Director Lynn Shelton Dead

Many notable names have passed away due to complications from coronavirus, but today brings the shocking and unexpected news of indie film and television director Lynn Shelton dying at 54 years old from other complications. The filmmaker worked on everything from mumblecore indie movies like Humpday and Your Sister’s Sister to hit television shows like Mad Men and GLOW, and sadly she unexpectedly died yesterday from a previously unidentified blood disorder.

Comedian and actor Marc Maron, who was not only a creative collaborator but a recent romantic partner, made a statement to IndieWire confirming the news of Lynn Shelton dead at a tragically young age. Maron said:

“I have some awful news. Lynn passed away last night. She collapsed yesterday morning after having been ill for a week. There was a previously unknown, underlying condition. It was not COVID-19. The doctors could not save her. They tried. Hard.

I loved her very much as I know many of you did as well. It’s devastating. I am leveled, heartbroken and in complete shock and don’t really know how to move forward in this moment. I needed you all to know. I don’t know some of you. Some I do. I’m just trying to let the people who were important to her know.

She was a beautiful, kind, loving, charismatic artist. Her spirit was pure joy. She made me happy. I made her happy. We were happy. I made her laugh all the time. We laughed a lot. We were starting a life together. I really can’t believe what is happening. This is a horrendous, sad loss.”

Lynn Shelton’s career started at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2006, which operates close to and at the same time as the Sundance Film Festival, with a movie called We Go Way Back. The film earned the Grand Jury Prize and she found film festival acclaimed again with My Effortless Brilliance at SXSW in 2008.

But it was her film Humpday starring Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard that gave her a big breakthrough at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and boosted the indie film movement known as mumblecore, featuring naturalistic acting and dialogue (sometimes improvised), low-budget, an emphasis on dialogue over plot, and a focus on the personal relationships of people in their 20s and 30s. She would continue that trend by writing, directing, producing, and editing films such as Your Sister’s Sister, Touchy Feely, Laggies, and Outside In, and she most recently directed Sword of Trust, which starred Marc Maron.

Shelton also had great success directing television, having worked on shows such as New Girl, The Mindy Project, Master of None, Shameless, The Good Place, Santa Clarita Diet, Fresh Off the Boat, A.P. Bio, and GLOW. Shelton was still working hard right up until her untimely passing having recently directed episodes of Apple TV+ series Dickinson and The Morning Show, as well as Hulu’s new limited series Little Fires Everywhere.

Shelton’s passing is stunning and tragic. She was not just one of the finest female filmmakers working today, but a fantastic director in general. Her passing is a loss that will be deeply felt by the film industry, and we are truly saddened to have lost such a vital and unique filmmaking voice. Our thoughts go out to her friends and family during this difficult time. Rest in peace.

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