Martha Stephens

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Martha Stephens
Born (1984-03-12) March 12, 1984 (age 33)
Huntington, West Virginia, United States
Occupation Filmmaker
Years active 2009–present

Martha Stephens (born March 12, 1984) is an American film writer and director. Her three feature films involve characters yearning for escape, and naturalistically portrayed rural settings.[1][2]

Stephens was born in West Virginia and raised in eastern Kentucky.[3] A great-niece of writer Jesse Stuart, Stephens was immersed by her family in the Appalachian storytelling tradition.[4][5] She graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking, where she associated with and was influenced by Jeff Nichols and David Gordon Green, the executive producer of her third film.[6][7][8]

Stephens' first two feature films, Passenger Pigeons (2010) and Pilgrim Song (2012), premiered at the South by Southwest festival and received several awards.[9][10] Her third film, Land Ho! (2014), premiered at the Sundance Film Festival,[11] and was purchased for worldwide distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.[12][13]


  1. ^ [1] Silverstein, Melissa. Sundance Women Directors: Meet Martha Stephens at
  2. ^ Eliot, Natalie. Filmmaker Interview: Martha Stephens. Oxford American Magazine. 6.12.2012.
  3. ^ [2] IMDB: Martha Stephens. Retrieved 2.9.2014.
  4. ^ Mary Stuart (Obituary). Ashland Daily Independent. 3.10.2002
  5. ^ [3] Indiewire Staff. Meet the 2012 SXSW Filmmakers #2: Martha Stephens., 3.1.2012.
  6. ^ Lane, Kim. Rock Candy: Q&A with Martha Stephens. Arkansas Times. 5.31.2012.
  7. ^ [4] Indiewire Staff. Meet the 2012 SXSW Filmmakers #2: Martha Stephens., 3.1.2012.
  8. ^ [5] Ryzik, Melena. Sundance: The Plastic Surgeon, The Actor, and a New Comedy Team." New York Times, retrieved 2.9.2014
  9. ^ Smirnoff, Marc. REPORT: Little Rock Film Festival. Oxford American Magazine. 6.8.2012.
  10. ^ [6]Land Ho! Description. Retrieved 2.9.2014.
  11. ^ Filmmaker Staff. Land Ho! | Directors Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens. Filmmaker Magazine. 1.18.2014.
  12. ^ [7] Zakarin, Jordan. A Week With the Unlikely Breakout Stars of this year's Sundance at Retrieved 2.9.2014.
  13. ^ [8] Chang, Justin. Sundance Film Reviews: Land Ho! Variety, 1.21.2014.

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