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“COVID Hit and the Movie Fell Apart” | Laurel Parmet, The Starling Girl

A young girl with brown hair tied back in a low ponytail kneels beside her bed and folds her hands in prayer. Her eyes are open and she looks up.The Starling Girl, courtesy of Sundance Institute

Every production faces unexpected obstructions that require creative solutions and conceptual rethinking. What was an unforeseen obstacle, crisis, or simply unpredictable event you had to respond to, and how did this event impact or cause you to rethink your film?

I’m sure I am echoing many filmmakers in saying that COVID was 100% the largest unforeseen obstacle in getting this film made. We were gearing up to shoot in 2020, and then COVID hit and the movie fell apart. Those were some very dark times for me (and for many others), and I didn’t know if I’d ever get to make the film. But it ended up being a huge blessing in disguise. Those two extra years gave me more time to think about how I wanted to direct the film. I think I grew a lot as a filmmaker and as an artist in that time. And then we brought on wonderful financiers who fiercely supported me and my vision and let us make the film the way we wanted to make it. Our film is undoubtedly stronger for it.

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.

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