Filmmaker Debra Granik to discuss 'Winter's Bone'

As an undergraduate, she made a video journal of a can collector on South Street

Debra Granik '85, who made her first movie while an undergraduate at Brandeis, returns to campus on May 2 to screen and discuss her best-known work to date – the Oscar-nominated film "Winter's Bone."

"Winter's Bone," which Granik directed and co-wrote, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture of 2010. She was also a finalist for best adapted screenplay with co-writer Anne Rosellini. The movie tells the story of a teenage girl (Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for an Oscar in the lead actress category) struggling to survive in the drug-infested Ozark Mountains while searching for her missing father.

Following the 6:30 p.m. screening at the Edie and Lew Wasserman Cinematheque, in the Sachar International Center, Granik will take questions from the audience. Event coordinator Alice Kelikian, a history professor and the chair of the Film, Television and Interactive Media Program, will moderate. The film program and the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund are sponsoring the event.

There is no charge for admission, but tickets are required. To order, contact Dona DeLorenzo (781 736-8270 or Tickets will be sent to attendees via intercampus mail.

In an interview earlier this year with Brandeis Magazine, Granik said she was drawn to filmmaking while an undergraduate. Her first project was a "video journal" of a man who pushed a grocery cart past the campus on South Street every day, collecting empty soda cans to reclaim the deposits.

"Brandeis was a great cauldron for wanting to do the right thing, and I was inspired by everyone I met and everything I read," Granik told the magazine. "At the same time, documentary filmmaking was coming of age. It was clear to me the camera could be an effective weapon of political action."

Her first film, "Snake Feed," made while she was pursuing a master's degree in filmmaking at New York University, focused on a troubled family in upstate New York dealing with drugs and poverty. It was awarded Best Short at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998.

Granik's first feature-length film was "Down to the Bone," a tale of addiction she co-scripted with Richard Lieske. She won Sundance's Dramatic Directing Award in 2004 for her efforts.

Categories: Arts

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