Lynn Shelton

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Lynn Shelton
Lynn Shelton.jpg
Born 1965 (age 50–51)
Oberlin, Ohio, US
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer

Lynn Shelton (born 1965) is an American director known for writing, directing, and producing such films as Humpday and Your Sister's Sister.[1]

Early life[edit]

Shelton grew up in Seattle. She describes herself as having been audacious as a young girl, but having lost confidence in her creativity in adolescence.[2] This experience contributed to a theme she explored in her 2005 film We Go Way Back.[3]

After high school, Shelton attended Oberlin College in Ohio and then the University of Washington School of Drama. She then moved to New York and followed the Master's of Fine Arts program in photography and related media at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Her thesis advisor was Peggy Ahwesh.[4]

She started working in the film industry as a film editor and made a series of experimental short films which have been described as "accomplished" and providing the basis for the "subtle, almost anthropological scrutiny" brought to bear in her later works.[2]

Among the jobs she has held to support her film career, one of them was working aboard a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea.[4]

Film career[edit]

Shelton had wanted to be a director, but was worried that being in her mid-30s, it was too late to begin. When she saw French director Claire Denis speak at Seattle's Northwest Film Forum in 2003, Denis revealed she was 40 years old when she directed her first feature film, and that revelation made Shelton realise that she still had plenty of time.[5] In 2004, Shelton began writing and directing her first feature film, We Go Way Back. Described as "polished" and "impressionistic", the film depicts a 23-year-old actress, Kate, confronted by her 13-year-old self. The dialog between the older and younger Kates begins in memory, and then climaxes in an apparitional experience with the specter of her own, repressed, precocious youth.[2] We Go Way Back premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2006, but has not yet been released.

Shelton's film Humpday was premiered at Sundance, was acquired by Magnolia Pictures, and has been shown at Cannes, SIFF, South by Southwest and other film festivals. It opened in theaters in New York and Seattle on July 10, 2009.[6]

Laggies was the first film Shelton directed that had not been written by her as well. The film starred Keira Knightley and Chloë Grace Moretz and premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival where it was acquired by A24 Films. In 2015 she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Director's Branch.


As director[edit]



- "Hands and Knees" (2010)

- "The Trip" (2012)

- "Injured" (2012)
- "Pepperworld" (2013)
- "First Date" (2013)
- "Mars Landing" (2014)
- "Dice" (2014)

- "I Slipped" (2014)
- "Danny Castellano Is My Nutritionist" (2015)

- "Pilot" (2015)
- "Persistent Romeo" (2015)
- "Showdown at the Golden Saddle" (2015)
- "Family Business Trip" (2015)
- "Shaquille O’Neal Motors" (2015)
- "The Big 1-2" (2015)
- "Tight Two" (2016)

- "Old People" (2015)
- "Ladies and Gentleman" (2015)

- "Step One" (2016)
- "Marc's Roommate" (2016)

- "Threesomes" (2016)
- "The Magpie" (2016)

- "Paradise Lost" (2016)

As actor[edit]

As film editor[edit]

As producer[edit]


Personal life[edit]

Shelton came out as bisexual in 2012.[11] She is married to Kevin Seal.[12][13]

During a live recording of his song "Sleepwalkin'", singer Rhett Miller (of the Old 97's) stated that the song is based on an imagined romance with Shelton based purely on a photo of her he saw once.


  1. ^ Margy Rochlin (May 4, 2012). "Scriptless in Seattle: A Filmmaker's Map". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b c "She's a Director Who's Just Another Dude". The New York Times. July 2, 2009. 
  3. ^ "We Go Way Back (2005)". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b c Annie Wagner. "Lynn Shelton". The Stranger. 
  5. ^ Shelton on Denis, Hell Is For Hyphenates, September 30, 2014
  6. ^ "Putting a Bromance to an Erotic Test". The New York Times. July 10, 2009. 
  7. ^ Lynn Shelton, 'Humpday', Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2009.
  8. ^ About The Filmmaker,
  9. ^ Sundance 2009: "Push" and "We Live in Public" Take the Top Prizes
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ ROCHLIN, MARGY. "Scriptless in Seattle: A Filmmaker's Map". Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  13. ^

External links[edit]