Catherine Cyran, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, producer and writer who began her career working under Roger Corman, died on December 24, 2022 in Vancouver, BC after a battle with cancer. He was 59 years old.
Before emerging as a director in the 1990s, Cyran established himself as a screenwriter, such as 1990’s “Slumber Party Massacre III” and “A Cry in the Wind,” the 1990 adaptation of Gary Paulsen’s novel “Hatchet.” He made his feature film directorial debut with the 1993 sequel, “White Wolves: A Cry in the Wind II,” for which he earned an Emmy nomination.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Cyran was the first in her family to attend college, graduating from Harvard in 1985. He then spent two years in London working for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Cyran found his footing in the entertainment industry working as an executive assistant under the seminal, distinguished producer and director Roger Corman, whose teachings influenced other filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme and Peter Bogdonavich. Under Corman, Cyran wrote and produced such titles as “Dead Space” starring Bryan Cranston; “Uncaged” starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan; “Fire on the Amazon,” starring Sandra Bullock and “Kiss Me a Killer,” received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. Cyran also served as a ghostwriter behind “Frankenstein Unbound,” Corman’s final feature as director.
After working with Corman, Cyran began a fruitful relationship with Fox Family Television Studios, writing and directing the thrillers “Dangerous Waters” and “Hostile Intentions.” He then directed television movies on ABC Family, directing Christmas movies such as “Christmas Do-Over”, “Homecoming for the Holidays”, “Christmas Duet” and “Cross Country Christmas”.
Cyran also created the martial arts series “Bloodfist” and worked as a writer on Universal productions such as “Werewolf” and “The Beast Among Us.” Other notable directorial credits include three of the four entries in the “The Prince and Me” series, “Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter” and “True Heart.”
Cyran published a novel, “The Island of the Last Great Auk.” Additionally, his screenplay, titled “The Last Story”, received the Canadian International Film Festival Award for Excellence in Writing. His last film, “Our Italian Christmas Memories” starring Beau Bridges, aired on Hallmark just weeks before his death.
Last year, Cyran decided to take the SAT test “just for fun.” At the age of 58, he scored a perfect score of 1600.
Cyran was a longtime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of Canada, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. As he put it, he tried to “tell good stories to a wider audience” through his work.