Clara Levy, best known for her role as Head of Development for Blackpills American office, is the force behind the internationally-acclaimed film Dead Women Walking.
Dead Women Walking is the first English-language feature from Cannes-nominated writer-director, Hagar Ben-Asher. It provocatively tells the story of nine different women heading to their executions. The film examines the morality and ethics of the death penalty in the justice system, while also acknowledging the complexities of life, law, justice, and human nature. Ben-Asher states, “This is not a film only about the death penalty, but all of the events that have led our subjects to this point, including their socioeconomic circumstances, their personal and emotional histories.”
As a lead producer on the project Levy was involved in the creation of “Dead Women Walking” from the earliest stage when it was still a loose idea. Levy first met Cannes Film Festival Award nominated director Hagar Ben-Asher while in Israel where she was in charge of looking for writers and projects to option for the new short-form format Blackpills was creating at the time.
“I was scouting talents and projects that could tackle our short-form format at Blackpills, I was introduced to Hagar who mentioned this ‘idea’ she had. She wanted to explore a topic about time… Then, it became the logline of Dead Women Walking,” recalls Levy.
“I felt strongly about two things. First of all, I was deeply touched by Hagar’s universe. I loved her previous film The Slut, and I felt strongly that she was someone I wanted to work with, [someone] that had an ability to express emotions in a very strange and peculiar way. Second, the topic, of course, deeply touched me.”
Dead Women Walking, was originally conceived as a nine-part episodic series before becoming vignettes set in a film format with the narrative of each woman’s final days and journey to execution. It stars veteran actor, Colleen Camp (Apocalypse Now, American Hustle), Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Dale Dickey (Winter’s Bone, Breaking Bad), Dot-Marie Jones (Glee), and Ashton Sanders (Moonlight).
For Clara Levy, the film marks the first internal project for her studio. Clara Levy stated: “As a creative executive for blackpills, I’m usually involved from the inception of an idea to the final version of the script, and oversee the creative choices in collaboration with the talents and producers we work with on their project. The whole process is very collaborative: my job was to support Hagar’s vision and help her take it where she wanted to go.”
The process was enlightening for Levy, who praised her writer/director, “Hagar Ben-Asher is a very strong, rich and ‘multi-layered’ director. Working with her has been an amazing learning experience!”
Dead Women Walking was nominated for an Artios Award, and was selected to the Venice Film Festival, the Busan International Film Festival and the Deauville Film Festival. The Haifa Film Festival, awarded ‘Dead Women Walking’ the Best international film award.