Lena Dunham just wrapped her first feature film as a writer-director in over a decade.
“Sharp Stick,” an indie financed by FilmNation that will screen footage for potential buyers on Tuesday out of the European Film Market during the Berlin Festival, was shot successfully in secret and in compliance with COVID-19 protocols in Los Angeles over the past months.
While plot details are under wraps, the film stars Kristine Froseth (“The Assistant,” “Looking for Alaska”), Taylour Paige (“Zola,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jon Bernthal (“Ford v Ferrari)”, Scott Speedman (“Best Sellers,” season three of “You”), and Dunham. The production, which boasted almost exclusively female department heads, was made through Dunham’s company Good Thing Going.
“I made my last feature film 11 years ago in my family home with just a few close friends. It’s a testament to FilmNation and my incredible producers, cast, crew and — especially — my COVID-19 compliance team that this experience felt just as intimate and creatively free,” Dunham told Variety. “This story is incredibly personal to me and a continuation of my career-long mission to create a free dialogue around the complexities of female sexuality and to turn the idea of the ‘likable’ female protagonist on its head —and you can’t do that in this business on any scale larger than your mother’s living room without forward thinking partners. I feel very lucky.”
In addition to financing, FilmNation holds worldwide distribution rights and is handling international sales. They are co-representing domestic rights with CAA Media Finance.
Producers include Kevin Turen, Katia Washington, Michael P. Cohen, and Dunham. The film was executive produced by Kenneth Yu and Will Greenfield, with Glen Basner and Ben Browning for FilmNation. Actors Paige and Bernthal also serve as executive producers. Harrison Kreiss served as co-executive producer, and Good Thing Going’s Soham Joglekar served as associate producer.
“Lena is one of the most unique voices of her generation and her storytelling has always excited us. We are thrilled to be working with someone who has such a clear, bold vision, and alongside this incredibly talented team,” said Basner and Browning.
Good Thing Going has a full slate across film, television, theater and podcasting. Dunham, the creator, writer and star of the indelible HBO series “Girls,” has also served as writer, director and producer on shows such as HBO and BBC’s “Industry” and the original series “Camping.” She is currently executive producing the series “Genera+ion” for HBOmax and directing her feature length medieval coming of age comedy “Catherine Called Birdy” for Working Title. Her feature directorial debut was the resonant “Tiny Furniture.”
On-screen, Dunham recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood.” She is a New York Times bestselling author and regular contributor to publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Magazine and the NYT.
Dunham is represented by CAA, ID Public Relations and HJTH, LLP. Jason Leigh is represented by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
Froseth is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content, and HJTH, LLP. Paige is represented by CAA, Management 360, and Granderson Des Rochers. Bernthal is represented by WME, Daniele Bernfeld, and Sloane, Offer, Weber, and Dern. Speedman is represented by CAA. All four actors are represented by Narrative PR.
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