Susanna Styron

Writer / Director / Producer

Susanna Styron
Credit: Marilyn Roos

Susanna is a writer and director for film and television, and a documentary filmmaker. Her most recent documentary feature, Out Of My Head, premiered in MoMA's Doc Fortnight and went on to win Best International Documentary at the Melbourne Documentary Film festival. Her dramatic short, House Of Teeth, which she wrote and directed, won numerous awards on the festival circuit, aired on Shorts TV, and is available on Amazon. She directed several episodes of Brooke Adams and Lynne Adams' web series All Downhill From Here.

Susanna's debut feature, Sony Pictures' Shadrach, starring Harvey Keitel and Andie MacDowell, premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was one of New York Press critic Armond White's top ten films of the year. Susanna wrote and directed for Sidney Lumet's TV series 100 Centre Street, and wrote for Tom Fontana's Borgia, and the Canadian series Lonesome Dove. She co-authored (with Bridget Terry) several TV movies for Hallmark Hall of Fame and Lifetime, including an adaptation of Ann Tyler's Back When We Were Grown-Ups, with Blythe Danner, Peter Fonda and Faye Dunaway; and the award-winning Taking Back Our Town, with Ruby Dee.

Susanna's other documentary credits as writer/director include 9/12: From Chaos to Community; In Our Own Backyards; and Suspended Sentence. She was an Associate Producer of FDR, for ABC-TV's documentary division, Close-Up.

Her personal essays have appeared in The Yale Revue, SPIN Magazine, The New York Times and Real Simple magazine.

Susanna serves on the Executive Committee of the Writers Guild Initiative; and the Special Projects Committee of the Directors Guild of America.

She currently has projects in development with The Levinson/Fontana Company, Cinetic Media, and EP/Showrunner Matt Lopez ("Promised Land," "Father of the Bride").

MOM Film Festival Best Director 2020 Newport Beach 2018 Melbourne Film Fest 2018 MoMA Doc Fortnight 2018 Motion Picture Festival 2018 Chicago Feminist Film Fest 2018 BerkshireInternational Film Festival 2018 Woods Hole 2017

FILM/TV

Out of My Head Poster
House of Teeth Poster
Shadrach Poster
9/12: from chaos to community
All Downhill From Here
100 Centre Street
In Our Own Backyards
Back When We Were Grown Ups
Borgia
Taking Back Our Town

Read the Detailed Filmography

PRINT JOURNALISM

Susanna has written personal essays for various publications. Her first published article for the Yale Revue recounted her experiences in Chile immediately following the military coup against Salvador Allende. Her essay about surviving the 1994 Northridge CA earthquake, and the difference in how men and women responded emotionally in its aftermath, appeared in the Hers column of the New York Times magazine. SPIN magazine published Susanna's account of the successful First Amendment lawsuit she and her colleagues brought against the USIA when it attempted to censor her documentary, In Our Own Backyards, overseas. Her account of her love affair with her stove and its place in her splintering family appeared in Real Simple magazine.

TEACHING

Susanna Styron teaching at Mediterranean Film Institute in Greece
Mediterranean Film Institute in Greece

As a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Princeton University, Susanna teaches the course Advanced Screenwriting: Writing for Television. She began teaching Directing in Columbia University's MFA film program in 1996, eventually becoming an adjunct associate professor. She has taught Screenwriting and Directing at NYU, both graduate and undergraduate; and Writing for Television at Long Island University, Columbia and Princeton. Susanna led Screenwriting workshops at the Mediterranean Film Institute in Greece for several years. As a member of the board and executive committee of the Writers Guild Initiative (WGI) Susanna regularly mentors in WGI's Writing Workshops for underserved communities.

Teaching CV

  • 2016 to Present: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY Visiting Lecturer, Writing for Television, Creative Writing Department
  • 2018 – 2020: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Adjunct Associate Professor, Television Writing, MFA Program, Film Division, School of the Arts
  • 2013 – 2018: NEW YORK UNIVERSITY Adjunct, Screenwriting, Undergraduate Film Program, Tisch School of the Arts
  • 2009 – 2014: NEW YORK UNIVERSITY Adjunct, Screenwriting/Directing, MFA Film Program, Tisch School of the Arts
  • 2013 – 2015: MEDITERRANEAN FILM INSTITUTE Instructor, Feature Film lab
  • 2012: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY Visiting Lecturer, Screenwriting, Creative Writing Department
  • 2012 – 2013: LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY Adjunct Associate Professor, Television Writing, MFA Program
  • 1996 – 2011: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Adjunct Associate Professor, Directing, MFA Program, Film Division, School of the Arts
  • 1994: NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY Film-making seminar