Mark Stolaroff Biography


Stolaroff was formerly a principal at IFC’s Next Wave Films, a finance and production company that provided finishing funds to exceptional low-budget features, including the first films of Christopher Nolan, Joe Carnahan and Amir Bar Lev. He was a producer on several Next Wave projects, including Jordan Melamed’s Manic, starring Don Cheadle, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Zooey Deschanel.  Included in Next Wave's 13 films are Nolan's Following; Carnahan's Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane; Bar Lev's Fighter; the Academy Award-nominated documentary Sound And Fury; and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning documentary Southern Comfort.  In all, Next Wave took seven films to Sundance and five to Toronto; nine were released theatrically in the U.S. and two premiered on HBO; nine were shot digitally and six of those were transferred to film.

Stolaroff got his start in production in Houston, Texas on the made-for-TNT feature The Final Verdict, after winning a production internship through the Southwest Alternate Media Project. Upon relocating to Los Angeles in 1994, he worked his way up at Roger Corman’s New Horizons company and subsequently worked on a variety of films outside of Corman as an AD. He was also the UPM on the Academy Award winning short film My Mother Dreams The Satin’s Disciples in New York

Stolaroff’s background includes two years in Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, and five years as the Managing Director of Curtains Theater, an innovative legitimate theater he founded in Houston. A native Texan, he received his BBA from the prestigious Business Honors Program at the University of Texas, where he also minored in Film Production, directing several 16mm short films. 

Mark Stolaroff is an LA-based independent producer with an over 25 year career in the film business.  A frequent collaborator with writer/director Henry Barrial, Stolaroff has produced all five of Barrial’s features, including Some Body, Barrial’s feature debut, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival in Dramatic Competition and was released theatrically by Lot 47 Films; True Love, a Sundance Screenwriters Lab project; Pig, a sci-fi thriller that appeared in over 35 film festivals worldwide winning 10 awards and released by Kino Lorber; the The House That Jack Built, which premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, winning 8 awards, and released theatrically by Vega Baby; and DriverX, which is currently in post production.  Stolaroff was a consulting producer on Meera Menon’s (Equity) Farah Goes Bang, which premiered in the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Nora Ephron Award. And he is the producer of Adam Ripp’s (Gang Tapes) new film Devil’s Whisper, also currently in post.

Stolaroff is considered an expert in micro-budget filmmaking and is the Founder of No Budget Film School, a unique series of classes specifically designed for the no-budget filmmaker.  Stolaroff has lectured on low budget and digital filmmaking throughout the world and at many of the major film festivals.  He has taught film classes at UCLA Extension, the Maine Photography Workshops, and The Learning Annex and has written for Scientific American, Filmmaker, Sight & Sound, Film Festival Reporter, and Film Arts Magazine.  He has been on countless filmmaking panels over the last two and a half decades and has sat on the juries of numerous film festivals. He was on the Advisory Board of HBO's US Comedy Arts Film Festival and currently serves on the advisory board of Filmmakers Alliance. Stolaroff founded No Budget Film School in 2005, and in addition to teaching his classes, has lectured at many major film schools, including USC, UCLA, Chapman, The University of Texas, CalPoly, and Columbia College Chicago.