Who are you and what’s your filmmaking background?
I am a New York-based filmmaker, writer and performer. I’ve written, produced, directed and acted in many short films, which have won awards and played festivals including Big Apple Film Festival, Coney Island Film Festival, Outfest, Frameline San Francisco, Newport Beach Film Festival, DC Shorts, Costa Rica International Film Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival, New Filmmakers and Cinekink. I studied film at La Femis in Paris and Columbia University School of the Arts where I received a MFA in 2013. From 2006-2007 I wrote a weekly sex/relationship column called Lust Life for New York Press. I’ve also had articles published in Moviemaker and Go Magazine, and recently completed my first novel Crazy Without Consequence. As a singer and variety performer, I’ve performed in cabarets, theatres and many other places in New York and abroad. I live in New York with my husband Peter Daniel Straus and three cats.
What are you working on right now?
I’m developing a narrative feature film right now called Lust Life, inspired by my former sex column, about a bisexual polyamorous woman and conservative straight man who fall in love and challenge each other’s views on sex and relationships. I wrote the screenplay and we are now working on financing and finding a casting director.
What do you want the audience to take away from your films?
Inspiration. Questions about their own life choices. A good laugh and/or cry.
What’s your favorite story from filmmaking?
I met my husband through making a film. He’s an actor who auditioned for a short film I wrote and directed eight years ago. I cast him, we acted together in it, and the rest is a story of “Life imitating art.”
What are your wildest dreams for your filmmaking career?
Is it wild to want to write, act in and direct films that say a little something about my values and vision of the world? I’d also like to somehow connect my work with philanthropic causes, like animal and human rights, healing and the environment.
What is something bizarre about you?
What other people may consider bizarre is normal for me. For example, I dream with great narrative detail and regularly recall my dreams long after waking.
What currently inspires you?
Women artists succeeding in a male-dominated film world, like Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma. Also, cats. Both domestic and wild.
What’s your best advice for an aspiring filmmaker?
Story is more important than anything else. If you don’t have a good story and script, the best actors and technology will not make a good film.
Follow Stephanie’s career at The Audience Awards. Vote for her film in Live Action Shorts.
Check out Stephanie Sellars’ Trailer for “Lust Life.”
The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers, film schools and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films.