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Aaron Ryder
Young Alumni Award

Every autumn, a fresh group of talented and creative young students enters North Attleboro High School via Wilson Whitty Way, eager to make their mark in their new school. Each spring, NAHS graduates a new class of alumni ready to make their mark in the real world. In an incredibly short time, Aaron Ryder has gone from the narrow streets of North Attleboro to the bright lights of Hollywood, from Watery Hill to Beverly Hills, to become one of the brightest and most prolific young movie producers today.

After graduating from NAHS in 1989, Aaron Ryder attended Emerson College in Boston. In 1994, Aaron moved to Los Angeles and completed his Emerson degree at a satellite program, while interning in the movie industry. He landed his first position as an assistant to two young producers at Working Title Films and enjoyed the opportunity to work with filmmakers like the Coen Brothers, Stephen Frears and Larry Kasdan. He spent his nights and weekends directing and producing short films and plays, allowing him to merge the skills he was learning at Working Title with his dream of being a story teller. During this busy time, Aaron decided that producing would be his career.

In 1998, he joined Newmarket to help them identify projects to develop and produce, and in 1999 he became the company’s president of production and in-house producer. During his tenure at Newmarket, he developed, produced and executive produced such films as The Mexican, starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts; the independent hit Memento, starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss, as well as Donnie Darko, with Drew Barrymore and Jake Gyllenhaal. Other credits include Stark Raving Mad and Wrong Turn.

In 2004, Aaron and Newmarket formed Raygun Productions - a non-exclusive production entity that allowed Aaron to produce up to two films a year for the Newmarket pipeline, while simultaneously affording him the ability to produce films outside of the parent company. Recent Aaron Ryder projects include: The Amateurs, starring Jeff Bridges; The Return, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and The T.V. Set, which he produced with writer/director Jake Kasdan and starred David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver. In addition, Aaron produced The Prestige, which reunited him with Memento and Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan and stars Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and David Bowie. He recently finished Hamlet 2, starring Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, Amy Pohler and Elizabeth Shue. This film was the second largest grossing film in Sundance history after Little Miss Sunshine. Aaron is currently working on My One And Only with Renee Zellweger.

Aaron has achieved this incredible success and is still several years shy of his fortieth birthday. He exemplifies what North Attleboro High School students can achieve if they dream big and work hard. For being one of the brightest stars in the crowded night sky of Hollywood, we recognize Aaron Ryder with the 2008 North Attleboro High School Young Alumni Award.