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Debra Granik is an independent filmmaker who won the Sundance Dramatic Directing Award for her first feature-length film, Down to the Bone (2004), a tale of addiction she co-scripted with Richard Lieske.

Interviewed by Jeremiah Kipp, Granik gave an overview of the challenges involved in doing a film about addiction:

The traditional storyline in an American film is usually in the form of a V shape. I am oversimplifying, but we see someone tumbling down, they hit bottom, and then they rise up again and find redemption. Anyone who personally, tangentially or culturally knows anything about addiction is aware that it resembles an EKG. Up and down, up and down. Very few people ever get clean on the first or second attempt. For many people, it’s something they have to try over and over again. You get knocked down and ask all the ethical questions like how many chances do you give a person? When is the last chance? How many chances do they get? Can you imagine how difficult it is to fit that in a feature-length film? But those are the questions that are worth asking... The reason why boils down to the word “dark”. It is the scariest four-letter word in American storytelling and in this culture. Our film had a strong reception in Europe and achieved distribution, but that was not the case here. We received so many responses like, “We love the film, but we cannot do anything with it or we’ll lose our shirts. We’re sorry.” The intervention comes from people like Laemmle/Zeller Films. Every couple of years, some mavericks take on this challenge of distributing so-called un-distributable films. They take those films on a small run and allow them to see the light of day. Those efforts are what give a film like Down to the Bone a chance to have a life of some kind.[1]

A graduate of the film program at New York University (Tisch School of the Arts), Granik is the granddaughter of broadcast pioneer Theodore Granik (1907-1970), founder-moderator of radio-TV's long-run panel discussion program, The American Forum of the Air.

See also

List of Sundance Film Festival award winners

References

External links

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