Lauren Wolkstein is an award-winning filmmaker originally from Baltimore. Her films have screened all over the world including Sundance, SXSW, San Sebastian, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, BAMCinemaFest, and opening night at Maryland Film Festival. Her short films have qualified for the Oscars twice and been awarded best film from over twenty film festivals, such as SXSW, Hamptons International Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest, Atlanta Film Festival, and International Film Festival Boston. She has directed commercials for Gucci and edited for brands such as Dickies and Diet Coke, as well as various non-profit organizations. As a screenwriter and director, Lauren is represented by Management 360.

At Columbia University, Lauren’s thesis film Cigarette Candy received the Best Directing Award as well as the Plum Pictures Most Promising Filmmaker Award and two years later, her film The Strange Ones, was awarded the Focus Features Best Film Award. She was named one of the top twenty-five emerging filmmakers through The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Independent Filmmaker Project’s inaugural Emerging Visions program at the 2011 New York Film Festival. In the summer of 2013, Filmmaker Magazine crowned her as one of the “25 New Faces” of Independent Film,” which is an annual selection of faces who will be shaping the independent film world in the future. Her latest film Social Butterfly premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and was chosen as one of ten films to play at the inaugural Sundance NEXT WEEKEND Film Festival in Los Angeles. She is an alumna of IFP’s Emerging Narrative and No Borders International Co-Production Market, as well as the Berlinale Talent Campus.

Lauren’s most recent short film SOCIAL BUTTERFLY shot as part of an anthology series entitled COLLECTIVE: UNCONSCIOUS premiered at SXSW in 2016.

Winning Project: Cigarette Candy

Eddie Van Buren, a traumatized teenage Marine, is forced to play the role of “the hero” at his homecoming party. In pursuing a rebellious, precocious sixteen-year-old girl, Candy, he sees an opportunity to numb his pain and connect to a fellow lost soul.


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