Lucy Sarasin

Born and raised in Basel, Switzerland, Lucy first joined a local theatre group at age twelve and went on to be a member of several theatre groups there, acting in both English and German.

After high school she moved to London to study Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. During the summer of 2019, she had a leading role in Brickfox Theater Company's Holy Sh*t that ran at both the Manchester Fringe and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2021, she moved to to New York, and attended the acclaimed Neighborhood Playhouse, School of the Theatre.

In 2023, she starred in "Heights", a short film she herself wrote. The film was co-directed by her and Samantha Herrera.


Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project about?
It portrays two strangers, desperate for love and connection in order to fill each of their individual voids. In a world in which dating has become so casual and elusive, these characters are brought together and forced to be vulnerable with each other, to show their true selves, no matter how damaged they might be. They finally discover that in the end, the cure for everyone's wounds is always the same: acceptance.


What were your requirements for actors to take a part of your film?
As a trained actor, it was paramount to me that the actors in my film be trained, highly skilled actor who knew exactly what they were doing. I was looking for actors that I already knew, that I had seen portray similar roles and that I knew would be able to embody these characters’ energies.

However, as every industry professional knows, it is not only talent that is important but also professionalism. While selecting the cast for Heights, I wanted to make sure that the actors I was choosing were going to be reliable and able to work in a professional environment. My film involves difficult topics of verbal, emotional and physical abuse and therefore required the actors to be able to deal with such difficult topics in a sensitive way.



How did you communicate with the cameraman?
We were lucky to be blessed with a wonderful cameraman, Will Armstrong who also functioned as our Gaffer. He was incredibly easy to work with and enabled most of our ideas to be realized. An aspect I think immensely helped was Will’s incredible grasp on this story, which meant that he always offered several of his own ideas as to what the best ways were to tell this story.

What locations did you choose for your project? And why?
Due to budgeting reasons we chose to shoot at my apartment and at my co-director, Samantha Herrera’s apartment. The whole idea for this screenplay actually came to me while I was sitting on my terrace in New York City, looking into the windows of the building opposite me.

So, essentially you could say that this story was inspired by its location.

The film deals, among other things, with the topic of loneliness. Skye’s terrace was used to amplify this, showing the many surrounding high-rises full of windows, all with people inside of them. Skye is constantly surrounded by people, yet still feels alone. In this way, the big city itself becomes its own character in the story.



Why should distributors buy your film?
To me, Heights is an extremely important story because it grapples with problems many young people struggle with today. First, we live in a world in which dating and true, genuine love has become more and more elusive. The rise of dating apps has created a culture of inauthenticity and perpetual mistrust.

The film also deals with issues of abuse within romantic relationships and how people can become so lonely that they would rather stay in an abusive relationship than risk the daunting alternative: being alone.

Due to these important and relevant topics, I believe strongly that this film should be seen and therefore, widely distributed.


What expression elements did you use in your project? How would you characterize your work?We worked a lot with lighting and using warm/cold colours to express the different moods of the scenes. The film also features a lot of often contrasting monologues. This was a way of showing the characters’ inner worlds and showing how they’re perspectives gradually shift during the film. The monologues also served to demonstrate how the characters become increasingly more honest with each other.

Memory and evocation were used to show the characters’ trauma and how it is often relived, over and over again.


At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already premiered? If so, where?
The film has just been submitted to various festivals in the US, Canada and Europe but has not yet premiered. We are still awaiting acceptances.

What motivated you to become a filmmaker?
Firstly, I love film and spend a lot of my time watching films of all kinds and from many different countries.

Being an actor primarily, and having acted since I was a child, I am someone who loves to tell stories. Not only is film my favourite form of storytelling, but the cinematic language is also something that I believe I have firm grasp on. Another thing I love about filmmaking is that it is able to be distributed widely due to its digital nature. I like the idea that I could show my film to someone all the way across the globe with just a click of a button.

Which movies are your favorites? And why?
I always find this an extremely difficult question to answer! There are so many!

Licorice Pizza has become one of my favourite movies. I remember after first seeing it in the cinema and how I wasn’t able to stop thinking about it for months. I think it is shot beautifully on 70MM, and that its characters feel and look like real people as opposed to dolled up, perfect looking movie stars. Both Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffmann have something very special and unique about them that instantly drew me in. The soundtrack of this movie is also wonderful and one of the best that I know of. It personally reminds me of what it feels like to be young,care-free, and having the world at your feet.

Another one of my favourites is Her by Spike Jonze, which was a big inspiration for Heights. It deals with the subject of deep loneliness and also the huge, and ever growing subject of AI and its influence on humans. It raises highly fascinating questions about companionship and romantic relationships and whether AI will finally be the solution to our loneliness.

What topics do you like to deal with in your work?
In my work, I like to deal with the masks people often wear in their everyday lives in order to be “acceptable” in society and how this differs from who they truly are.

I love moments in which people finally decide they want to be seen, truly, for exactly who they are and who they decide to show their true sides to.

 What genre do you like to shoot and why?
I don’t particularly like the idea of “genre”. I mean, if, for example, you’re shooting a particularly gory horror film then yes, it should be labelled as such. But if a movie is something in between as most are, in my view, it almost feels derogatory to label it as one single genre. Personally, my favourite movies are always ones that are in-between, that perhaps display a variety of different, sometimes even contrasting genres.

 What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?
I am currently working on a new screenplay about a woman who suffers from insomnia, which leads her to wander through the streets in the middle of the night and experience her life all of a sudden fall apart.

How has COVID affected your film life?
As an actor it was challenging. When the pandemic was in full swing in 2020/2021 I was looking for jobs as an actor and was struggling immensely. There was almost no work to be found at all.

However, in an unexpected way, the pandemic marked the beginning of my journey as a screenwriter. During this time, I was so desperate for something to keep me occupied that I began to write, at first anything that sprang to mind. I quickly found that it was one of the only things that truly made me feel joy. I felt I could escape into my own worlds that made me temporarily forget about the present. I loved the endless possibilities writing gave me.

 What do you do if you're not thinking about a movie? What are your hobbies?
I love to cook and do it almost every day! Nutrition is very important to me, there’s nothing better than a home cooked meal.

I like to exercise and do a lot of Yoga and jogging. I also love to read.

 What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
I want to try all different kinds of projects! I have many different ideas for both short films and feature films. At the moment, I am interested in exploring the subject of the dreams and the unconscious.