Tommy O’Haver: Director and Screenwriter from Carmel

A graduate of Carmel High School, Tommy O’Haver is a Carmelite, born and raised in the north Indianapolis suburb of Carmel. O’Haver graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington in 1989.

O’Haver then left Indiana to take instruction in Cinema and Television at the esteemed University of Southern California in 1995, thus embarking on a career in directing and writing for the screen.

Hear Tommy O’Haver describe, in his own words, the gritty film An American Crime,which he directed.


Tommy O’Haver‘s film directing career consists of five diverse movies to date:

  • 1998 – Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss: O’Haver’s debut as a director starred Sean Hayes in a somewhat dark, sexually-charged drama. The film competed in the Sundance Film Festival the same year, an honor in itself.
  • 2001 – Get Over It: O’Haver’s second film is a romantic comedy that combines elements from the usual summer teen movie plot with the timeless fantasy of William Shakespeare’s stageplay, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • 2004 – Ella Enchanted: Anne Hathaway starred in this classic modern fairy tale.
  • 2008 – An American Crime: This film premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in 2007. It is an interpretation of a true story of the torture and 1965 slaying of Sylvia Likens by Gertrude Baniszewski, an Indianapolis housewife. The film’s debut elicited controversy at first, but was later acclaimed by critics and won a Golden Globe nomination, a Writer’s Guild Award and an Emmy, the latter two for the star, Catherine Keener’s performance as the murderess.
  • 2010 – Golden Gate: This film is presently in pre-production.

Along with his film career, Tommy O’Haver was also lead singer in an underground rock band called The CaveLords. Though he left his hometown for Hollywood, his name remains, in good company, on the list of famous people from Carmel, and Hoosiers in the news.

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