Biography

Sean McNamara is an American director, writer and producer with a focus on family dramas, including the breakout hit feature Soul Surfer.

McNamara recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of Brookwell McNamara Entertainment, which he co-founded with business partner David Brookwell. Together, they have produced 30 feature films for Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, TriStar Pictures, New Line Cinema, Lionsgate and Universal Studios.

Currently, McNamara is wrapping up production on the film Reagan, a drama starring Dennis Quaid and Penelope Ann Miller. It follows the life of the former president from childhood through his years in Hollywood, his tenure as governor of California and ultimately his time in the Oval Office.

The King’s Daughter, a romantic fantasy set at Versailles, will debut in theaters in 2022. It features Pierce Brosnan and Kaya Scodelario.

On a Wing and a Prayer, a true story starring Dennis Quaid as a plane passenger forced to make an emergency landing to save his family, is in pre-production for MGM produced by Roma Downey.

Previously, McNamara has helmed the films Orphan Horse, with Jon Voight; The Miracle Season, starring Erin Moriarty, Danika Yarosh, Helen Hunt and William Hurt; Raise Your Voice, featuring Hilary Duff; Hoovey; Field of Lost Shoes; Race To Space and Spare Parts. The latter, which stars Marisa Tomei and George Lopez, was based on the Wired magazine article “La Vida Robot.” 

For television, McNamara has produced many series and movies, including more than 500 episodes for Hulu, Netflix, CBS, ABC, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. McNamara co-created the hit TV series Beyond the Break for MTV Networks and was executive producer on Disney Channel’s Even Stevens and That’s So Raven.

McNamara’s work for Disney Channel won him a BAFTA as well as five Emmy Award nominations. He is a four-time nominee for the Directors Guild of America Awards. Furthermore, he received a prestigious Best Director Imagen Award, for Spare Parts, and won Best Dramatic Feature at the GI Film Festival, for Field of Lost Shoes. Soul Surfer, Spare Parts, and The Miracle Season all earned an A+ on Cinemascore, among other accolades. 

McNamara is an actor’s director, having worked with A-listers such as Pierce Brosnan and Dennis Quaid as well as numerous Academy Award winners and nominees: Helen Hunt, William Hurt, Jon Voight, Marisa Tomei, Mira Sorvino and James Woods. McNamara has also nurtured rising talents including Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Alba, Erin Moriarty and Danika Yarosh.  McNamara lives in Playa del Rey, California, with his amazing family: Christina, Mark, Dylan, Seamus and two Golden Retrievers, Bella and Blue.