 2008.