Caren Lissner C’93 hopes to ‘kickstart’ Carrie Pilby movie

carriepilbycoverTwo weeks ago, Variety announced that Caren Lissner’s novel, Carrie Pilby, was “headed for the big screen.” That same day, the Women in Film Institute proclaimed that “Susan Cartsonis, Chair of the Women In Film Foundation is producing an adaptation of the young-adult novel Carrie Pilby…[and] working with her Storefront Pictures colleague, Suzanne Farwell who is a long-time collaborator of Nancy Meyers and co-producer of Something’s Gotta Give.”

While both articles mentioned that the producers were “planning to fund the project via a Kickstarter campaign,” no further details were given. We recently spoke with Lissner C’93, who explained that director Susan Johnson of Braveart films and producers Cartsonis and Farwell are trying to raise $50,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to “show investors that there’s a fan base out there. If they can’t reach that goal, the movie” — which would cost about $2.5 million to produce — “wouldn’t get made,” she added.

As of this morning, the Carrie Pilby Kickstarter was almost halfway to its goal, with 11 days of fundraising left.

It’s been 10 years since Lissner’s first novel, Carrie Pilby, was originally published, and three more years since it was re-released. It’s sold more than 50,000 copies and editions have been published in France, Italy, Mexico, England, Australia and Indonesia.

Here’s how Carrie Pilby is described on the Kickstarter page:

Carrie Pilby‘s eponymous main character is a 19-year old genius who graduated from Harvard early and has no idea how to fit in, date or talk to people.  She believes the majority of her hometown, New York City, to be sex-obsessed, immoral hypocrites.  Despite her father’s “Big Lie” about meeting like individuals at college, she felt the same way about her college peers, and an affair with her college professor only left her more isolated and alone.  Her therapist gives her a five-point plan to test her very black-and-white beliefs. Ultimately, Carrie faces the universal coming-of-age (at any age) question: Which tradeoffs, if any, are acceptable in order to “fit in”?

“The women involved in this are really interested in getting this quirky, nerdy character onto film,” Lissner said. “I think it would be great to see this story on the big screen. This isn’t a character you normally see as the star of a movie.”

Is there an actress she would love to see play Carrie? “A lot of people on the web have been suggesting Emma Watson and Chloë Moretz,” Lissner said, “but I’d be happy with any actress who could get [Carrie’s] particular brand of nerdy enthusiasm right.”

Lissner published her second novel, Starting from Square Two, in 2005. She said she’s working on another book right now called In for the Winter and hopes to finish it by this fall. “Readers who liked Carrie Pilby will probably like this one, too,” she added.

UPDATE: The Kickstarter campaign has surpassed its fundraising goal. Carrie Pilby will indeed become a feature film.

1 Comment

Filed under Alumni, Written Word

One response to “Caren Lissner C’93 hopes to ‘kickstart’ Carrie Pilby movie

  1. Thanks so much for the story! Everyone, join the party at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s