Writer & Director
Megan Griffiths is a writer/director working in film and television. She has directed shows for HBO (ROOM 104), EPIX (GRAVES), TNT (ANIMAL KINGDOM), and Netflix (THE SOCIETY). Prior to this, she wrote and directed the thriller THE NIGHT STALKER, starring Lou Diamond Phillips as serial killer Richard Ramirez. Her film LUCKY THEM starring Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church and Johnny Depp premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was distributed by IFC Films. Megan’s film EDEN, based on the true story of a young woman captured into the world of human trafficking, was a breakout at SXSW 2012, winning the Emergent Narrative Director Award, the Audience Award for Narrative Feature as well as a Special Jury Prize for lead actress Jamie Chung. Megan’s feature THE OFF HOURS, distributed by Film Movement, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Additionally, she has produced several other projects including Lynn Shelton’s YOUR SISTER’S SISTER and the Sundance absurdist buddy comedy THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM. Megan and Lynn Shelton also co-wrote a feature for This American Life, and together with producer Gregg Fienberg sold an original pitch to HBO. In her adopted hometown of Seattle, Megan was the recipient of the 2012 Stranger Genius Award for Film, was named the 2013 City Arts Film Artist of the Year, and received the 2015 Seattle Mayor’s Award for Film. She is the vice president of the board of the Northwest Film Forum and is an active advocate for sustainable production.
Megan’s sixth feature film, entitled SADIE, which stars Melanie Lynskey, John Gallagher Jr, Danielle Brooks and Tony Hale, and features breakout performances from its young stars Sophia Mitri Schloss and Keith L. Williams, premiered at the 2018 South by Southwest Film Festival and is now available via iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu and on Videos on Demand through cable providers all over the country. Megan also writes about her experiences in the entertainment industry for her blog Thoughts on Film, and discusses recent releases for the film commentary site The Talkhouse.
I am a writer/director working in film and television. I have premiered films at top-tier film festivals such as Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and South by Southwest, and I have directed episodes of television for HBO, EPIX, TNT and Netflix. My focus is on empathy-centered storytelling, and I work hard to understand the motivations of the characters in every narrative, as I think that helps me and the audience to better understand the people in our own lives.
I think my biggest success is that I have persevered in an extremely challenging industry and been able to build a career doing something I truly love.
Every moment when I’m not actively on set directing, because those are the moments when I’m trying to build something new—and that always feels next to impossible.
Leave every room you enter better than you found it.
My role model is my late mother, who spent her life in service to children as a clinical social worker. She instilled a deep sense of empathy in me, as well as positivity, joy and humor.
How did you get into the industry?
I fell in love with film in high school and spent the seven years of my under-graduate and graduate school life falling more deeply in love. After receiving my MFA from Ohio University, I moved to Seattle to see if I might be able to make a career in the city where I felt most at home. I got a day job so I could support myself and spent the next five years working on small films for free on my nights and weekends. Eventually, I got enough experience to be able to quit my day job and work as 1st Assistant Director. I freelanced in that role for five more years before finally making my breakout film THE OFF HOURS, which premiered at Sundance in 2011.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Work to understand who you are and what makes you unique, then make sure that is present in your work. It will make your work specific to you, and give it a point of view that could only come from you.
My Daily Thoughts:
Goal of the Day: To have fun, learn something and be kind.
Tip of the Day: Always look for the win-win. Don’t rely on favors or luck. Work to ensure that your creative relationships benefit you AND those with whom you are collaborating.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
I live in Seattle, WA, and love the water and mountain views around every corner and the excellent vegetarian food.
Favorite breakfast meal?
Eggs over-easy on Dave’s Killer Good Seed Bread with a little Cholula. And hot coffee.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Water and coffee, and the occasional glass of boxed wine.
What should everyone try at least once?
Understanding the perspective of someone they disagree with.