STARving – Short Film Review


Poignant, emotionally gripping, and topical, STARving delves into the true story of writer/director Sierra Lisa’s battle with the eating disorder bulimia. This short film, which was made in conjunction with California State University, Northridge, tells the story of a woman who will do anything to be successful as an actress. Even if it means starving herself or resorting to binging and purging to reach the ideal weight.

With all of the images seen on TV, ads, and film of what is considered by the media the “ideal body type,” STARving explores the psychological, emotional, and physiological ramifications that come with setting the bar too high for oneself for physical perfection. The valuable and important lesson learned is that it is through our flaws and our imperfections that we are truly beautiful.

Sam Looking

Writer/director Sierra Lisa decided to use her own struggle with an eating disorder in order to help others who may be struggling with similar issues. Lisa has recovered from her battle with bulimia, but says that that phase of her life will always be a part of who she is. She hopes to take the film to festivals and hopefully get it distributed as a tool that bulimia and anorexia centers can use as a springboard for conversation and help.

Sierra explains shot

Pre-production through production was a six month period, with intermittent rehearsals taking place while Lisa prepared her shot list and storyboards. Principal photography on the film lasted only a few days due to the efficient and focused prep work done by Lisa, the cast, and her crew.

The editing process was one of both catharsis and frustration for Lisa as she dealt with several people who envisioned the film differently than her. In the end, her vision shined through and as a result the power of the message remains in tact. The film is accented by a haunting and emotional score by Bryan Dourado, whom Lisa considers to be an amazing composer.

Sierra Lisa admires a number of creative talents including Martin Scorsese (The Departed), Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally), and Chandra Rimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice). She hopes to direct for either film or TV in the near future. She is currently developing a new short film, and will continue to promote and exhibit STARving.

Lisa also hopes to get her message and film out to a national audience through The Tyra Banks Show. She feels that the audience for the syndicated talk show is ideal for what she considers a niche independent short film.

For more information about the film, check out the official website by clicking here.

Take a look at the official trailer by clicking here.

2 thoughts on “STARving – Short Film Review”

  1. Love this film! Saw it at a screening, here in LA, an amazing picture. Very touching. Spoke to me as a person who has dealt with eating and body image issues.

  2. Sierra Lisa is an amazingly talented and beautiful person. To see this film is a blessing. She is a blessing!

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