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Lena Dunham – An Indie Film Hero

02/07/2013
Industry News

(By Theresa Syn)

“I think that I may be the voice of my generation…or, at least, a voice of a generation.” An ambitious statement coming from Hannah – the self-loathing, financially unstable aspiring writer from HBO’s hit series, “Girls.”

But it wouldn’t be so, if it came from the writer and director of the show, 26 year-old, Lena Dunham. New to the business, Dunham has already taken the film industry by storm. Recently, she bagged two Golden Globe awards – one for Best Actress in Comedy or Musical and another for Best Comedy or Musical for “Girls.”


Dunham with her win at the 2013 Golden Globes Award Ceremony

Largely influenced by Dunham’s real-life experiences, “Girls” is a comedy-drama that follows a group of twenty-something friends living in New York City and the problems that each of them face. The show received high praise for showing its honest portrayal of women in their twenties. However, others felt that it lacked diversity and the representation of minority groups. Despite this criticism, HBO confirmed a third season for “Girls” even before the premier of the second season on January 25th, 2013.


Dunham directs, writes and plays frustrated Hannah in ‘Girls’

Things are only getting better for Dunham. With two Golden Globe wins under her belt, she is set to work on another comedy for HBO based on the life of high-profile personal shopper, Betty Halbreich, who has dressed the likes of Joan Rivers, Meryl Streep and Sarah Jessica Parker. Apart from showbiz, she also landed a 3.5 million dollar book deal for her collection of essays titled “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned.”

It’s hard to imagine that just 3 years ago, Dunham was a 23-year-old college graduate living in her parent’s loft. It all changed when Dunham submitted her second feature film, “Tiny Furniture,” to the South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival where it won the festival’s top prize. Following that, she received a nomination for Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Awards and a chance to work with Comedy producer, Judd Apatow on “Girls.”


23 year-old Dunham in her second feature, ‘Tiny Furniture’ 

Dunham is truly an indie film hero who’s not afraid to show the world the raw, unpolished side of women – at her own expense. In “Girls,” Dunham often flaunts her less than perfect naked body and bare face, while other times trudging around in ill-fitting clothes. Her courage to recognize the difficulties and problems she encountered in her life allows her to capture the frustration of fellow twenty-something year olds who constantly feel like they’re ‘almost kind of getting it together.’ Her art is refreshing and unlike anything seen in Hollywood, which is exactly the reason why she has skyrocketed to success.

Another thing Dunham proved to the world is that there are eyes always looking out for talent. She never expected that her humble film shot on her Sony Camcorder would win the top prize at SXSW, paving the way for her first TV series, and her eventual Golden Globes. Just like most filmmakers, she had a talent, a camera, a story to tell and she did. So to all filmmakers, get out there and show your stuff. You’re never too young to start. Start here!

2 thoughts on “Lena Dunham – An Indie Film Hero

  1. Pingback: Editorial: NFFTY blog | Theresa Syn – An Online Portfolio

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