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Duane Graves

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Duane Graves is an American film director, writer, producer, cinematographer and editor who has produced a body of work spanning multiple genres.[1] His career began with the documentary Up Syndrome, which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2001.[2] A portrait of his childhood friend born with Down syndrome,[3] Up Syndrome won numerous awards, including the National Media Award from the National Down Syndrome Congress in 2002,[4] and the Grand Prize at the 2006 Movies Askew Film Festival hosted by Clerks (film) director Kevin Smith.[5] He formed Greeks Films with film school peer, actor and filmmaking partner Justin Meeks in 2001.[6]

Graves then co-wrote/co-directed his first narrative film with Meeks, The Wild Man of the Navidad, a 70's-inspired creature feature based on real-life journals and starring Meeks.[7] The film premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival[8] and later Fantastic Fest,[9] before being released internationally by IFC Films in 2009.[10]

Graves' sophomore effort - the cannibal-themed horror Butcher Boys (2013) - was written and produced by Kim Henkel, co-creator of the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and loosely based on Jonathan Swift's satirical 1729 essay A Modest Proposal.[11] It debuted at the 2012 Fantasia International Film Festival under the original moniker Boneboys,[12] before being released in North America as Butcher Boys by Phase 4 Films in 2013.[13]

Also in 2013, Graves co-wrote/co-directed the horror Western Kill or Be Killed (2015 film), also starring partner Meeks and featuring genre icons Michael Berryman, Pepe Serna, Edwin Neal, and Luce Rains.[14][15] Originally titled Red on Yella, Kill a Fella, it premiered at the 2015 Dallas International Film Festival[16] before being acquired by RLJE Films for wide release in 2016.[17]

Graves is currently based in Austin, Texas.[6]


Duane Graves grew up in San Antonio, Texas,[3]. He attended The University of Texas at Austin,[18] but ultimately received a BA in TV/Film from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi in 1999.[19]

Notable filmography (as director or producer)[edit]

  • Up Syndrome (feature documentary) (2000)[20]
  • Headcheese (short) (2001)[21]
  • Voltagen (short) (2002)[22]
  • Rio Peligroso (short) (2004)[23]
  • The Hypostatic Union (short) (2005)[24]
  • The Wild Man of the Navidad (narrative feature) (2008)[25]
  • Slacker 2011 (directed segment) (2011)[26]
  • Butcher Boys (narrative feature) (2013)[27]
  • Kill or Be Killed (2015 film) (narrative feature) (2016)[28]
  • Melontana (short documentary) (2020)[29]


  1. "Duane Graves: Biofilmografía".
  2. "PARK CITY 2001: Slamdance Movin' On Up; Alternafests Form United Front". January 27, 2001.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Martinez, Kiko. "Lifelong Friendship: Local filmmaker Duane Graves Looks Back 20 Years on His Directorial Debut Up Syndrome". San Antonio Current.
  4. https://www.ndsccenter.org/wp-content/uploads/SD-AwardRecipients.pdf
  5. Smith, Kevin (December 1, 2010). My Boring-Ass Life (Revised Edition): The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith. Titan Books (US, CA). ISBN 9781848569409 – via Google Books. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. 6.0 6.1 "About Us". greeksfilms.com.
  7. "The Wild Man of the Navidad". 25 April 2008.
  8. "The Wild Man of the Navidad | 2008 Tribeca Festival". Tribeca.
  9. "Final Slate of films announced for Fantastic Fest 2008". Fantastic Fest.
  10. "Beware: Bigfoot Ahead". www.austinchronicle.com.
  11. "A 'Texas Chain Saw' Pedigree". www.austinchronicle.com.
  12. "Fantasia 2012: Trailer for Original Texas Chain Saw Massacre Producer's New Urban Massacre Flick Boneboys". August 3, 2012.
  13. "Phase 4 Takes On the Butcher Boys". ComingSoon.net. August 9, 2013.
  14. "More blood & guts from the 'Boneboys' team – but this time with *horses*". www.austinchronicle.com.
  15. "DVDanger: Kill or Be Killed". www.austinchronicle.com.
  16. "Today at the Dallas International Film Festival (4/11/15)". April 11, 2015.
  17. "RLJ – ENTERTAINMENT". us.rljentertainment.com.
  18. "UP SYNDROME by Duane Graves @ Brooklyn Film Festival".
  19. "News Releases". www.tamucc.edu.
  20. "Movie Review: Up Syndrome".
  21. "Movie Review: "Headcheese"".
  22. "The Weirdest "Wild Man" of All? | Mysterious Universe".
  23. https://rtv2-production-2-6.rottentomatoes.com/m/rio_peligroso_a_day_in_the_life_of_a_legendary_coyote?/
  24. "Feeding the Masses by Billy Garberina".
  25. "The Wild Man of the Navidad".
  26. "23 Austin Filmmakers to Remake Richard Linklater's SLACKER in Honor of Film's 20th Anniversary". 3 May 2011.
  27. https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Sonny-Carl-Davis/dp/B00ES1UKPW/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_es_US=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=butcher+boys&qid=1622347664&sr=8-1
  28. "Vudu - Watch Movies".
  29. "International filmmakers featured at South Texas Underground Film Festival 2020".

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