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Antwone Fisher is an American screenwriter, poet, lecturer, and best-selling author. Antwone is the writer, co-producer and subject of the Fox Searchlight Pictures classic film, ANTWONE FISHER. His autobiographical book Finding Fish: A memoir is a New York Times and national bestseller.
Antwone Fisher is an award-winning film and literary writer. Born in an Ohio prison to a teenage mother, Antwone became a ward of the state and was placed in foster care. He spent two years in a loving foster home, but was subsequently moved and suffered twelve years of abuse at the hands of his new foster family.

Unable to locate a new placement for him, at age 14, Antwone was sent to a reform school in western Pennsylvania were he remained until he graduated high school at 17. Emancipated from foster care, he found himself in the world alone and homeless, living on the streets of Cleveland.

Recognizing The Possibility For More
Antwone set on a course of healing when he joined the United States Navy where he served his country for eleven years. A U.S. Navy veteran, Antwone Fisher was appointed to the honorary rank of Chief Petty Officer by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the United States Navy, on October 5, 2009. This is an honor that Antwone holds with great pride. Antwone was awarded or earned the following ribbons and metals while serving on active duty: Navy E Ribbon, Two (2) Navy Good Conduct medals, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with three Bronze Stars.

After his honorable discharge from the U.S. military at the rank of E-5 (SH2), Antwone became a Federal Correctional Officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and after three years of service, he took a job at Sony Pictures Entertainment as a Security Officer. It was at Sony that Antwone was referred to a free screenwriting course.

Antwone has worked in Hollywood for over 20 years as a screenwriter and producer, with an impressive fourteen writing projects or assignments with the major studios. Among those projects is the feature classic, ANTWONE FISHER, directed by and staring Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, written by Antwone based on his own life. The film garnered numerous nominations and awards. Antwone received the renowned Humanitas Prize. The Screenwriter of the year award from the National Association Of Theater Owners, and was listed in Variety’s
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“Fifty People to Watch. ”He was also listed among Fade In Magazine’s “100 People in Hollywood you need to know” in 2005. On May 10 2003, Antwone received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Cleveland State University. On April 23, 2013. Antwone testified before the Senate Finance Committee. The hearing titled: The Antwone Fisher Story as a Case Study for Child Welfare. Antwone’s first book, Finding Fish: a memoir, about his inspiring story became a New York Times and National Bestseller. His collection of poetry, Who Will Cry for the Little Boy? a national best seller creatively disclosed the road from his tumultuous childhood to the man he is today.
Antwone’s poetry is featured in Nikki Giovanni’s book, “Hip Hop Speaks to Children.” His third book, A Boy Should Know ow To Tie A Tie And Other Lessons For Succeeding In Life, won the award for best Literary Work- Instructional from the 2011 NAACP awards.

Antwone continues as a prolific writer with his stage project, ANTWONE FISHER: A PLAY; Antwone and 20th Century Fox are in partnership with this play. Antwone’s present screenwriting project is, "The Tortoise and The Hare”. Antwone made his film directing debut with the award-winning short film, “My Summer Friend.” He produced wrote and directed the 2013 documentary, This Life of Mine.

About how far he has come, Antwone states, “I think back on a childhood of longing for belonging, and see my life now as what I’ve created out of my dreams. An image comes to mind of Mrs. Brown at the orphanage in Cleveland, me sitting at her side telling her, ‘You’ll read about me someday.’ I was definitely dreaming then. With no evidence of that ever being possible, I clung to that preposterous vision and with the force of the those dreams willed it and made it happen. Not because I needed to be famous, but because I needed a world that made me feel uninvited to be wrong. So I imagined myself free, I imagined myself loved, I imagined myself… as somebody.”
Book Antwone For A Speaking Engagment
Speaking Inquiries
Antwone gave a wonderful presentation. After speaking, he was very kind and approachable to folks who wanted a picture and to say a few words. He is quite an inspiration. Thank you!
2017 Cultural and Linguistic Competency summit Columbia SC
Antwone Fisher is very familiar with the challenges of life in the foster care, and the aftermath of teenage homelessness. Antwone addresses these issues with sensitivity, honesty and inspiration.
The world first heard of Antwone Fisher’s Story of perseverance, determination, and courage in the film Antwone Fisher, and the publication of Finding Fish, his memoir of a childhood spent in foster care. It also learned that within him beat the heart of an artist — a major factor in his resilience and recovery. In his riveting and inspiring presentation (complete with lots of Q&A), Antwone shares how he learned to rise above his situation, how he found a family he never knew existed, and later how he went on to build a loving family of his own.
Antwone has used the arts as a form of self expression to get him through his toughest times, and he talks about how all forms of art are so vital to the growth of human character indwell being.
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In Antwone’s moving, yet humorous keynote addresses, he shares his conviction of the importance of facing challenges of life head on and how to overcome or accept those challenges that you can not change. He explains the significance of self reliance, literacy, and building a life of consequence that improves oneself, the community and the society at large.

He tells of the necessity, no matter what the age, of making good personal choices, no matter how inconvenient the choice may be, and of the importance of reinventing oneself and preparing for every chapter of life. He also expounds on why it is essential to do these things in order to attain a successful and happy life.

Antwone details the philosophy he developed over his lifetime and explains how that philosophy brought him to the extraordinary success he enjoys today. It is the consummate, illuminating event.
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Baby Boy Fisher was raised in institutions from the moment of his birth in prison to a single mother. He ultimately came to live with a foster family, where he endured near-constant verbal and physical abuse. In his mid-teens he escaped and enlisted in the navy, where he became a man of the world, raised by the family he created for himself.

Finding Fish shows how, out of this unlikely mix of deprivation and hope, an artist was born -- first as the child who painted the feelings his words dared not speak, then as a poet and storyteller who would eventually become one of Hollywood's most sought-after screenwriters.

A tumultuous and ultimately gratifying tale of self-discovery written in Fisher's gritty yet melodic literary voice,
Finding Fish is an unforgettable reading experience.
Preview a Chapter of Finding Fish a Memoir

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With the publication of Finding Fish, his memoir of a childhood spent in foster homes in and around Cleveland, Antwone Fisher shared with the world his story of perseverance, determination, and courage. And he also showed that within him beat the heart of an artist -- a major factor in his resilience and recovery.

Now with
Who Will Cry for the Little Boy?, his first collection of poetry, Antwone Fisher reveals the inner truths that took him from a tumultuous childhood to the man he is today. The powerful poems presented here range from impressions and expressions of Antwone's years growing up to the love that he has gained from the family he made for himself as an adult.

From the title poem -- which is featured prominently in the movie Antwone Fisher -- a plaintive, haunting tribute to a childhood lost to abuse and neglect, to "Azure Indigo," the uplifting and touching poem about his daughters, many readers will find their own feelings and experiences reflected in this lyrical and passionate collection.
Who Will Cry For The Little Boy?
From the

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ANTWONE FISHER ALWAYS ADMIRED his foster father’s crisp sartorial style. It wasn’t until Fisher was a navy recruit that he realized this smartly dressed man had never taken the time to teach him how to be well-groomed—to reflect on the outside the man he was becoming on the inside. "A boy ought to know how to tie a tie," he thought angrily, as he struggled to master the navy’s required half-Windsor knot.
Filled with inspiring stories, wisdom, and practical know-how,
A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie teaches:

  • Basics of personal style and hygiene: why cleaning, trimming, and polishing are essential daily habits
  • Key components of self-improvement: how to develop a routine for success and organize your personal space
  • The importance of identity: why reinventing oneself is a necessary part of growing up

With additional information about healthy eating, making smart financial decisions, and finding role models, Antwone Fisher offers a book filled with accessible life lessons.
"I Urge young men everywhere to read Fisher's compelling guide to manhood." -President Bill Clinton

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Antwone Fisher official Trailer
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Derek Luke as Antwone Fisher
Denzel Washington as Jerome Davenport
Joy Bryant as Cheryl Smolley
Salli Richardson as Berta
Novella Nelson as Mrs. Tate
Earl Billings as James
Viola Davis as Eva May
Vernee Watson-Johnson as Annette
Directed by
Denzel Washington
Written by
Antwone Fisher

Rated PG-13 For Violence, Language and Mature Thematic Material Involving Child Abuse

113 minutes
You touched the lives of so many Social Workers and that in turn had us working harder for the dear children that come into care. I just retired but each child I worked with would bring your story to my heart and mind. It made me work harder for each child. Thank You for sharing that story because it gave other children the right to be safe as we carried your story in our hearts.
Becky Orebaugh
by Joel Siegel
Dec. 24, 2002
Joel Siegel Reviews ‘Antwone Fisher’
ANTWONE FISHER This is Denzel Washington's directorial debut. He waited until he found a powerful story he wanted to tell and he tell it with the same meticulous care he brings to his performances.

This is another true story, and the story behind the film is almost as heart-rendering and life-affirming as the film itself. The real Antwone Fisher was working as a guard on the lot at Sony Pictures. He befriended a producer and told him his story. Fisher mother was in jail when he was born. His father had been murdered two months before. As a young child, he was physically, verbally and sexually abused.

" You know that's really a movie, " Fisher's producer-friend said. "Let me show you how to write it." Derek Luke the man who plays Fisher, was selling candy at the Sony commissary. In one scene, Fisher goes to Cleveland, where he was raised, to try to find his biological family. The social worker asks "where were you born?' When Fisher replies, "Ohio State Correctional Facility for Woman, I lost it. I was in tears. The true miracle is Antwone Fisher's surviviel at all. As directoe Washington tells this story so beautifully. It's not only a great film, it's the kind that can change peoples lives. Grade: A

Joel Siegal

by Rodger Ebert
Dec. 20, 2002
Rodger Ebert Reviews ‘Antwone Fisher’
Antwone Fisher is a good sailor but he has a hair-trigger temper, and it lands him in the office of the base psychiatrist, Dr. Jerome Davenport. He refuses to talk. Davenport says he can wait. Naval regulations require them to have three sessions of therapy, and the first session doesn't start until Antwone talks. So week after week, Antwone sits there while the doctor does paperwork, until finally they have a conversation: "I understand you like to fight." "That's the only way some people learn." "But you pay the price for teaching them." This conversation will continue, in one form or another, until Fisher (Derek Luke) has returned to the origin of his troubles, and Davenport (Denzel Washington) has made some discoveries as well. "Antwone Fisher," based on the true story of the man who wrote the screenplay, is a film that begins with the everyday lives of naval personnel in San Diego and ends with scenes so true and heartbreaking that tears welled up in my eyes both times I saw the film.

I do not cry easily at the movies; years can go past without tears. I have noticed that when I am deeply affected emotionally, it is not by sadness so much as by goodness. Antwone Fisher has a confrontation with his past, and a speech to the mother who abandoned him, and a reunion with his family, that create great, heartbreaking, joyous moments.

The story behind the film is extraordinary. Fisher was a security guard at the Sony studio in Hollywood when his screenplay came to the attention of the producers. Denzel Washington was so impressed he chose it for his directorial debut. The newcomer Derek Luke, cast in the crucial central role after dozens of more experienced actors had been auditioned, turned out to be a friend of Antwone's; he didn't tell that to the filmmakers because he thought it would hurt his chances. The film is based on truth but some characters and events have been dramatized, we are told at the end. That is the case with every "true story." The film opens with a dream image that will resonate through the film: Antwone, as a child, is welcomed to a dinner table by all the members of his family, past and present. He awakens from his dream to the different reality of life on board an aircraft carrier. He will eventually tell Davenport that his father was murdered two months before he was born, that his mother was in prison at the time and abandoned him, and that he was raised in a cruel foster home. Another blow came when his closest childhood friend was killed in a robbery. Antwone, who is constitutionally incapable of crime, considers that an abandonment, too.

As Antwone's weekly sessions continue, he meets another young sailor, Cheryl Smolley (Joy Bryant). He is shy around her, asks Davenport for tips on dating, keeps it a secret that he is still a virgin. In a time when movie romances end in bed within a scene or two, their relationship is sweet and innocent. He is troubled, he even gets in another fight, but she sees that he has a good heart and she believes in him.

Davenport argues with the young man that all of his troubles come down to a need to deal with his past. He needs to return to Ohio and see if he can find family members. He needs closure. At first Fisher resists these doctor's orders, but finally, with Cheryl's help, he flies back. And that is where the preparation of the early scenes pays off in confrontations of extraordinary power.

Without detailing what happens, I will mention three striking performances from this part of the movie, by Vernee Watson-Johnson as Antwone's aunt, by Earl Billings as his uncle, and by Viola Davis as his mother. Earlier this year, Davis appeared as the maid in "Far from Heaven" and as the space-station psychiatrist in "Solaris." Now this performance. It is hard to believe it is the same actress. She hardly says a word, as Antwone spills out his heart in an emotionally shattering speech.

Antwone's story is counterpointed with the story of Dr. Davenport and his wife, Berta (Salli Richardson). There are issues in their past, too, and in a sense Davenport and Fisher are in therapy together. There is a sense of anticlimax when Davenport has his last heartfelt talk with Antwone, because the film has reached its emotional climax in Ohio and there is nowhere else we want it to take us. But the relationship between the two men is handled by Washington, as the director, with close and caring attention. Hard to believe Derek Luke is a newcomer; easy to believe why Washington decided he was the right actor to play Antwone Fisher.

Rodger Ebert
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Read Rodger Ebert and Joel Sigal's reviews of Antwone Fisher, and watch the photo slideshow.
E-Mail Antwone
Antwone Fisher P.O. Box: Updated soon.

Please do not send any unsolicited material by hand, post or electronic mail. It will be destroyed upon receipt.
Antwone Fisher P.O. Box: Updated soon.

Please do not send any unsolicited material by hand, post or electronic mail. This includes books, films, music cd’s, song or rap lyrics, sheet music, music demos, dvd’s, electronic files including photographs and artwork, short stories, transcripts, manuscripts, story ideas, screenplays, treatments, outlines, proposals, poems, or any other intellectual work. It will be destroyed upon receipt. Antwone does not work as an agent, and will not make introductions or recommendations.
Antwone Fisher