Mary Sweeney

Board Chair

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Mary Sweeney is an award-winning feature film producer, director, writer, and editor. Beginning with Blue Velvet in 1985 and continuing through his 2006 film Inland Empire, she collaborated with David Lynch as his film producer, writer and editor. She edited Twin Peaks (1990), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), Hotel Room (HBO, 1993), Lost Highway (1996), The Straight Story (2000) and Mulholland Drive (2001). She was awarded a British Academy Award for Best Editing in 2001 for Mulholland Drive. Sweeney wrote the screenplay for The Straight Story for which Richard Farnsworth received an Academy Award nomination. Her producing credits include Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire (2006), directed by Lynch, and Baraboo (2009), her directorial debut based on her original screenplay. She is currently working as a consulting producer and writer on Matthew Weiner’s series for Amazon, The Romanoffs. Sweeney is the Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Professor of film at USC, where she teaches Graduate Screenwriting Thesis and “Dreams, The Brain and Storytelling.”

She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the LA Film Festival and the screening series Film Independent at LACMA. She is a founding member and Vice President of the Desert X, a site-specific art exhibition in the Coachella Valley. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Review of Books. Sweeney is also a Fulbright Specialist and has traveled to Jordan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Myanmar, Egypt and Cuba to work with filmmakers in those countries.