Christopher Monger

Christopher Monger
Born 1950
Taffs Well, Cardiff, Wales
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active 1978-present
Spouse(s) Karen Montgomery (d. 2015)

Christopher Monger (born 1950 in Taffs Well, Cardiff, Wales) is a Welsh screenwriter, director and editor, best known for writing and directing The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain and writing the HBO biopic Temple Grandin. He has directed eight feature films and written over thirty screenplays.

Early life

Monger was born in Taff's Well, Wales. His father, Ifor David Monger, was the local doctor and a published author and playwright. His short story "The Man Who Lost His Boswell" remains in print. Both Christopher Mongers's parents painted, and his father was also a keen amateur photographer and filmmaker.

Christopher Monger with his younger brother Antony and friend Alan Field, started a village newspaper (The Taff's Well Times) when they were still children. It ran for two years and garnered them interviews on BBC and HTV television. Their newspaper (crudely produced by mimeograph) extolled the Surrealists as a local political party, printed fake photographs in which local landmarks had been demolished, and never printed a story based in truth.

Monger first professionally exhibited paintings at the age of sixteen in the South Wales Group at the National Museum of Wales. After attending boarding school in Taunton, Somerset, he went to the Chelsea School of Art, London, where he won the Bidduph Scholarship for painting.

After graduating he returned to Wales and was a founding member of the Chapter Film Workshop – a full production facility that allowed local talent to make films. In its first five years the workshop produced eight feature films and over fifty shorts.

Monger made his first no-budget features there including the controversial Voice Over (1981) which played festivals and was sold throughout the world.

At the same time he was film and video producer for the avant-garde theatre company Moving Being, regularly touring throughout Western Europe with such acclaimed shows as Brecht in 1984 and The Influence of the Moon on the Tides.

After the success of Voice Over, he was invited to show his films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and shortly thereafter he moved to Los Angeles to work with producer Ed Pressman of Badlands fame.

Short films

His graduation short, a comic rendering of the life of 8th Chinese poet Han Shan, Cold Mountain, was the opening film of the first ever British Festival of Independent Film in 1974.

Later work

His produced credits include: The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain for Miramax Films, starring Hugh Grant, Colm Meaney, Tara FitzGerald and Harry Kretchmer;[1] Waiting for the Light, starring Shirley MacLaine and Teri Garr; Crime Pays for Film Four International, starring Ronnie Williams and Veronica Quilligan; and Voice Over starring Ian McNeice. The Englishman... was entered into the 19th Moscow International Film Festival[2]

He also wrote the television film Seeing Red for Granada and WGBH, for which he received a Christopher Award; and wrote and directed Girl from Rio, which won the Hollywood Film Festival.

His documentary, Special Thanks to Roy London, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and went on to win several awards. In 2007 he adapted Kaiulani Lee's stage play A Sense of Wonder, based on the life of Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, into a film. Shot by Haskell Wexler and produced by Karen Montgomery, the film has been screened throughout North America.

In 2010 he wrote the script for the HBO biopic, Temple Grandin. Starring Claire Danes as Temple Grandin, with David Strathairn, Julia Ormond and Catherine O'Hara, it was directed by Mick Jackson.[3] Monger was nominated for an Emmy for his screenplay.[4]

Apart from his film work he still paints and is a member of the Pharmaka group of painters in Los Angeles, who opened one of the first galleries in Gallery Row in Downtown Los Angeles.







  1. "Film Review: Making a Mountain Out of a Hill". The New York Times. 12 May 1995. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  2. "19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  3. "Hank Stuever on HBO's 'Temple Grandin' with Claire Danes". The Washington Post. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  4. "This Week In Hollywoodland". Canyon News. 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2011.

External links

Christopher Monger at the Internet Movie Database

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