Sarah-Violet Bliss

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Sarah-Violet Bliss
Sarah-Violet Bliss
Alma materOberlin College, NYU - Tisch
  • Actress
  • film director
  • producer
  • film editor
Years active2010–present

Sarah-Violet Bliss is an American screenwriter and director best known for her movie Fort Tilden and the TV series Search Party.


Bliss attended New York University's MFA Film Program.[1] While there she collaborated with James Franco and eleven other student filmmakers to co-direct The Color of Time, a film on the life of poet C.K. Williams that starred Franco, Mila Kunis and Jessica Chastain. The film premiered at the 2012 Rome Film Festival.[2] The film was released on December 12, 2014, in a limited release and through video on demand by Starz Digital Media.[3]

Fort Tilden[edit]

In 2014, her film Fort Tilden, written and directed in collaboration with Charles Rogers, premiered at SXSW on March 8, 2014, where it won the SXSW Grand Jury award.[4][5] The film was acquired by revived Orion Pictures and was released on August 14, 2015, in a limited release, and through video on demand.[6][7] The film received generally positive reviews from major critics. Andy Webster of The New York Times said that "rarely has a movie so humorously illustrated the meaning of 'frenemy'", David Edelstein of New York Magazine called Fort Tilden "a brisk comedy packed with sharply drawn characters", and Katie Walsh of the Los Angeles Times said that the film "has an easy, funky groove and captures the sweaty perfection of a New York City summer, where things always look better on Instagram".[8][9][10]

Search Party[edit]

Bliss and Rogers teamed up again for the 2016 comedy/mystery TBS television series Search Party, along with Michael Showalter, which stars Alia Shawkat as Dory, John Early as Elliott, John Reynolds as Drew, Meredith Hagner as Portia, and Brandon Micheal Hall as Julian.[11] The first season focuses on the disappearance of Dory's college acquaintance Chantal Witherbottom (Clare McNulty), whom she sets out to find, with Drew, Elliott, and Portia reluctantly joining her investigation. While her friends also deal with difficulties in their own lives, Dory focuses on her pursuit of Chantal, believing her to be in danger. The second season focuses on the death of Keith Powell (Ron Livingston), a private investigator who is killed as a result of Dory mistakenly believing him to be a threat to Chantal. As the group struggles to return to their normal lives, they also attempt to cover up Keith's death, which affects them in various ways.

Search Party received critical acclaim; the Los Angeles Times wrote that it was "tightly made and effective on multiple levels",[12] GQ wrote that it is "a flawless oddity, a once-in-a-lifetime piece of art. It's not the weekend's best show, it's the year's best."[13] and the series holds a 100% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 8.1/10.[14] On Metacritic, the season holds a rating of 81 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[15] The second season of Search Party premiered on TBS on November 19, 2017 and received positive reviews from television critics. It holds a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes[16] and was called a "biting satire made for the Trump era" by Vanity Fair.[17]


In addition to her work on Search Party, Bliss has worked as a writer on the first and second seasons of the Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer as well as for the second season of the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.


In 2017, The Hollywood Reporter named Bliss and Rogers "Hollywood Power Showrunners: Ones To Watch" in their annual list of the top 50 television showrunners[18] and in 2016, the creative duo were named Variety's 10 Writers to Watch.[19] She was also named one of Buzzfeed's 36 Female Creators Who Made Great TV in 2016.[20]


  1. ^ "Guest Bloggers: Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers". Miramax. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  2. ^ "TAR premieres at Rome Film Festival". Tatvam. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Poetry in Motion: James Franco and 12 Students Create The Color of Time". MovieMaker Magazine. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  4. ^ Kolmar, Jim. "SXSW FILM AWARDS ANNOUNCED!". Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Schedule -". SXSW Schedule 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (18 March 2015). "SXSW 2014 Winner 'Fort Tilden' Gets U.S. Distribution From Orion". Variety.
  7. ^ Kaeli Van Cott (29 June 2015). "Exclusive Poster for SXSW Winner 'Fort Tilden' Shows an A - Indiewire". Indiewire. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  8. ^ Webster, Andy (August 13, 2015). "Review: 'Fort Tilden,' a Comic Odyssey to the Beach". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Walsh, Katie (August 13, 2015). "Review: 'Fort Tilden' rips into millennial culture with a beach day from hell". Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ David Edelstein. "Movie Review: Fort Tilden -- Vulture". Vulture.
  11. ^ "'Arrested Development' Alum Alia Shawkat to Star in Jax Media Comedy". The Hollywood Reporter. 22 June 2015.
  12. ^ Lloyd, Robert (November 20, 2016). "'Search Party' has fun with mystery-story twists". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ Philip, Tom (November 28, 2016). "'Search Party Is the Post-Thanksgiving Bingewatch You Need". Gentlemen's Quarterly.
  14. ^ "Search Party". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "Search Party - Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  16. ^ "Search Party: Season 2 - TV Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Lawson, Richard. "Search Party Season 2 Is a Biting Satire Made for the Trump Era". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "Hollywood's Power Showrunners: Ones to Watch". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  19. ^ Staff, Variety (June 14, 2016). "10 TV Writers to Watch in 2016". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  20. ^ "32 Female Creators Who Made Great TV In 2016". Retrieved January 9, 2018.

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