Seattle-based filmmaker, television director Lynn Shelton dies at 54 | KNKX

Seattle-based filmmaker, television director Lynn Shelton dies at 54

May 16, 2020

Editor’s note: Seattle-based filmmaker and television director Lynn Shelton has died. Shelton reportedly died in the early hours Saturday, May 16, of a blood disorder. She was 54. Shelton was born in Ohio but was raised in Seattle, and often spoke of her deep love for the city and the Pacific Northwest. The area was frequently the setting for her movies. Shelton was in the KNKX studios a year ago, along with actor Marc Maron, to talk with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about their film "Sword of Trust," which was the opening film at the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival. (This story originally aired May 16, 2019.) 


The Seattle International Film Festival gets underway today (May 16, 2019), and the opening night feature is from Seattle-based filmmaker Lynn Shelton. Her movie, "Sword of Trust," follows two women who attempt to unload an inherited Civil War sword onto a curmudgeonly pawnshop owner and his assistant. The four of them enter a world of conspiracy theories and Southern disillusionment.

Comedian and podcaster Marc Maron plays the pawnshop owner. He joined Shelton in the KNKX studios with Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick for a conversation about the film. 

The seed for the movie was simple, Shelton said: “I wanted to work with Marc Maron.”

Shelton says she’s often inspired by particular actors who serve as muses for her work.

“It’s a lot of pressure being a Muse,” Maron quipped. “I didn’t ask for the job of being a muse.”

“Sword of Trust” is the first time a film of Shelton’s was set outside Washington state, something she called a “fun challenge.”

“This whole state, this whole region for me, is in my blood and my bones,” Shelton said of the Northwest. “The south is like a whole other country. It’s like another planet.”

Listen above for the full conversation, during which they discuss the “diminishing idea of facts,” the art of improvising and Maron’s guitar skills that are on display in the film.

Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick, center, is pictured with Seattle-based filmmaker Lynn Shelton and actor Marc Maron.
Credit Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX