Previous speakers and artists

January 25-27, 2010

Film-making and peace-building

Oliver Stone

Keynote Speaker

Oliver Stone is an American film director, screenwriter and producer whose work, frequently focusing on contemporary political and cultural issues, has earned him three Academy Awards (Oscars), namely for directing Platoon, filmed in the Philippines and starring Willem Dafoe, (1986) and directing Born on the Fourth of July starring Tom Cruise (1989), which were both centered on the Vietnam War, and for writing Midnight Express starring John Hurt (1978). A Hollywood legend, his films have been nominated for a total of 31 Oscars. Born on the Fourth of July alone earned eight Oscar nominations and was one of Oliver Stone's most successful films.

Oliver Stone was born in New York City to a father who was a Jewish stockbroker and a Roman Catholic mother of French birth. He was raised an Episcopalian as a compromise, but now practices Buddhism.

After dropping out from Yale University and teaching English at the Free Pacific Institute in South Vietnam, Oliver Stone, enlisted for combat duty as an infantryman in the Vietnam War and was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. After returning home, he graduated from Film School at New York University in 1971 where he was mentored by director Martin Scorsese.

Oliver Stone directed Seizure in 1974, The Hand starring Michael Caine in 1981, Salvador starring James Woods and Jim Belushi in 1986, Wall Street, a film focusing on the greedy business world of tycoons and stockbrokers which earned Michael Douglas an Oscar for Best Actor in 1987, Talk Radio starring Eric Bogosian and Alec Baldwin in 1988, The Doors starring Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in 1991, Heaven & Earth starring Tommy Lee Jones, a film made in Thailand about the true story of Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese girl whose life has been drastically affected by the Vietnam war, in 1993, Natural Born Killers starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis in 1994, Nixon starring Anthony Hopkins in 1995 and U-Turn starring Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez in 1997.

JFK, arguably Oliver Stone's best film, was released in 1991. It centers on the assassination of John F. Kennedy with Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones in leading roles. The film represented a change in Oliver Stone's work as he began to explore different camera styles combining them together to create a multi-dimensional way of experiencing a movie. Following JFK's release Oliver Stone addressed the U.S. Senate over the continued secrecy of documents relating to the John F. Kennedy assassination. Partly through his efforts the government began to declassify documents.

Other films written by Oliver Stone are Conan the Barbarian, the movie that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, (1982), Scarface starring Al Pacino (1983), Year of the Dragon starring Mickey Rourke (1985), 8 Million Ways to Die starring Andy Garcia (1986) and Evita starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas (1996).

He also produced the films Reversal of Fortune, which earned Jeremy Irons an Oscar in 1990, The Joy Luck Club in 1993, Milos Forman's Oscar nominated classic The People vs. Larry Flynt, Indictment: The McMartin Trial, Killer: A Journal of Murder and Freeway in 1996, Savior and Assassinated: The Last Days of King and Kennedy in 1998, The Corruptor in 1999, The Art of War in 2000 and The Day Reagan Was Shot in 2001.

In 1993 Oliver Stone produced a series for ABC Television called Wild Palms which has developed a cult following and has recently been released on DVD. In 1997 he published A Child's Night Dream, a 1,400 pages strong and largely autobiographical novel based on his experiences in Southeast Asia. In 2003 he made two documentary films: Persona Non Grata about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Comandante about Cuban President Fidel Castro, followed, in 2004, by a second documentary on Castro titled Looking for Fidel.

In the past decade Oliver Stone has directed Any Given Sunday starring Al Pacino, Charlton Heston and Cameron Diaz (1999), Alexander starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie (2004), a biopic about Alexander the Great which was partly filmed in Thailand, and World Trade Center starring Nicolas Cage (2006), which centered on two Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) officers during the September 11, 2001, attacks. Stone's latest film is a biopic about George W. Bush, named W., starring Josh Brolin and Richard Dreyfuss (2008). He is currently filming Wall Street 2, starring Shia LaBeouf and again Michael Douglas (2010).

In 2008 Oliver Stone accompanied Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's President and self-appointed negotiator with the Colombian guerilla group known as Revolutionary Armed Forces of ColombiaFARC), on a mission to secure the release of three hostages held for over six years. This was part of his research for a documentary with Chavez and 8 other heads of state in South American titled South of the Border (2010).

Oliver Stone is currently working on a 10-hour/10-part series for Showtime called The Secret History of the United States, and a third interview with Fidel Castro for 2010.


Monday, January 25, 2010:
10:00 Dialogue with high school students at the NIST International School in Bangkok (Thailand) (not a public event)

20:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in Bangkok (Thailand)
Information and free seat reservation:
phone (02) 652-0580-1, fax (02) 652-0582, email email

Wednesday, January 27, 2010:
10:30 Dialogue with high school students at the International School of Phnom Penh in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) (not a public event)

14:00 Keynote speech and dialogue at the University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Information and free seat reservation:

phone (023) 993-274, (023) 993-275, (012) 483-508, fax (023) 993-284, email,