Marya Cohn is the award-winning writer/director
of the feature film “The Girl in the Book,” starring Emily Van Camp and Michael
Nyqvist. Her short film, “Developing,” starring Natalie Portman and Frances
Conroy, screened at Sundance, won grand prizes at the Belgian Festival Mondial
du Cinéma de Court Métrage and the St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival and aired on The Sundance Channel and Channel 13’s Reel NY. She has also
directed plays at The Here Theater, Rattlestick Theater, Dixon Place, Vital
Theater, HB Playwrights’ Foundation and Theater, The Women’s Project, New
Georges, NADA 45 and the playwrights’ unit at EST. (Press materials)
“The Girl in the Book” will premiere at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival on June 13.
W&H: Please give us your description of the film playing.
MC: A young book editor is forced to confront a troubling chapter from her
past when a bestselling author reenters her life.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
MC: The story is semi-autobiographical — and the kernel is an event in my
life that stayed with me for a long time and that I discovered too many
women could relate to.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
MC: First trusting my voice enough to send the script into the world. Then
refusing to wait any longer for perfect conditions and, with producer Gina Resnick’s help, just committing to making the movie no matter
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the
MC: How women need to speak out and speak their truths. How people can overcome difficult events in their pasts. How we have to decouple sex and violence/power so that fewer women will
be sexually assaulted.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
MC: Just do it. If you just start, it will happen.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got
the film made.
MC: Private investors, NY tax credit and a little bit of Kickstarter
money. Really, we [just] decided to do it [and made it happen]. When Emily Van Camp officially agreed, she
had one hiatus from “Revenge” that was in about five weeks, and we had to
make it happen by then.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
MC: I’m inspired by so many recent films directed by women! I thought “Enough Said” by Nicole Holofcener was nearly perfect — true
and funny and moving. I love “Lost in Translation” by Sofia Coppola, “The Kids are Alright” by
Lisa Cholodenko and Andrea Arnold’s short “Wasp.”