Remember that first lie you ever told? The one you thought you got away with… and launched a lifetime of lying? After Robbie’s dead mother appears to him in a dream – demanding to be rescued from a really boring time in Heaven – Robbie is forced to confront the lie that started a lifetime of deception. LIELAND has premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, at its short film corner. It has started on its festival circuit run in the US and Europe.
Directed by Silvia Grossmann Based on the Original Story: LieLand, by Etgar Keret Adapted for the screen by Silvia Grossmann Executive Producer – Marcia Ghitnick Produced by Ken Huffman, Robert Campagna, Alexander Nowak Director of Photography – Jonathan Barenboim Production Design – Andrew Chittenden, Prerna Chawla, Silvia Grossmann Edited by Leli Figueiredo, Fernanda Tornaghi, Ritvik Mayank, Silvia Grossmann Sound Design – Bethany Sparks Animation – Andrew Malek Music – Hugo Pioli
STARRING Whit Spurgeon Jarid Root Susan Fisher Brehon Humphrey
Silvia Grossmann is a storyteller, at first in illustration, photography and now film. She likes to chronicle the absurdity of life and aspires to live according to the Oscar Wilde maxim: “If you must tell the truth, do so with humor — otherwise people will kill you.” Her photographs have been shown all over the world, and recently in the Museum of Modern Art. Her latest film has premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. She is currently working on ‘Day of Glory”, a documentary about Carnaval in her native Brazil.
Back in 2010, Silvia heard the short story “LieLand” air on the radio show “This American Life”, while driving in LA. She pulled over to the highway’s shoulder, in awe, and thought: “I have to make this film!”
In film school at the time, she pondered how she could possibly approach the author, the writer Etgar Keret — a kind of Israeli Charlie Kauffman – who’s published several books, writes in the New York Times, and is translated in 40 languages.
“I decided I would test the 6-degrees of separation theory. But then I thought, given that he is Jewish and I’m Jewish, there should only be three degrees between us…” She then proceeded to talk to everyone she knew and ask if they knew someone who knew someone who might know Etgar Keret. Nine months later, she finally met an Israeli who, despite not knowing who the writer was, understatedly promised: “Let me see what I can do”. A couple of days later, Silvia gets an email from this guy’s sister, who says: “So my brother says you wanted to get in touch with Etgar Keret — Well, Etgar and I were schoolmates for 15 years — I’ve already mentioned your name and sent him your address, and he will get in touch with you soon.
At first Silvia didn’t quite believe it. A week later, to her surprise, Etgar sent her an email, asked to see her previous films, and in a very generous gesture, gave her the rights to shoot LieLand. Lieland was crowdsource-financed through Kickstarter in 2011, and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013.