Prior to completing Dreamland, Lisanne Skyler directed her feature film debut, Getting To Know You, which premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and went on to open the Critics Week section of the Venice Film Festival. Born in 1969 in New York City, Skyler received her B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley and spent a year in Paris studying film and photography at the University of Paris-III.
While completing her graduate degree in filmmaking at San Francisco State University, she worked for the San Francisco International Film Festival and directed Oldtimers, a black and white short documentary about the elderly regulars of a Prohibition-era San Francisco Irish Bar. Lisanne's master's thesis film, No Loans Today, an hour long documentary about a South Central Los Angeles pawnshop and the survival of the community around it, premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast nationally on POV in July 1996. Lisanne was recently named a finalist for the Independent Feature Project's 2000 Spirit Awards "Someone to Watch" Award.