Skip to main content
FilmmakersFilmmakers 2024

The Filmmaker Four: Susanna Styron

By May 13, 2024No Comments

Susanna Styron is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and feature film and television writer and director. Her debut feature SHADRACH, starring Harvey Keitel and Andie MacDowell premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Her work has been seen at film festivals and in movie theaters across the world, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art, and on HBO, Amazon and Netflix, among other venues. Susanna returns to BIFF after her 2018 participation in the festival with two films, the feature documentary OUT OF MY HEAD and narrative short HOUSE OF TEETH.

What it the title of your film in BIFF 2024?

What was your first experience with film and how did it influence your first project?
One of the most important things that happened to me as a child was when I was around seven years old, and my parents took me with them to my first grown-up movie in a movie theater, just the three of us. It was “Lawrence of Arabia” and I was utterly transfixed. I was such a good audience that they soon took me to see “The Great Escape” which I found riveting. That tender year was my introduction to the power of cinematic storytelling. 13 years later, my first film was the polar opposite of both of those grand, epic period pieces: a stark black-and-white 16mm no-budget documentary short about a group of young people seeking a better life. But what I discovered in that darkened theatre was the thrill of telling stories, and telling them with image and sound. That sparked in me the desire to use cinema as a means of peering into the human condition, our desires and foibles, to discover how to let the story unfold, to create a powerful impact, and to provoke thoughts and feelings in those who come along for the ride.

Who is (are) your favorite filmmakers?
Luis Bunuel, Bernarndo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders, Jane Campion, Greta Gerwig

What are you working on that no one knows about?
A wonderful, humorous but dramatic TV series about two people of different gender, age, race and class thrown into an unlikely partnership as they try to circumvent a dangerous and destructive white collar crime.

Who would play you in a movie? What’s your go to movie snack? What’s the film title that best describes your life?
Isabelle Huppert; Popcorn; Flirting With Disaster