HUMANITAS Winners Gina Prince-Bythewood and Debra Granik Speak at LA Film Festival


gina_prince-blythewood-main“Talent has no gender,” Gina Prince-Bythewood, who wrote and directed the 2008 film The Secret Life of Bees, asserted Saturday at a panel titled “Women Who Call the Shots,” presented by the Los Angeles Film Festival.

For the third consecutive year, the festival gathered writers and directors to discuss their experiences in the film industry. In addition to Prince-Bythewood, the group included Nicole Holofcener, writer-director of last year’s Enough Said, Debra Granik, writer and director of 2010’s indie feature Winter’s Bone, and Marta Kauffman, the co-creator of Friends.

The discussion focused on each woman’s previous successes in the industry and introduced their upcoming projects. Granik showed a clip from her new documentary Stray Dog, which premiered at the festival June 14 and follows Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, a Vietnam veteran and biker whom Granik met while filming Winter’s Bone.

Said Granik of her inspiration, “I feel like sometimes I started with this impulse, telling some of the stories of the lives of ordinary Americans. But then people say, ‘But Ron doesn’t seem ordinary.’ But Ron feels that he’s ordinary, you know, ‘I’m one of many, my story is one of a lot of Americans.’ So that tension is kind of interesting.”

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For a review of Granik's new film "Stray Dog," visit IndieWire: