Marjorie Sturm is an award-winning filmmaker whose films span a broad perspective: narrative, documentary, and experimental. In 2015, her film "The Cult of JT Leroy" screened around the world, garnering prizes and recognitions. She was a cinematographer and Bay Area media wrangler for the 99% Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film that had its' premiere at Sundance in 2013. She received the Grand Festival Award at the Berkeley Video and Film Festival for her short narrative "Smoke the Pipe Dream." Her seven films are distributed internationally by Pax Recordings. Sturm creates social activism videos for the non-profit Consumers Union. Previously, she worked many years as a case manager with the mentally ill homeless. Sturm has traveled extensively, living for periods in Mexico, Nepal, India, and Israel in order to study poetry, music, and comparative religion. Sturm received her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and her MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University. She is the younger sibling of the graphic novelist James Sturm and the painter/photographer Ilona Sturm. Sturm lives in San Francisco with composer Ernesto Diaz-Infante and their two children.
[bio courtesy of the filmmaker]
“'A literary hoax that picked up extraordinary steam before imploding is charted in “The Cult of JT LeRoy.” Having begun filming the subject in 2002, and with a background in social work uniquely congruent with “his” background claims, Marjorie Sturm draws on a rich array of material to assemble a first documentary feature that’s fascinating on numerous levels."” - Dennis Harvey
“It’s an analyst’s field day: brimming with projection and transference, Shadow and persona, relative truth and infinite lies. The power of emotional manipulation is staggering, and disturbing to observe . . . what ensures the film’s success is that it’s more than “just” a re-telling of a hoax. Issues of ethics, feminism, ageism, and ingrained commercial biases in the art and literary worlds round out this engrossing exposé. The Cult of JT LeRoy holds up a cracked mirror, probing into the complex cultural, psychological, and socially-reinforced motivations for pulling off, and buying into, such a scam. And why, for a time, it was enormously successful."” - Noelle Elia
“"As a connoisseur of pornography, I most appreciated Sturm’s fresh take on human sexuality in Voice or No Voice. At just under ten minutes, the film expressed more about the soul, human condition, and erotica than one would find in thousands of mainstream pornographic flicks, combined." ” - Kerri Provost