Director BIOS: Juliet Johnson, Venita Ozols-Graham (LIFT)

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Juliet is the writer and co-director / co-producer of LIFT. She is an NYU Film alumni, and has worked in the film industry on and off since leaving NYU. She has written ten screenplays, had six short plays produced in various theaters in NYC, LA, Seattle and Annapolis (as well as having them published in playwriting anthologies). She’s published a comedic book of essays called Somebody’s Always Hungry, and has published numerous short stories and essays in anthologies, newspapers and magazines around the country. She has also written two novels.

Venita is the other co-director / co-producer of LIFT. She is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and a previous DGA Award nominee. She’s enjoyed a successful run in production in film and TV, working on projects such as the hit TV shows Veronica Mars, CSI, The Shield, The District, and The X Files. She’s segued into writing, producing and directing and has written numerous screenplays as well as produced and directed the indie feature Black Widows. Her horror short, Used Body Parts, was a film festival hit last year, winning several awards and getting distribution on Amazon. She starts this year’s film festival season with two new shorts she’s produced, Angel and Amy’s in the Freezer.

Director Statement

We have a dream. We want to make an independent feature film called The Jed and Maisie Story. We are making it a piece at a time, a series of short movies. First, in the Spring of 2018, we shot CHICKEN and then at the beginning of December. we shot LIFT.

LIFT is not merely a ride in a car; it is, we think, the whole roller coaster. Several years after Jed has split with Maisie and is finally managing to feel a little sane, she unexpectedly gets into the Uber vehicle he drives. For a few brave moments, Jed is over Maisie; then, like lightening striking, Jed is over nothing. Maisie is still Maisie, wonderful and exasperating. Fireworks ensue, it’s hard to tell whether they’re the good or bad kind.

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