Best Screenplay – Tracy Sayre & Caroline Roberts, “Lily + Mara” (USA)

Title: Lily + Mara
Runtime: 11 min
Country: USA
Director: Caroline Roberts
Placement: Best Screenplay (Tracy Sayre & Caroline Roberts) + Award of Merit
Competition: March 31, 2017

Synopsis: The beach is probably the worst place to take a wheelchair-bound patient with a compromised immune system, but Mara will do anything to make her little sister, Lily, happy. As they share their favorite memories, Mara realizes this beach outing will become a treasured memory as well.


GS: What was the inspiration for your film?

CR: Family. I wanted to celebrate that simple, steadfast, everyday kind of love you can have with your siblings / parents / children. How do we depict that kind of profound relationship in 10 minutes or so?

GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

CR: I had the idea for this film in the summer of 2015. By January 2016, Tracy and I had a finished script. We started pre-production in February. We filmed over one weekend in late April. We spent a year in post production (mostly delayed by outside forces) and finished the film early on in April 2017.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

CR: Choosing which few brief moments to use that would best illustrate the story and life of our characters.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

CR: Having a day job while trying to do this dream job. The scheduling was difficult and shooting over just two days was anxiety inducing. But thankfully, everyone was lovely, it all went smoothly and we were very lucky.

GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

CR: Ask for help. The greatest thing I learned from this experience is how important and beneficial it was to ask for help. Because even if you don’t want to ask and even if you think you can do it all on your own, that’s just not what film is all about. The more passionate people to help you the better. And surprisingly enough, people generally do want to help! Be thoughtful about who you’re asking and why this would help you, then force yourself to ask politely and with no expectations. A side note — This is also the first film I’ve directed/produced/wrote. As my first venture and one I knew I would ask people to help me on, I made sure it was a project I could get behind with everything I had and completely follow through with. So by the time, I asked favors of people, they knew it wasn’t something that happened everyday, they knew it was extremely important to me and I think that made it much easier for them to say yes.