During the past year and amidst a pandemic, Lena Dunham has apparently been very busy writing and directing her newest film Sharp Stick, according to a Variety exclusive. The writer, filmmaker, actor, and activist had kept the project a secret until its unveiling at the 2021 European Film Market on Tuesday. Sharp Stick is the first film to come from Dunham as a writer-director since her SXSW award-winning debut feature Tiny Furniture in 2010.
Sharp Stick is financed by FilmNation and Dunham’s production company Good Thing Going. The indie project came into fruition under the direction of almost exclusively female-led departments and filmed in LA in compliance with Covid-19 protocol. Upon discussing the production of Sharp Stick, Dunham told Variety, “I made my last feature film 11 years ago in my family home with just a few close friends. It’s a testament to FilmNation and my incredible producers, cast, crew and — especially — my COVID-19 compliance team that this experience felt just as intimate and creatively free.”
The film’s storyline has yet to be revealed but what we do know is that Sharp Stick features an impressive cast ranging from fresh faces to familiar favorites. The ensemble includes: Kristine Froseth (The Assistant, Looking for Alaska), Taylour Paige (Zola, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight, Single White Female), Jon Bernthal (Ford v Ferrari), Scott Speedman (You Season 3), and Dunham, herself. What Dunham has shared about the storyline is that it’s “incredibly personal” to her and marks a continuation of her “career-long mission to create a free dialogue around the complexities of female sexuality and to turn the idea of the ‘likable’ female protagonist on its head.”
Hopefully, we’ll receive the quick wit and unapologetic honesty about the female experience that Dunham has delivered in past projects like the uber successful HBO series Girls (2012-2017) and her quirky essays published in the likes of Vogue and the New York Times. Dunham is currently serving as executive producer on the new series Genera+ion for HBOmax, as well as directing the film Catherine Called Birdy, a coming-of-age tale set medieval times, for Working Title.
Sharp Stick is produced by Kevin Turen, Katia Washington, Michael P. Cohen, Dunham and Good Thing Going’s Soham Joglekar. It is executive produced by Kenneth Yu and Will Greenfield, Glen Basner and Ben Browning for FilmNation, Harrison Kreiss and actors Taylour Paige and Jon Bernthal. FilmNation will handle all EFM sales, as it holds universal rights to the film with CAA Media Finance co-handling domestic rights.