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Poster for The Starling Girl (2023)
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The Starling Girl (2023)

Opens on May 26

Director: Laurel Parmet Run Time: 116 min. Release Year: 2023

Starring: Claire Elizabeth Green, Eliza Scanlen, Jimmi Simpson, Lewis Pullman, Wrenn Schmidt

Country: United States
Language: English

About the film:

Official Selection, 2023 Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection, 2023 SXSW Film Festival

Seventeen-year-old Jem Starling struggles to define her place within her fundamentalist Christian community in rural Kentucky. Even her greatest joy of dancing with the church group is tempered by worry that her actions are sinful and she is caught between a burgeoning awareness of her own sexuality and her religious devotion. With the return of Owen, an enigmatic youth pastor, Jem soon finds herself attracted to his worldliness and charm. Slowly, he draws her into a dangerous relationship that could upend their entire community.

“sensitive and devilishly detailed… rooted in the friction that it finds between biblical paternalism and modern personhood”

—David Ehrlich, IndieWire

The film went on to receive a 2024 Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Screenplay.

About the filmmaker:

Laurel Parmet is an American screenwriter and director who premiered her feature directorial debut The Starling Girl (2023) in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. She received her MFA in directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has written and directed several award-winning short films, including Spring (2017), which screened at SXSW, Outfest, and Palm Springs, and Kira Burning (2018), which premiered at SXSW and screened at MoMA in the Future of Film is Female series. Among other projects, she’s a 2019 fellow in Ryan Murphy’s TV Director Mentorship Program and her music videos put her on the shortlist for the Young Director Awards at the Cannes Lions Festival.

Parmet developed The Starling Girl (2023) as a fellow of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program and was named one of Variety‘s 10 Directors to Watch for 2023.

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