'Dan in Real Life' director and writer Peter Hedges will speak April 14 at ISU

AMES, Iowa -- Novelist, screenwriter and film director Peter Hedges--best known for creating endearing stories and characters like those in "Dan in Real Life," "Pieces of April" and "What's Eating Gilbert Grape"--will speak on "Writing and Directing" at Iowa State University on Wednesday, April 14. His talk will be at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. It is free and open to the public.

Hedges grew up in West Des Moines and attended Valley High School. His first novel, "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," was the basis for the 1993 film, which he also wrote. It starred Johnny Depp and Leonardo DeCaprio, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance.

Hedges' second novel, "An Ocean in Iowa," was published in 1998. His latest novel, "The Heights," hit bookstores last month. His novels have been published in 15 languages.

Hedges also was co-writer for the screenplay adaptation of Jane Hamilton's "A Map of the World," which starred Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore. His screenplay for Nick Hornby's "About a Boy" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as a Writers Guild of America Award and a BAFTA (British Oscar).

Hedges made his film directorial debut with "Pieces of April," starring Katie Holmes and Patricia Clarkson. The film earned several awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Clarkson. After that, Variety named Hedges one of the "10 Directors to Watch." In 2007, he directed and co-wrote "Dan in Real Life," starring Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche.

A graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, Hedges has taught at Yale University, Bennington College and the North Carolina School of the Arts. He also served as a creative advisor to the Sundance Screenwriters' Lab.

Hedges' talk is cosponsored by VEISHEA, English and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body.

More information on ISU lectures is available at http://www.lectures.iastate.edu, or by calling (515) 294-9935.