Talent Guide

Heather Lenz

  • Discipline:Director, Producer
  • Program Year:Documentary Lab 2013


Writer, director and producer Heather Lenz is passionate about documentaries and biography pictures. She is particularly interested in making films about compelling individuals, subcultures, the arts and certain political topics. Lenz made her first experimental biographical films in super 8 and 16mm as an undergraduate double majoring in Art History and Fine Arts. She briefly exhibited her own art in New York and worked on a photo documentary project supported with a grant before earning her MFA in Cinematic Arts at USC. There she directed two short documentaries Intertwined Lives (about the dark side of having an identical twin) and Back to Back (about an inventor who creates an unusual bicycle for two and learns there is more to cycling than winning races). Back to Back was nominated for a Student Academy Award.

KUSAMA: Princess of Polka Dots is told through the point of view of scholars, contemporaries and Kusama herself. An article Lenz wrote about Kusama was published by Specialten and she has also lectured about Kusama. Lenz is working on the Kusama film in collaboration with producer Karen Johnson. In 2012 Lenz edited a seven-minute video about Kusama for the Tate Modern Museum for use in conjunction with a Kusama retrospective. The video has been posted to YouTube and has received over 100,000 views (www.kusamadocumentary.com).

Current Project

KUSAMA: Princess of Polka Dots


Trailblazer Yayoi Kusama's turbulent quest to become a world famous artist is documented in KUSAMA: Princess of Polka Dots. As a rival of Warhol in the 60s, Kusama battled sexism and racism in America while her hallucinations of polka dots eventually led her to the Tokyo mental institution she has called home for over 30 years.