John Manulis is the principal of Foundation Entertainment, which focuses on connecting creative strategies and the power of entertainment to influence and empower a healthier, more just and peaceful world.
Manulis’ diverse career in theater, film, television and live events has included work as a writer, director, producer, distributor, entrepreneur and social/political activist.
Most recently, Manulis served as Executive Producer, Events and Lead Advance for Barack Obama's Campaign For Change in Colorado, through the 2008 presidential campaign, and was the co-writer/directer/executive producer of the U.S. documentary segments for “American Idol Gives Back" (2007). He serves on the board of directors of The Liberty Hill Foundation and The Digital Coast Roundtable (for which he chairs the committee working with Mayor Villaraigoso's office to develop policy initiatives supporting the long-term health of the entertainment business in Los Angeles).
As co founder and CEO of Visionbox Media Group, a leading independent production, post production management and distribution solutions company (which Manulis wound-down in 2007 to make room for his work with Foundation Entertainment), Manulis helped pioneer the use of digital technology to bring greater creative freedom to the production and distribution of motion pictures.
As the Head of Filmed Entertainment for Samuel Goldwyn Films, one of the industry’s most prestigious independent distributors, Manulis supervised the production or acquisition of such films as THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE, MASTER AND COMMANDER, THE PREACHER’S WIFE, LOLITA, THE CHAMBERMAID ON THE TITANIC, NAPOLEON (the all-animal adventure), AMERICAN BUFFALO, ANGELS AND INSECTS, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL, WELCOME TO WOOP WOOP, BENT, KISSED, THE KING OF MASKS and BIG NIGHT.
As a creator and producer, Manulis’ career includes co-writing/directing/executive producing the U.S. documentary segments for “American Idol Gives Back" (2007), creating and executive producing the acclaimed CBS series “Comedy Zone”; producing or executive producing productions including the feature documentary ARCTIC TALE, narrated by Queen Latifah for National Geographic Films and Paramount Vantage; TORTILLA SOUP, starring Hector Elizondo, Elizabeth Peña and Raquel Welch; THE BASKETBALL DIARIES, starring Leonardo di Caprio and Mark Walhberg; SWING KIDS, starring Robert Sean Leonard, Christian Bale and Noah Wyle; FOXFIRE, starring Angelina Jolie; HBO’s DAYBREAK, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Omar Epps, and BLIND SIDE, starring Rutger Hauer and Rebecca DeMornay; THE L.A. RIOT SPECTACULAR, starring Snoop Dogg, Charles Dutton, Emilio Estevez and George Hamilton; BELIEVE IN ME, starring Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Dern and Samantha Mathis; double-Independent Spirit Award nominee CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES; multi festival winning FALLING LIKE THIS; the documentary of THE IMAGINE CUP 2004 competition in Brazil, for Microsoft; V.I. WARSHAWSKI, starring Kathleen Turner; 38-share MOW “Intimate Strangers”; and the off Broadway productions of “Three Ways Home”, starring S. Epatha Merkerson, Mary McDonnell and Malcolm Jamal-Warner, and the 1999-2000 season sensation “The Umbilical Brothers’ Thwak”.
Manulis’ Visionbox Media Group co-produced and post produced films including THE COOLER, starring William H. Macy, Maria Bello and Alex Baldwin; NEVER DIE ALONE, starring DMX; ARCTIC TALE, THE L.A. RIOT SPECTACULAR; CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES; Harry Shearer’s TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC; and THE INVISIBLES (Sundance ’99 and Laemmle’s Independent Series 2001). Additionally, Visionbox provided post–supervision and/or producer representation services for films including THE PAINTED VEIL, directed by John Curran for Yari Film Group/Warner Independent; THE ILLUSIONIST, directed by Neil Burger for Yari Film Group; DUMA, directed by Caroll Ballard for Gaylord Films/Warner Bros.; THE MATADOR, directed by Richard Shepard for Yari Film Group/Weinstein Co.; SWIMMERS (Sundance 2005); AURORA BOREALIS (Tribeca Film Festival ’05), starring Donald Sutherland, Josh Jackson and Juliette Lewis; ILLUSION, starring Kirk Douglas; DOPAMINE (Sundance 2003); WHAT I WANT MY WORDS TO DO TO YOU (Sundance 2003); Golden Reel nominee THE SKIN WE’RE IN for National Geographic; and, THE WOODS, directed by Lucky McKee for United Artists.
In the area of live events, Manulis has lent his talents to conceiving and producing events ranging from the campaign events involving local, regional and national surrogates for Barack Obama’s Campaign For Change in Colorado (‘08); the short filmmaking competition for Microsoft’s global Imagine Cup in Brazil (’04) and Japan (’05); the Liberty Hill Foundation’s annual Upton Sinclair Award dinner, which welcomed over 800 people and doubled the organization’s previous event-related revenue, to the Directors Guild of America’s memorial tribute to the life of legendary director John Frankenheimer (which he co-directed with Gary Sinise).
Manulis began his career casting and directing theater in New York, primarily at Off-Broadway's renowned Circle Repertory Company, later sequeing into producing television and film. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard College, is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Writers Guild of America.