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Women in Film: Lisa Cholodenko

Dorothy Arzner Director's Award

Despite the fact that the 44-year-old is the darling of independent films (“High Art,” “Laurel Canyon”), Lisa Cholodenko says it’s time for a shift in focus.

“I’m totally open to being the gun-for-hire now,” says the writer-director. “I’ve been able to cultivate my own writing skills, and the stuff I have written has been more interesting to me than the stuff I was reading, but at this point, I really want to take that hat off and tackle something that’s already been written and maybe work on a bigger scale — and make some money.”

She’s feeling very confident that her latest, Focus Features’ “The Kids Are All Right,” will be her calling card to bigger projects. It’s “about two gay moms and their kids and their sperm donor,” the openly gay director says, and “all modesty aside, I think it is going to be a really successful film. I think it’s going to make money, and I think that the critics have indicated that they really like it.”

After more than 10 years in the independent trenches, Cholodenko admits that she’s a bit tired of the struggle. “What I really care about is telling great stories as well as having a personal domestic life, and how do I do that?” she asks. “I feel like I have established myself with the independent films, and I have managed to make a family, I have a partner and a home and a 4-year-old son and two dogs. It’s not easy, but by hook or by crook, that was important to me, so I just did it my way. I didn’t feel like pursuing studio films was a part of that equation until now. So I’m interested in doing a studio project; I am actively looking for something like that.”

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