December 26, 1956
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Hailing from New Jersey, Jon Kilik exemplifies the potential pay-offs of hard work and perseverance. Starting his film career in the mid-'80s, Kilik served as second assistant director on a handful of films, including the early Coen Brothers hit "Raising Arizona," before signing on as producer for the 1988 drama "The Beat." While the film wasn't much of a hit, Kilik had found his niche in cinema and never looked back. The following year, Kilik met Spike Lee and, after serving as line producer for Lee's acclaimed "Do the Right Thing," became good friends with the director, eventually producing well over a dozen of Lee's films, including "Malcolm X," "Crooklyn," "He Got Game," and "Inside Man." Equally willing to work on big-budget blockbusters and ambitious independent features, Kilik has had the opportunity to collaborate with many important directors. In 2004, he teamed with Oliver Stone on the period epic "Alexander" and followed it the next year as a producer for Jim Jarmusch's understated dry comedy "Broken Flowers"; the two contrasting projects are a microcosm of the spectrum of films on which Kilik has worked. After meeting director Alejandro González Iñárritu in Mexico, the two decided to team up for "Babel," the filmmaker's Oscar-nominated drama from 2006; they also reunited four years later on another well-received drama, "Biutiful."