Director Debra Granik on ‘Leave No Trace’

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The new movie ‘Leave No Trace’ tells the story of a father and daughter living contentedly and almost invisibly off-the-grid in Forest Park, the 5200-acre woods inside the city limits of Portland, Oregon.

The father, played by Ben Foster, is a widowed veteran, adept at survival techniques, but haunted by nightmares from his time in the service.

He and his daughter Tom, played by Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, spend their days foraging for food, waterproofing their shelter and practicing for the day when they might have to elude the authorities.

That day comes sooner, rather than later.

‘Leave No Trace’ is directed by Debra Granik. Her previous feature, ‘Winter’s Bone,’ was an indie breakout in 2010, picking up four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress for a then-unknown Jennifer Lawrence.

We connected with Granik at a studio in New York, and talked about what she’s been up to the past eight years, why she prefers to cast local people when possible, and she tells us what her next project will be...if she can get the funding.




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker