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Sarah Kernochan

Born in New York City and raised in Connecticut, Sarah Kernochan grew up in a musical family, eventually becoming the third in three generations of songwriters and composers. Kernochan's recording career began shortly after she won the Academy Award in 1973 for her documentary feature MARJOE. Two albums were released within two years: 1974's "House of Pain" and 1975's "Beat Around the Bush." The music business' waning interest in singer-songwriters, combined with Kernochan's own reluctance to perform live, resulted in her career coming to an abrupt end.

Always eager to try new forms, Kernochan went on to publish a successful novel ("Dry Hustle," 1976) and pen a musical ("Sleeparound Town," performed at the New York Public Theater and later at Playwrights Horizons). She turned exclusively to screenwriting in the 80's, at the time of her marriage to playwright/director James Lapine. After garnering two screen credits, for "NINE AND 1/2 WEEKS" and "DANCERS," she joined forces with her husband, who directed the independent film IMPROMPTU (Judy Davis, Hugh Grant) from Kernochan's script. More credits followed: "SOMMERSBY," "WHAT LIES BENEATH," and teen comedy "ALL I WANNA DO," which she both wrote and directed. She also composed three songs for the latter, in the style of the 60's, one of which, "The Hairy Bird," reunited her old singing group from prep school, The Fingernails (including longtime pal Glenn Close). Two other songs were recorded by the great 60's singer Darlene Love.

2003 brought Kernochan a second Academy Award for her short documentary THOTH. Shortly afterwards, at the urging of a fan, Sarah resumed writing songs in her spare time. These were mostly home recordings using the MIDI system, which allowed Kernochan to arrange her own music at last. However, other projects allowed her little spare time; thus her songwriting output only averaged one song a year. Her third album "Decades of Demos," released digitally in 2014, is the result.

Kernochan continues to write for film (the recently completed LEARNING TO DRIVE, with Ben Kingsley, is slated to open in 2014). Her second novel "Jane Was Here" was published in 2011. She and her husband divide their time between New York and Martha's Vineyard.