True Stories

Director: Marina Zenovich, 45, Venice, California


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Synopsis: A riveting investigation into the shady facts behind the 1977 trial of the Academy Award–winning Polish filmmaker for statutory rape.

The backstory: Production started in February 2003, after Zenovich read a story in the Los Angeles Times about Polanski and The Pianist.

Budget: “Under a million,” according to Zenovich. Financed by: The BBC.

Sold to: HBO, for a reported $1 million; airs in early summer.

Sundance moment: “My two-year-old son, Theo, arrived at the screening in his buggy,” says Zenovich. “He looked around at everyone and then at me and said, ‘I want to see Roman Polanski!’”

Director’s next project: A documentary on Takashi Murakami for the art channel Gallery HD.

Return to True Stories or read about other directors: Christopher Bell (Bigger, Stronger, Faster*) Alex Gibney (Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson) James Marsh (Man on Wire) Nanette Burstein (American Teen ) Tia Lessin and Carl Deal (Trouble the Water).