Sarah Carter’s feature directorial debut, In Her Name, is a story of liberation, self-acceptance, grief, and healing.
In Her Name follows two sisters, Freya (Erin Hammond) and Fiona (Ciera Danielle) who are forced to spend time together as their father is dying. Together, they end up discovering new truths about themselves and each other.
After a successful world premiere at Tribeca in 2022 where it received the Audience Award, In Her Name will begin streaming on Tribeca Online on Friday, Dec. 1. You can access Tribeca Online on Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, and in the standalone app on your iPhone or Android.
Sarah Carter on the Inspiration for In Her Name
Carter, who served as writer, director and producer on the film, drew inspiration for the script from Lebanese painter Huguette Caland, whose son, Philippe Caland, plays Freya and Fiona’s father, Marv.
“She is a woman who I have always been very inspired by. Her story is that she had to flee her country and leave her family in lot of ways in order to pursue mastery and a career as a painter,” Carter tells MovieMaker.
She calls Philippe Caland “a brilliant actor” who grew up in “that kind of L.A. art world that we’re poking fun at in the film.”
“He did have to reckon with finding himself and his own artistic identity in the shadow of his mother’s extremely radical liberal pursuit of her voice in the world,” she says. “So there’s a lot of irony, juxtaposition, alchemy, and transcendence in the film, just playing with those dynamics in a moment of grief. He’s dying in the film — the father’s dying. And Huguette Caland had recently died right before we started writing this. So I was very influenced by my awareness of how death kind of informs healing in the family.”
But make no mistake — this is not a story about death. It’s a story about freedom.
“It’s about liberation. It’s about finding oneself in spite of the given circumstances. It’s about radical acceptance and free expression of that, whether you’re an artist or not. It’s two estranged sisters who come together at this moment of death in the family and realize how much they love each other, essentially, and sort of let go of differences.”
You can watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip of Carter talking about making the movie along with some footage in the video above.
“In Her Name forced me to wear every hat, it forced me to face every challenge imaginable, but more than anything to trust the process and trust life,” Carter says in the clip.
In addition to Tribeca, In Her Name also played at Nòt Film Fest, Red Rock Film Festival, Imagine This Women’s International Film Festival, Montreal Independent Film Festival, Vancouver Independent Film Festival, Toronto Independent Film Festival of CIFT, Florence Film Awards, Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles, and Festival of Cinema NYC.
You can watch the exclusive BTS clip above.
Main Image: Erin Hammond and Ciera Danielle in In Her Name courtesy of Sarah Carter.