Mary Sweeney is an award-winning feature film producer, director, writer, and editor. She collaborated with David Lynch as his film producer, writer and editor beginning in 1985 with Blue Velvet, and continuing through his 2006 film Inland Empire. She edited Twin Peaks Television (1990), Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me (1992), Hotel Room, HBO, (1993), Lost Highway (1996), The Straight Story (2000) and Mulholland Drive (2001.) She was awarded a British Academy Award for Best Editing in 2001 for Mulholland Drive. Sweeney wrote the screenplay for The Straight Story for which Richard Farnsworth received an Academy Award nomination. Her producing credits include Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire (2006), directed by Lynch, and Baraboo, (2009) her directorial debut based on her original screenplay.
She is Consulting Producer and Writer on The Romanoffs, (2018,) Matthew Weiner’s new series for Amazon. Sweeney is the Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Professor of film at USC, where she teaches Graduate Screenwriting Thesis and “Dreams, The Brain and Storytelling.” She is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Film Independent, the non-profit Arts organization that produces the Independent Spirit Awards. She is a founding member and was Vice President of the Board of Desert X Art Biennial from 2014 to 2019.
As an AFS film expert and a Fulbright Specialist Sweeney has traveled to Jordan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Myanmar, Cuba, Egypt and India.