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Amy Sewell

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Name  Amy Sewell
Role  Author

Occupation  filmmaker, director, writer, producer
Movies  Mad Hot Ballroom, What's Your Point, Honey?
Books  The Mad Hot Adventures of an Unlikely Documentary Filmmaker
Education  Schiller International University, University of Michigan

Alma mater  University of Michigan

Amy Sewell (born 1963) is an American author and filmmaker, best known for Mad Hot Ballroom (Paramount, 2005), in which she debuted as a film writer and producer.


Sewell is also the founder/director of a non-profit organization, Give It Up for the ARTS. The non-profit's main mission is to help kids gain exposure to the arts.

Early career

Although born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1963, Sewell grew up in suburban Chicago and Detroit. In 1985, she earned a degree in marketing and communications from the University of Michigan.

After working in marketing for several years, Sewell enrolled in Schiller International University, located in Paris, France, where she studied business administration. Armed with a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Sewell moved to New York in 1989.

In NYC, Sewell spent 15 years as a marketing executive in the publishing industry before leaving corporate America to spend more time at home with her twin daughters. Following a short stint as a stay-at-home mom, Sewell soon re-entered the workplace as a writer, reporting local stories for her neighborhood newspaper, the Tribeca Trib, in lower Manhattan. In July 2003, following the publication of a feature story in the Tribeca Trib about New York City public school children studying ballroom dance, Sewell joined forces with film producer Marilyn Agrelo to turn her story into the hit documentary Mad Hot Ballroom.


Mad Hot Ballroom
Sewell received acclaim for her debut film, Mad Hot Ballroom. Based on a feature article written by Sewell, Mad Hot Ballroom looks inside the lives of eleven-year-old New York City public school kids. Pieces of themselves are revealed along the way, as the children strive toward the final citywide competition and journey into the world of ballroom dancing. Told from the students' perspectives, the film highlights the cultural diversity that is the soul of New York City.
what’s your point, honey?
Sewell’s latest documentary, in which she partners with filmmaker Susan Toffler, puts a new face on political leadership by introducing seven possible presidential contenders coming down the pipeline. Defining where women stand now and more importantly, how what happens today shapes what will happen tomorrow, the movie takes a (sometimes whimsical) look at gender issues in America and inequalities that still exist today. Portraits are painted of seven possible future leaders, the 2024 girls, underscoring one of the main themes of the film that it is not about one woman candidate running.


Awards bestowed upon Mad Hot Ballroom include:

  • The Christopher Award in 2006
  • Best Documentary at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2005
  • The Audience Award at the Philadelphia Film Festival
  • Satellite Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2005
  • Published work

    Sewell’s books include:

  • The Mad Hot Adventures of a Documentary Filmmaker (Hyperion 2007)
  • She's Out There! The Next Generation of Presidential Candidates (2008)
  • Sewell’s short stories and screenplays include:

  • Coming Up Seven (1993)
  • Double Knots (1993)
  • Collection of Short Stories: 1976–present
  • The Coffee Club (Screenplay; WGA#068612-00; 1992)
  • Sewell has also written the following news articles:

  • Their Personal Best (The Tribeca Trib, April 2007)
  • Reading, Writing and Rumba (The Tribeca Trib, July 2003)
  • Kindergarten Parent Volunteer Olympics (The Tribeca Trib, June 2003)
  • In These Times, Mom's Role Is Warrior, Too (The Tribeca Trib, April 2003)
  • Big Ideas (The Tribeca Trib, March 2003)
  • SPLASH! (The Tribeca Trib, February 2003)
  • Television series proposals and scripts

  • Mommy Juice (Copyright 2002)
  • Filmography

  • Mad Hot Ballroom (2005)
  • what’s your point, honey? (2008)
  • References

    Amy Sewell Wikipedia

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