Go behind the scenes to learn from Sundance Advisors in our Conversations from the Labs series. This collection of videos will deepen your understanding of all the creative disciplines that are supported through our Labs including Feature Film Directing and Writing, TV Writing, Emerging Media, Documentary, Producing, Film Music, and Theater.

In this candid conversation from the 2022 Screenwriters Lab, filmmaker and actor Marielle Heller discusses the path to making her outstanding feature debut The Diary of a Teenage Girl on the 10th anniversary of the film being selected for the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs. Michelle Satter, Sundance Institute’s Founding Senior Director - Artist Programs, moderates the conversation through Marielle’s creative process in adapting the graphic novel/play and all that she learned in writing and making her first feature. Marielle reveals her experience at the labs and the process of finding and protecting her voice to tell this deeply delicate story as well as advice and insights on exploring film openings, character development, and working with actors on characters’ emotional journeys.

Other conversations in the series include those with editor Dylan Tichenor, actor/director Ed Harris, writer/director Karyn Kusama, writer/director/producer Kasi Lemmons, cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt, and others.

Writer / Director / Actor
Marielle Heller is an award-winning director, writer, and actor. Her humanistic directing style is depicted in her Academy Award-nominated films, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, and CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? Her directorial debut, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, earned her an Indie Spirit Award. As an actor, her Alma Wheatley in THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT made her an instant audience favorite. Heller’s production company, Defiant By Nature, was established in 2019. more...

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