WRITER & Director


About Marya

marya cohn

Marya Cohn is the award winning writer/director of the feature film, The Girl in the Book, starring Emily Van Camp and Michael Nyqvist.

Her short film, Developing, starring Natalie Portman and Frances Conroy, screened at Sundance, won grand prizes at the Belgian Festival Mondial du Cinéma de Court Métrage and the St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival, and aired on The Sundance Channel and Channel 13’s Reel NY.

She has directed plays at The Here Theater, Rattlestick Theater, Dixon Place, Vital Theater, HB Playwrights’ Foundation and Theater, The Women’s Project, New Georges, NADA 45, and the playwrights’ unit at EST. Marya also teaches screenwriting.

She received her MFA from NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television and her BA from Harvard University, where she won the Louis B. Sudler Award for Achievement in the Arts.


"I think telling your story is a very empowering first step, which is part of why I made the movie. I hope it inspires others to do the same."



The Girl in the Book

1h 26min | Drama | 11 December 2015 (USA)



Set in the world of New York publishing, a young book editor is forced to confront a troubling chapter from her past when a bestselling author re-enters her life.


Marya Cohn


Emily Van Camp, Michael Nyqvist, David Call, Michael Cristofer, Talia Balsam, Ana Mulvoy-Ten, Jordan Lage, Ali Ahn


Gina Resnick, Kyle Heller


Varient Pictures, Busted Buggy Entertainment, Lolamass Films



"The feature debut of writer- director Marya Cohn, “The Girl in the Book” is a quietly devastating portrait of innocence lost too soon and adulthood delayed too long."

The Washington Post

"Given her confident hand behind the camera and gift for rich female characters, you hope to see more portraits from her in the future."

New York Times

"In a story that explores how both power dynamics and past traumas can affect the creative process, Marya Cohn’s “The Girl in the Book” is a remarkable, ambitious directorial debut."

The Playlist indiewire

The Girl in the Book premiered at The Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2015 and screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Naples International Film Festival, and the Sedona International Film Festival.

The Girl in the Book was released theatrically by Myriad Pictures in association with Freestyle Releasing in December of 2015 and is available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Time Warner Cable and other VOD platforms.



28min | Drama, Short | 1994 (USA)

Natalie Portman in Developing

Natalie Portman in Developing


sundance film festival

Developing premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Won Grand Prizes at St Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival & Festival Mondial Du Cinema de Court Metrage in Belgium.


It won the best women’s short film award at the Cleveland International Film Festival

Developing was in competition at the Tampere Film Festival, Algarve International Film Festival, Cinequest, and Olympia International Film Festival for Children and Young People.

Developing aired on The Sundance Channel and Channel 13’s Reel New York.


Clare and her teenage daughter, Nina, cope with the physical and emotional scars from Clare’s recent mastectomy. The film traces Clare’s journey from self-alienation to self-acceptance and from isolation to a renewed connection with her daughter.


Marya Cohn


Frances Conroy, Natalie Portman, Jon Devries 


Margaret Hetherman Fraser Bresnahan


“Developing” is the story of how Clare and Nina cope with the physical and emotional scars from Clare’s mastectomy. Clare is a photographer in her early forties who lives with her teenage daughter, Nina. For many years Nina has acted as her mother’s model, but she is reaching an age when she no longer wants to hold the poses her mother chooses for her.

After her mastectomy, Clare tries to pretend that she is “her old self” again - what she looks like with her prosthesis in. What she feels is fragmented, alienated from her body and unsure of her identity. Her relationship with her daughter is equally fragmented. The separation natural during adolescence is exacerbated by Clare’s need to deny her emotions.

Eventually, Clare’s repressed feelings compel her to use her camera to face her scar. When Clare allows herself to mourn her loss, she can begin to accept her new body and redefine her self from within. She is at the beginning of a new relationship with her self and her changing daughter.