Lije Sarki


A filmmaker living in Los Angeles who’s roots are in Michigan. I’ve directed a few movies, produced a few more, and worked with some pretty amazing people. From Flava Flav and Nick Swardson to David Arquette and Anthony LaPaglia. I’ll spare you all the details that try and make me seem cooler and more credible than I already am.

I recently directed the film, Belong. It will give you a little bit more of an idea of who I am. A lot actually. It stars some up-and-comers and is being scored by Odd Future’s Left Brain. Look for it at SXSW this year.

I am obsessed for life to work with teenagers as a filmmaker. To direct them. To tell their stories. To tell my stories. It is through the eyes of our evolving youth that we find the raw truth.

I grew up in a small town in Northern Michigan. I was a skater kid. I still am. At thirty-six years old I can still hang with the best of them. My teenage years in the early nineties are the most significant for me. I think teenage years are the most significant for all people. Those are the years that define a person, in my opinion. They sure defined me. It was the process of becoming a man or who we were going to be in this world. All I want to do is relive them.

It took me up until about two years ago to realize how important those years were. I started acting back in 2006. I always wanted to tell a story. Or just wanted to be famous, that’s probably more truthful. Always fighting for the attention I never got as a kid. That’s exactly what my teenage years were. Fighting to be liked or to stand out. I thought by acting in some stories I would have a chance at doing so. Turns out it’s hard getting a job and you are always at someone else’s mercy and their story.

Christmas alone, 2011, I had an idea. Childhood memories ran through my head combined with a lot of anger and a lot of Larry Clark and Harmony Korine influences. I ran home to write the idea down. Then, for a whole year I delayed the inevitable. I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t be any good or wouldn’t be the guy everyone always expected me to be, so I thought. I read a few well known books and with some direction from Syd Field, I wrote a feature screenplay. That’s what I’m working on today. It’s been pushed aside over the past couple of years so I could produce some other projects but it’s back on the plate. I plan to shoot that in the Winter of 2014 and Spring 2015. It’s called The Open Space. It’s my first feature length project that I’ve written myself.

I’m also producing a film called ToY which shoots in August 2014.

I’ve been best pals with Fortune’s founder, Jason, since the beginning. It’s been a hell of a ride and I’d do anything in the world for that guy. I am pretty sure one of the first Fortune shirts was named after me. The camo lettering on black T! Fortune 421 has always been a standard that has been true to my heart.