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Sundance Women Producers: Meet Mel Eslyn

Sundance Women Producers: Meet Mel Eslyn

The One I Love producer Mel Eslyn began working on films and music videos in the Midwest in her teens, working her way up through the set hierarchies. Years later, she relocated to Seattle, continuing to work in independent film. Having assistant-directed a handful of films over the years, she soon began directing and producing in the Northwest. In 2010 Elsyn co-produced the feature film Treatment, which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and went on to screen at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Later that year, she co-produced Lynn Shelton’s feature Your Sister’s Sister, which premiered at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival before screening at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival
Her latest project, The One I Love, will debut at Sundance on January 21. 
Please give us your description of the film. 

At the urging of their therapist, a troubled couple escapes to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway, only to discover an unusual dilemma that awaits them.
What drew you to this story? 
From the first pitch I was hooked. This story felt like nothing I had seen before. There was a navigation of common emotions and human interactions that was dealt with in such a wildly new and imaginative way.
What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
It’s always a challenge to keep things interesting when the bulk of the story surrounds only 2 characters, but I think we found some interesting ways of taking on that challenge.
What advice do you have for other female producers? 
Trust your gut. You are in the for the long haul, so make sure you are head over heels in love. It will make your life/job easier and the process so much more fun.
Do you have any thoughts on what are the biggest challenges and/or opportunities for the future with the changing distribution mechanisms for films?
While nothing is as magical as seeing a film projected in a dark theater, the future of film distribution is pretty damn exciting. New platforms lean towards creating more sustainability for artists and profits, while being a challenge simply because they are new.
Name your favorite women directed film and why.
Too hard, but I recently saw Shannon Plumb’s Towheads at the Citizen Jane Film Festival (an all women-directed film festival), and it blew my socks off.

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