Madeleine Olnek


The 20th annual Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.

DIRECTOR: Madeleine Olnek


Margaret is a down-on-her-luck lesbian hooker-in-training. She meets Jo, a beautiful, self-assured grifter from a wealthy family and an expert on picking-up women, even as she considers herself a card-carrying heterosexual. The duo hit the streets where they encounter bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservative women and husky-voiced seductresses. Navigating the bizarre fetishes and sexual needs of their “dates” brings into focus the hilarious and pathetic disparity between the two hookers, as fellow travelers who will share the road together but only for a while.


MADELEINE OLNEK is a writer and director who honed her skills in downtown New York City venues with over 20 produced plays – all comedies. She is one of the authors of A Practical Handbook for the Actor (foreword by David Mamet), and was awarded the William Goldman Screenwriting Fellowship and the Adrienne Shelly Award for Best Female Director at Columbia University. Her first feature, Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Sundance 2011) was called “hilarious” by The Hollywood Reporter, and is viewable online with her short films Countertransference and Hold Up. She was recently awarded a New York State Council For The Arts grant for her upcoming film project. Her most recent project, The Foxy Merkins, premiered at Sundance’s NEXT WEEKEND festival and is an official selection of Sundance 2014.