Lauren Wolkstein is a New York City-based filmmaker originally from Baltimore, Maryland. Her debut feature The Strange Ones, starring James Freedson-Jackson and Alex Pettyfer, premiered at SXSW to critical acclaim in 2017 and was released theatrically by Vertical Entertainment in the US and by Epicentre Films in France in 2018. It was selected by John Waters as one of the top ten films of the year in Artforum Magazine. She co-directed the film with Christopher Radcliff, based on their Sundance short of the same name. Lauren’s previous shorts, including Social Butterfly (Sundance ’13) and Cigarette Candy (SXSW ’10 Grand Jury Prize), have played festivals around the world. She most recently directed an episode of Queen Sugar for the show’s third season. In 2013, Filmmaker Magazine listed her as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film." Wolkstein is a 2017-2018 Women at Sundance Fellow through the Sundance Institute. Lauren received her M.F.A. in film directing from Columbia University and is an assistant professor of film and media arts at Temple University. While in residence, she completed a new draft of her feature film screenplay Heaven Or Las Vegas, which is set to go into production in 2020.