Martha Stephens

Martha Stephens was a critically acclaimed director and writer, whose third feature, "Land Ho!," premiered to rave reviews at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Born in West Virginia and raised in rural Kentucky, Stephens ... Read more »
Born: 03/12/1984 in Huntington, West Virginia, USA

Filmography

Writer (3)

Passenger Pigeons 2015 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Land Ho! 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Pilgrim Song 2011 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (3)

Passenger Pigeons 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

Land Ho! 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Pilgrim Song 2011 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (2)

Passenger Pigeons 2015 (Movie)

(Actor)

Vacation! 2011 (Movie)

Goth Girl (Actor)
Editor (1)

Passenger Pigeons 2015 (Movie)

(Editor)

Biography

Martha Stephens was a critically acclaimed director and writer, whose third feature, "Land Ho!," premiered to rave reviews at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Born in West Virginia and raised in rural Kentucky, Stephens was immersed in stories with rustic settings from a very young age. A relative of Jesse Stuart, a former Poet Laureate of Kentucky, Stephens and her family would sit around the house telling tales about small town folks in rural settings, which would influence her later filmmaking career. After high school, Stephens enrolled in the film program at the North Carolina School of the Arts. It was there that she became influenced by one of the school's former students - the widely-regarded filmmaker David Gordon Green - who began his career making small, personal films that were steeped in his bucolic Southern upbringing. Upon graduation, Stephens set out to make her own deeply personal film with "Passenger Pigeons" (2010). Set in her Eastern Kentucky home, this quiet drama beautifully weaved together several storylines over the course of one tragic weekend, and earned Stephens 2nd Place for Best Feature at the Appalachian Film Festival. Stephens's eagerly awaited follow-up, 2012's "Pilgrim Song," also took place in Kentucky and was regarded by film critics as one of the year's best indie dramas. For her third feature, Stephens recruited Green as her executive producer. The result was 2014's "Land Ho!," a road dramedy that took place in Iceland. The film premiered to stellar reviews at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was immediately picked up by Sony Pictures Classic for theatrical distribution, thus lending even further credence to Stephens' status as one of the most important young independent filmmakers of her generation.

EDUCATION

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Milestones

2014

Third feature "Land Ho!" debuts at Sundance to critical acclaim.

2010

Directorial debut, "Passenger Pigeons," is released.

Bonus Trivia

.

Stephens attended the same film school as director David Gordon Green, who later executive produced her third feature, "Land Ho!"

.

Stephens' first two features, "Passenger Pigeons" (2010) and "Pilgrim Song" (2012), were set in her home state of Kentucky.

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