Guest of Honor – Madeleine Olnek

Film director, producer, screenwriter and playwright, Madeleine Olnek has written 24 plays; three of which have been adapted into film. Olnek’s body-of-work can be described as “screwball comedies with absurdist tendencies” and are usually focused on unorthodox lesbian characters.
Born in New York and raised in Connecticut, Olnek studied Drama at NYU and graduated in 1987. She also holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Brown University and an MA in Film Studies from Columbia.
Olnek started realizing that technological strides made in the film industry have made it both immediate and possible and therefore, turned her focus to filmmaking.
In 2006, she directed her first short film, Hold up, and in 2009, another short – Countertransference. Both were shown at the Sundance Film Festival, while the latter earned her a creative women’s grant, as well as an honorary award at our own TLVFest, back in 2010.
In 2011, Olnek broke out with the brilliant comedy, Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same that was nominated for Best US Film at Sundance. Her second feature film, The Foxy Merkins was also shown at Sundance, and a slew of other festivals.
Olnek received a research grant from Harvard University and the Guggenheim Foundation in order to write a film adaptation of her original play, Wild Nights with Emily, that went on to become her third, feature-length film.

The festival will host a master class with Madeleine Olnek & feature two of her films:
– Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (2011)
– Wild Nights with Emily (2018)