Lisanne Skyler

A native New Yorker, Lisanne Skyler is a writer and director of fiction and nonfiction films. Lisanne's debut feature film Getting To Know You, an adaptation of three short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, co-written with her sister Tristine, played in the 1999 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition and opened the 1999 Venice Film Festival Critics Week.

The film was released in Italy by Key Films, where it was a critical and commercial success; in the United States, Getting To Know You premiered theatrically at New York City's legendary Film Forum, played in art house cinemas across the country, and was broadcast on Sundance Channel. Getting To Know You received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, and The Chicago Tribune, and garnered "Two Thumbs Up" from Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper.

Lisanne's documentary films include the award-winning short Oldtimers (1993), a black-and-white portrayal of the regulars of a San Francisco Irish bar; the 1995 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Competition entry No Loans Today, about a black-owned pawnshop in post-riot South Central Los Angeles; and Dreamland, a portrayal of the struggle of compulsive gamblers living in Las Vegas. No Loans Today and Dreamland were broadcast on POV, PBS's independent documentary film series.

Lisanne recently co-wrote and directed the short film Capture the Flag based on the 1970s coming-of-age novel by Rebecca Chace. The film was selected for the 2010 Aspen Shortsfest International Competition, the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and the Mill Valley Film Festival and won the Showtime Tony Cox Award for Best Short at the Nantucket Film Festival. Her documentary Brillo Box (3 ¢ off) is about an iconic Andy Warhol sculpture once owned by her family, and the dramatically changing economic and social circumstances in which it changed hands from collector to collector over the past 40 years.

Lisanne's fiction work includes the feature film version of Capture the Flag and an adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates novel Starr Bright Will Be With You Soon. A faculty member of the University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film, and Television, Lisanne has served on juries, panels, and selection committees for the Sundance Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival, and the American Film Institute Film Fest.

Icarus Films distributes two films by Lisanne Skyler. Discover more of our featured filmmakers.


Takes a sharp but disarming approach in examining the romance of gambling, and reveals the decidedly unromantic reality.

Lisanne Skyler | 2001 | 71 minutes | Color | English

Fringe banking in redlined, post-riot South Central Los Angeles.

Lisanne Skyler | 1995 | 55 minutes | Color | English