Writer-director Ted Nicolaou began his career in entertainment as a singersongwriter in the seminal Austin party band “Ramon & Ramon and the FourDaddyos.” He sang his way through film school under the mentorship of Rod Whitaker, the shadowy novelist also known as Trevanian (The Eiger Sanction), writing and directing the Student Academy Award nominated apocalyptic comedy SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. Leaving Texas for Los Angeles, he worked as a film editor, honing his craft on a dozen low-budget features, starting with Tipi Hedren’s legendary wild animal adventure ROAR, and ending with Stuart Gordon’s ROBOTJOX. He wrote and directed the cult comedy monster film TERRORVISION. With Charles Band’s Full Moon Entertainment, he created the atmospheric vampire series SUBSPECIES, and was the first American filmmaker to shoot on location in Bucharest and Transylvania, months after Romania’s 1989 revolution. For Italian screen idol Terence Hill, he directed episodes of the family-oriented spaghetti western Italian TV series LUCKY LUKE. And for Moonbeam Entertainment and Paramount Home Video, he co-wrote and directed the home video family hits REMOTE and DRAGONWORLD (Best International Children’s Film, 1994, Ruhr International Film Festival and Cinemagic Audience Best Feature Film Award, 1994, Northern Ireland International Film Festival), and the enchanted comedies, LEAPIN’ LEPRECHAUNS and MAGIC IN THE MIRROR. Recently, he has created innovative DVD and Blu-ray bonus features and documentaries for Walt Disney Home Entertainment, special features for Disneyland, Disney World, and Walt Disney Imagineering, including the feature length documentary DALÍ & DISNEY: A DATE WITH DESTINO, for the FANTASIA 2000 Blu-ray, about the unlikely friendship and collaboration between Walt Disney and surrealist painter Salvador Dalí to produce the world’s first surrealist cartoon DESTINO. His most recent feature film is the inspirational docudrama FINDING HAPPINESS, about the worldwide Ananda spiritual communities dedicated to yoga, meditation, and service. Most recently, he curated the immersive multimedia exhibition Disney & Dalí: Architects of the Imagination, narrated by Sigourney Weaver, that tells the little-known story of the friendship between two of the 20th century’s most iconic and influential artists, Walt Disney and surrealist Salvador Dalí, at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco from July 10, 2015 – January 3, 2016, and The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida from January 23, 2016 – June 12, 2016.
THE CHEESEBURGER MANIFESTO
An arrogant young executive for an American auto company smuggles a million dollars into Romania weeks after the 1989 revolution to grease the wheels of the corrupt post-Communist bureaucracy. In a moment of uncharacteristic empathy, he gets swept up in his Romanian chauffeur’s dream of starting his own business: the first American-style burger joint in Eastern Europe. And falls in love with the chauffeur’s sister, a firebrand of the opposition party, who's attracted to him but offended by everything he says. The secret police mistakenly conclude that the burger joint is a front for a CIA-funded anti-government party, while back home, the SEC investigates the missing million dollars and his American cohorts finger him for the fall. In a comedy of errors, he goes on the run across the wilds of Transylvania disguised as a peasant, trying to find his way back to Bucharest before the grand opening. From Armani suits to shepherd’s rags, from Malibu to the post-Communist Twilight Zone – he loses himself and rediscovers the American Dream.