Award-winning indie film director Lynn Shelton has died, aged 54

Joe Mabel via Wikimedia

Lynn was famous for films like Humpday and Your Sister’s Sister.

Lynn Shelton, an award-winning indie film director known for films like Humpday and Your Sister’s Sister, has died at the age of 54. Variety reports that Lynn died on Friday (15 May) from a blood disease.

She was born in Ohio, but grew up in Seattle, and began directing and writing her first film, We Go Way Back, in 2004. However, she became more known in 2009 for her film Humpday, a comedy with saw two straight men attempt to make a gay erotic film. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Independence.

Lynn also won the Grand Jury Award at the Slamdance Film Festival for We Go Way Back, the Special Jury Prize for Direction at the Atlanta Film Festival for My Effortless Brilliance and the Someone to Watch Award at the 26th Independent Spirit Awards for My Effortless Brilliance.

She also directed other LGBTQ-comedies such as Your Sister’s Sister, which saw a man grieving the death of his brother come between his best friend and her lesbian sister, and Sword of Trust, which saw a female same-sex couple inherit a Civil War-era sword from a grandfather.

She also directed several episodes of LGBTQ-related TV series like Dickinson, The Mindy Project and GLOW. She also directed episodes for series like New Girl, Fresh Off the Boat, Mad Men and Little Fires Everywhere.

Lynn preferred directing as an indie film director, and turned down the chance to direct Marvel’s solo Black Widow film.

Speaking to IndieWire about her death, Beth Barrett, the artistic director at the Seattle International Film Festival, said: “It is really devastating, she truly was one of the good ones. Her collaborative spirit, and genuine-ness, made her a great artist and friend.

“SIFF was honored to have supported her films over the decades, opening the festival twice — Your Sister’s Sister in 2011, and then just last year with Sword of Trust. The Seattle film community is reeling, and she will be missed. Taken far, far, far too soon.”

In a 2012 interview with Out, Lynn came out as bisexual, saying: “There was a time where I had this fantasy that, if it weren’t for society’s taboos, anybody could fall in love with anybody.

“I’m kind of a shy bisexual, so I felt myself crushing on all kinds of people, including gay men.”

Lynn is survived by her husband Marc Maron, who she working with on a new drama film, son Milo and ex-husband Kevin Seal. She is also survived by her parents, Wendy and Alan Roedell and David Shelton and Frankie Rynd, as well as her two brothers, David Shelton and Robert Rynd and sister Tayna Rynd.

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