Q&A with filmmaker Christina Lauren Beck

Christina Lauren Beck, filmmaker

Award winning director, writer, actress Christina Beck began her career as a punk rock teenager acting in cult films such as SuburbiaBoys Next Door, and Dudes all directed by Penelope Spheeris. She studied at Playwright’s Horizons in New York City forming an all-female theatre company, POW (Power of Women) productions, and wrote, produced and starred in “From the Heart” premiering at the Samuel Beckett Theatre. After writing, directing and acting in numerous Los Angeles theatre productions, Christina wrote and starred in her first short film, DISCO MAN, followed by the noir comedy, BLOW ME, which screened in the New York, Chicago, and Seattle Underground Film Festivals. 

Christina was one of the few women accepted into Fox Searchlight’s new director’s program, Search Lab, where she directed, wrote and starred in the short film version of her feature film script, SLICE, which screened in Cannes. Her feature screenplay Slice, now titled Perfection, was one of five contenders for the IFP Best Screenplay Award, part of the IFP market, selected for the IFP rough cut labs in New York, winner of The Adrienne Shelly female directing grant, and chosen to be IFP’s “Spotlight Screening” of the year sponsored by Time Warner and SAG indie. Perfection ran the festival circuit where Christina won Best Actor and Best Narrative feature at the Oxford Film Festival and screened at the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival, the USA Film Festival, The Rio Cinema in London, The Reel Recovery film festival at the Quad Cinema in NYC, and Laemmle’s Monica Film Center in Santa Monica, CA. Christina is co- founder of The Female Filmmaking Collective; a member of Film Fatales, Alliance of women directors and is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. 

Christina has sat on the juries for The Feminist Film Festival, London, The South Eastern European Film Festival, The 100 Word Festival in Charlotte, NC. and The USA Film Festival, Dallas. Upcoming projects include, Size 10 and Expecting Grace set in Marseilles, France. 


Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice? When did you stop using?
A. I’m gratefully clean and sober for over twenty-seven years.

Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, disease, a choice or a wicked twist of fate?
A. It’s an individual path. For me, using any substance was a way to disconnect from trauma. I grew up in a home with active addiction and I believe my parents truly did the best they could. I don’t bother with questioning if it’s a disease etc. … I just feel lucky to have tools for recovery and to be sober today. 

Q. Do you log on to ZOOM 12-step meetings? How often? Do you share?
A. I’ve been very fortunate with the habit of going to lot’s of meetings. At least one meeting a day either on Zoom or socially distant with a mask in a park. 

Q. Have you added anything to your Tool-kit to help keep you sober during the pandemic?
A. My eleventh step practice of prayer and meditation feels stronger. I have a daily routine and it really helps for setting up the day. My prayers are for our planet and to come from love. I don’t always remember this and I guess that’s why they call it a practice.

Q. Where did you grow up?
A. The mean streets of Studio City, California.

Q. From what school or teacher did you learn the most?
A. I was never good at school. Besides punk rock, I’ve learned from other artists and their work. Ironically having been a filmmaking professor, I’ve learned so much from my students.

Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?
A. An extra million … I’d spread it out to equal rights organizations and get those children out of cages!

Q. Have you started any new projects because of the quarantine?
A. I have a side project my friend Beth Dewey and I have been shooting off and on for the past few years. Since the pandemic we’ve shot socially distant and I’m currently editing the footage to see where it goes…

Q. If you ever retire would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, mountaintop or penthouse?
A. Mediterranean Seaside. South of France with mountains in the distance.

Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort?
A. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.

Q. Who has had the biggest influence on you throughout your life?
A. My mother. I rebelled and finally found compassion for her. My dear friend Alan Howard who is everything to me.

Q. What books are you reading now?
A. Just finished Zadie Smith’s Intimations and now reading The Path is Everywhere by Matt Licata.

Q. What is your FAVORITE Radio show, news show, podcast?
A. Just downloaded my fav Alan Partridge, From The Oasthouse. He’s such a douche and the ongoing theme song is ridiculously funny.

Q. Are you bingeing on any TV series? If so which ones?
A. LOVED I May Destroy You! 

Q. Which film have you watched the most?
A. I’m a cinephile, too many to list.

Q. Who is your FAVORITE Director?
A. Sydney Lumet, Jerry Lewis, Andrea Arnold and Agnes Varda.

Q. Who is your favorite sober celebrity?
A. Anonymity???

Q. What is your FAVORITE Band/composer/musical artist?
A. Currently loving FKJ and super dig The Budos Band.

Q. What is your FAVORITE City?
A. Marseilles, France.

Q. What is your FAVORITE Museum?
A. The Met, NYC and The Tate Modern, London. (I love the cafe looking over the river)

Q. What is your FAVORITE Restaurant?
A. My own kitchen.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. Stay open.

Q. What is the best piece of advice YOU’VE given?
A. Stay open.

Q. What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
A. Making my first feature film Perfection with no money.

Q. What is the proudest moment in your life?
A. Screening Perfection to a group of women in a treatment center as they related and found hope in the story of self harm to self love.