Date of Birth: 1963
An only child, Perelman lived with his immediate and extended family in a communal flat in Kiev when it was part of the former Soviet Union. When he was nine, his father was tragically killed in a car accident. Five years later, Perelman and his mother were granted permission to leave for Europe as refugees. They lived in Vienna for two months, then spent a year in Rome. During this time, Perelman survived as a street urchin, struggling to get enough food and money to support his mother and himself while they waited for a Canadian visa. It finally came when Perelman was 16, and in Canada, he was able to concentrate on his education. After high school, he attended the University of Alberta where he first majored in physics and math before a filmmaking class changed his focus. He moved to Toronto to study filmmaking at the Ryerson Film Institute for two years before dropping out to launch his own Toronto-based production house where he gained directing and editing experience making music videos.
Perelman then moved to Los Angeles to further his career, and established himself as an innovative director of commercials (his clients included Microsoft, Panasonic, Nike and Coors) as well as music videos. While waiting for a flight home from Rome after a commercial shoot, he browsed through a bookrack and was intrigued by a novel called House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III. Perelman read it on the plane home and was fascinated by the plot. "I knew I needed to tell this story," he remembers. "It is a story about being an immigrant in a new country and. feeling like an immigrant in your own country." He not only wrote the screenplay, but made his feature film directorial debut with the movie version of the novel, starring Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley.
House of Sand and Fog (2003)