2020 Banquet Guest Speaker
Angelo Pizzo is the award-winning screenwriter and producer of the beloved, inspirational sports movies “Hoosiers” and “Rudy.”
“Hoosiers” is the Oscar®-nominated 1986 small-town basketball story based on the 1954 Milan High School state championship season, for which Pizzo earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Feature.
“Rudy” (1993) is the story of a Notre Dame student, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who, despite setbacks, achieved his goal to suit up for the Fighting Irish football team.
Angelo also was the screenwriter for 2005’s “The Game of Their Lives” (the true tale of the 1950 U.S. soccer team that, against all odds, beat England 1-0 in a World Cup contest in Belo Horizonte, Brazil).
All three films were directed by Pizzo’s Indiana University college classmate, David Anspaugh, with whom he shared Heartland Film Festival honors for “Hoosiers” and “Rudy.”
“Hoosiers” also was named best sports movie of all time by both ESPN and USA Today, and is part of the Library of Congress’ National Film Register. In 2018, “Rudy” was named by USA Today as the best football film of all time.
In 2015, Angelo made his debut as a director on “My All American,” from a script he wrote. The emotional drama is centered on an inspirational leader, Freddie Steinmark, of the 1969 Texas Longhorns.
Born in Chicago, Angelo’s family moved to Bloomington when he was just a toddler. After attending Bloomington’s University High School, Angelo earned a degree in political science from Indiana University.
He moved to the west coast to attend film school at the University of Southern California.
He began his career in the story department at Warner Brothers Television. He went on to work in various executive and development jobs for Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Time Life Films, where he became Vice President of Feature Film production, before striking out as an independent writer and producer. In addition to his feature film work, Angelo served as a producer on movies for television _ “Father Figure,” “Amber Waves" and “Blinded by the Light.”
In addition to his film honors, Angelo has received numerous awards that include an honorary doctorate from Franklin College, the Thomas Hart Benton Award from IU, the Governor’s Arts Award and the Indiana Living Legends Award.
Angelo was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian honor given to a resident of Indiana. He was inducted into the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame in 2018. He serves on the boards of the Indiana University Libraries, the Indiana University Varsity Club and the Bloomington Arts Council.