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In person, Sarah Polley is petite, polite, and elegant. She is at pains to put interviewers at ease, and equally so when answering their questions. There is nothing rote or stale about what Polley has to say. Career-wise, she is equally elegant, but also trenchant and an enormous talent. In her maiden effort directing a feature-length narrative, AWAY FROM HER, she garnered an Oscar(tm) nomination for her star, Julie Christie. STORIES WE TELL is a documentary about Sarah Polley’s family, a biography of it, if you will, in which truth is a relative thing. Centering on her late mother, Joanna Polley, a larger than life actress, wife and mother, Polley’s film careens through the memories of family and friends as Sarah pieces together the myths, secrets, and surprising bonds of her extended family, bonds that are irrevocably altered, and yet oddly stay the same, when she discovers that the family joke of her father not being related to her may actually be true, and she then goes on a search to find out who her biological father might actually be. As an actress, Polley has starred in Terry Gilliam’s THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN, Atom Egoyan’s THE SWEET HEREAFTER, David Cronenberg’s EXISTENZ, Hal Hartley’s NO SUCH THING, and Vincenzo Natali’s SPLICE. Polley made her feature-length directing debut in 2008 with the acclaimed AWAY FROM HER, which was nominated for the Academy Award as best adapted screenplay and won the Genie Award for Best Achievement in Direction (the first woman to do so). At the 2008 Genies, she was also awarded the Claude Jutra Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement by a first-time feature film director.
Click here to listen to the interview (8:48) STORIES WE TELL — Sarah Polley Interview