Tag: LGBTQ (page 1 of 4)

A Girl’s Band/Una Banda de Chicas: A Feminist Take on Argentina’s Music Scene

A Girl’s Band/Una Banda de Chicas: A Feminist Take on Argentina’s Music Scene

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) will take place January 23-February 3, 2019 and one of the LGBTQ movies it is showing is A Girl’s Band or Una Banda de Chicas. I have seen a screener of it, which means that I can tell you all about it. If you are looking for good LGBTQ movie tips for IFFR or a good LGBTQ movie tip in general, this blog post might be something for you. Below, I explain what A Girl’s Band is about and what I liked about this music documentary.

‘A Girl’s Band/Una Banda de Chicas: A Feminist Take on Argentina's Music Scene’ One of the LGBTQ movies IFFR is showing is A Girl’s Band or Una Banda de Chicas. I have seen a screener of it, which means that I can tell you all about it. If you are looking for good LGBTQ movie tips for IFFR or a good LGBTQ movie tip in general, this blog post might be something for you: http://bit.ly/AGirlsBand

Synopsis of A Girl’s Band

For six years, Marilina Giménez rocked the bass guitar in Yilet, a three-woman band in Argentina. But like female musicians everywhere, she was constantly confronted with a male-dominated, often sexist industry. In this documentary, she probes Argentina’s music scene with her camera and many pertinent questions. Why are there so few female superstars who write their own music? Why is it almost obligatory to look a certain way? Has the position of female musicians improved in recent decades?

Giménez moves through Buenos Aires by night, filming female artists (many of whom operate underground) attracting sell-out crowds with punk rock, reggaeton, pop or electronic music. She films them behind the scenes and in full glory on stage and listens to their experiences. As diverse as these women are, their stories of the sexism, inequality, and aggression they face are equally painful – whether they have dreadlocks, twerk in a G-string or pose in hipster attire.

What I like about A Girl’s Band: the introduction to Argentina’s music scene

Actually, the first thing that I like about A Girl’s Band is a very simple thing. It introduced me to the Argentinian music scene. I don’t know anything about it, so to see a diverse sample of this country’s music was highly entertaining and an exciting learning experience. Because most of the bands are underground bands, I am curious to know what mainstream is in Argentina and what role the underground music scene plays in Argentina.

What I like about A Girl’s Band: the feminist take on Argentina’s music scene

I think Giménez has an interesting take on her country’s music scene. She was part of it for years, and she now takes a step back to review it through the camera lens (and allows us to go on that journey with her). As a result, she shows a good understanding of what is honestly going on in Argentina’s music scene for women, and she has the connections to tell the whole story. That insider perspective makes you want to listen.

I was quite blown away by the gender inequality in Argentina’s music scene. It made me compare Argentina’s music scene to the Dutch music scene. I have no inside knowledge of our music scene, but I do know that the music scene is just one part of a bigger whole: our culture. If I compare Argentina and The Netherlands, I think Argentina has a more significant gender inequality. This must be reflected in the music scene as well because I simply cannot imagine the things happening in this documentary happening in my country too. Yes, the Dutch music industry is a man’s world too but not to the same extent.

I feel bad for these women just trying to follow their dreams and passion and barely surviving. The bravery they show is fantastic. I think that courage combined with good music is what made this documentary a fun watch.

What I like about A Girl’s Band: the diverse range of LGBTQ women

Look, whenever you have a big group of strong women, it is only natural that a part of those women is LGBTQ, amirite? This documentary shows a diverse range of LGBTQ women. There are differences in how they identify and how they look and dress. There are individuals, couples, and families. To me, this type of representation is beautiful!

One thing A Girl’s Band could have done better

If I must make a statement on something this movie can improve, it is the following. I noticed halfway watching the movie that I was missing a sense of direction. Why am I watching band after band after band play and introduce themselves? What do these band presentations mean? I mean, they are cool, but is this documentary simply a list of women in bands sharing their experiences?

Then, at the end of the documentary, there is an event that brings all these bands together. I won’t give away what it is. You see many familiar faces, and you see that many of them know each other. It is the moment the storyline of the documentary comes together.

I just wish I had known this a little earlier. In the beginning, I was trying to invest in the first bands, thinking we’d see more of their journey. However, by the time the fourth band was introduced, I did not feel like paying close attention anymore because I knew we would not establish a deeper connection. Therefore, a more evident storyline would have led me through these introductions better.

Where can you watch A Girl’s Band?

As mentioned, you can watch A Girl’s Band at IFFR, so check out their website for the schedule. However, if you are not close to Rotterdam January 23-February 3, you might want other options.

The best thing you can do is follow them on social media. There, they will tell you at what other film festivals the documentary will be screened. Here are their Instagram and Facebook pages. Another option is watching their Vimeo page since it has the trailer on it. They might upload their movie there after a festival run.

Want more tips on what to watch? How about The DateDifferent for Girls or Anne+? Subscribe to my YouTube channel to hear my suggestions the moment they are uploaded!

The Date: The New Lesbian Short Film You’d Hate to Miss

The Date: The New Lesbian Short Film You’d Hate to Miss

I watched a new lesbian short film called The Date and I can’t wait to share with you how awesome it is and how soon you should watch it. It is the happy modern love story we have been waiting for. I have seen many short films this past year but none of them made me feel as happy as this one did.

‘The Date: The New Lesbian Short Film You’d Hate to Miss’ I watched a new lesbian short film called The Date and I can’t wait to share with you how awesome it is and how soon you should watch it. It is the happy modern love story we have been waiting for. I have seen many short films this past year but none of them made me feel as happy as this one did: http://bit.ly/TheDateLesFilm

Biased

Okay, I am coming out right from the start: I am biased. Writer and director Emma contacted me online to talk about the movie. We had some fun conversations and were able to meet at ClexaCon London. I now call her my friend and naturally, you want your friends to succeed. So, there you go, that is my bias.

However, do you know how sometimes friends ask you to share something and you’re not really a fan but you share it anyway because that person is your friend? Well, that was completely not the case with this film, fortunately! I tweeted about the Indiegogo campaign quite a few times and was happy to see the movie got funded 113%.

The reason I wanted this crowdfunding campaign to succeed is that I was able to receive a sneak peek of some footage and I could immediately tell it was the good stuff. I knew this short was going to be of good quality if they just had the funds. Can you imagine how nervous I was when I was finally able to watch it?!

By the way, it is not just Emma’s work. Hansof Waller was a great help writing the script.

The Date’s promise to you

“The Date is the story of two women looking for love in the dating world of the 21st century.

Lizzy and Olivia might be total opposites when it comes to careers and dress sense BUT they do have one thing in common… They both swiped ‘right’ on each other. After swiping right, the two hit it off almost immediately but there’s still one thing left to do: meet.

In this day and age, where meeting new people happens mostly online, we wanted to write a story about the good relationships that come from online dating.

Our aim is to also have real interviews at the end, with couples who have met on dating apps and are the happiest they’ve ever been.”

The first thing I liked about The Date: the dialogues

The dialogues in this short film are sooooo good. You know how some short films try to be as artistic as possible and make the characters say these really special lines to showcase how intellectual the creators are? That is not the case in The Date.

The Date shows the date you can have. The characters make the jokes you would make. And they have the exact same insecurities as you and me. Is this next date going to be as bad as the previous one? Will she be who she says she is? Will she be a serial killer? Am I going to be stood up?

Nope. This is a happy movie. You know, the one we do not always get.

The second thing I liked about The Date: the chemistry

What can I say about their chemistry? You will feel it. Big time. And you will want them to end up together.

The third thing I liked about The Date: the happy feelings

The Date reminds me of when my wife and I just started dating. We often went clubbing and loved dancing together. So, seeing their first date start with dinner and end with dancing brought back so many good memories.

My wife and I actually watched this movie together. I sometimes looked at her to see what she thought of the movie and she had happiness written all over her face. She even grabbed my hand at one point. That is how this movie will make you feel.

By the way, her review of The Date: “Is this it?! I hate short films. I want to see the rest of the story!” 😉 I think that if you have accomplished that as a short film, you did something right. Over the past year, I have seen some shorts that I wished had been shorter, so…

The fourth thing I liked about The Date: the editing

The editing tells you there is a highly skilled team behind this movie. I do not want to give anything away but the keyword here is delayed gratification. You will get it when you watch it.

The fifth thing I liked about The Date: the credits

So, the credits actually play an important part in this movie. The movie is 9.5 minutes long and the credits are six minutes long.

You will want to stick around for those six minutes because, in these credits, you will watch videos of real couples who met online. They tell you how they met and how happy they are.

How brilliant is it to have actual people from our community participate in the project?! I greatly appreciated it and I loved seeing some familiar faces and names. It really takes a village to make such a project happen!

Where can you watch The Date?

Because the movie had a successful Indiegogo campaign, that page will continue to be open. That means you can still buy the perks that will grant you access to the movie before release. This way, you can support their project AND you will have the movie ASAP. Sounds like a good plan to me!

In addition, their plan is to make a festival run before releasing the movie to the public. That means that if you want to see this movie ASAP, you will have to visit a film festival near you that will show this movie. Consequently, it would be wise to follow the movie on social media to see when and where this will happen. This is their Twitter account and their Instagram page.

Want more tips on what to watch? How about Different for Girls or Anne+? Subscribe to my YouTube channel to hear my tips the moment they are uploaded!

Mandahla Rose Visited the ClexaCon London Press Room

Mandahla Rose Visited the ClexaCon London Press Room

On the final day of ClexaCon London, Mandahla Rose and Nicole Pacent visited the press room together. They are in Passage together, which will come out in 2019. They talked about other projects they have been working on, about queer and non-queer actors playing queer characters, and about mental health. Because the interview was so long, I have divided into two parts. Below, you will find Mandahla’s part and here, you will find Nicole’s part.

You can also find a video of the full interview here.

‘Mandahla Rose Visited the ClexaCon London Press Room’ On the final day of ClexaCon London, Mandahla Rose and Nicole Pacent visted the press room together. They are in Passage together, which will come out in 2019. They talked about other projects they have been working on, about queer and non-queer actors playing queer characters, and about mental health. Because the interview was so long, I have divided into two parts. This is Mandahla’s part: http://bit.ly/MandahlaRoseCCUK

Me: Mandahla Rose, you just said that you still had so much more to say in your panel. What were some of the things you wanted to talk about?

Mandahla Rose: It was about mental health. The question was about how people reach out to you. So, I have been reached out to by a number of people but one person in particular. This is a trigger warning. She heard me speak about my own vulnerable story, how I tried to take my own life, and it ended up saving her life. To me, if this platform is something that I can be on that can just save one life, then I am doing the right job.

Unfortunately, Tessa did pass away. Not by her own hand but it was because she ended up having a heart defect. So, the wonderful thing that I can take from that is that she could have gone from darkness and sadness in her heart. But what I ended up doing by speaking my truth is actually allowing her to go ask for help, let her family and friends know that she needed help.

She actually got that help. She met someone in care and ended up marrying and moving to Paris. And she had this beautiful, just six months of a new life where she has light and love in her heart. Unfortunately, she did leave but she left with that and love in her heart. So, this platform that I find myself on is wonderful for that reason. If just one life, that is life enough.

On your panels, you two did not get the chance to talk much about your upcoming projects. What would you like to say about them now?

Mandahla Rose: Let’s first talk about Passage because we are both in Passage. Do you want to…?

Nicole Pacent: You are a bigger part of Passage so why don’t you talk about it?

Mandahla Rose: I play agent Diana Atwell, a Caelus agent. It is Sci-Fi and it is kind of, I do not want to give it away, I can’t… It is going to be… I am very excited about it. I did spend a day at the graveyard running around, which was a lot of fun, with guns and everything.

My other project is BIFL. I won’t tell you what that stands for. Does it stand for anything? We don’t know. Find out. I play Sarah, they/them/their, ace lesbian. It is a lot about representation. It is an ensemble cast so there are six of us. Each of us has our own stories to tell. So that one was really exciting as well.

Forever Not Maybe

Forever Not Maybe will be coming out next year. It was originally La Douleur Exquise, a web series that ended up… Shot the first episode in December 2015, which was a while ago but that is the actual reason for me moving to LA in the first place. We were actually able to get the funds to turn it into a feature film. So, now called Forever Not Maybe because good luck pronouncing La Douleur Exquise. So, that one will be coming out next year as well.

Crazy Bitches season 2, I play Pandora, a 20-something YouTuber. I am a little baby lesbian in it, who has a bit of a crush on Guinevere Turner’s character. Then, Guinevere and I are in a series called Alice & Iza, which will be coming out soon. It is based on a one-night stand, which is a little bit of fun, on Tello.

Nicole, you have said on a panel that you have feelings about how important it is for openly queer actors to be playing queer characters. Would you mind going into that a little bit more?

[Nicole Pacent discusses this question. Then, Mandahla Rose adds her comment.]

Mandahla Rose: I think there is a fine line because I can see the “straight” world be like “Well, if you think queer actors should be playing queer characters, then straight people should only be playing straight characters.

Nicole Pacent: Yes, it does work opposite.

Mandahla Rose: It does. But in saying that, we are more than our sexuality. I can play a straight person and a queer person. It is still a talent. It is the talent we should be looking at, not the sexuality. But, again, I really love when… I mean, it is really heart-warming when queer actors are playing queer characters because the straight guys get them all the time. The straight people get everything.

Me: I was at the table reading of Passage. To me, the question is: does the Sci-Fi aspect of it bring more difficulties to shooting it?

Nicole Pacent: Well, we are not on the production side of it. It did not make it more difficult for us as actors.

Mandahla Rose: No, I got a plasma gun and I was really happy with that.

Nicole Pacent: Is it going to take more effects and camera tricks for them? Yes. We definitely were party to that, we could see that happening but luckily, I got to get home and be like “Bye!”

Make sure you follow Nicole and Mandahla on social media! Their handles are @NicolePacent and @TwiistedRose on Twitter and Instagram.

Want to see and read more of these interviews? I talked to the team behind I Can’t Think Straight and Jamie Clayton, who played Nomi in Sense8.

Nicole Pacent Visited the ClexaCon London Press Room

Nicole Pacent Visited the ClexaCon London Press Room

On the final day of ClexaCon London, Nicole Pacent and Mandahla Rose visited the press room together. They are in Passage together, which will come out in 2019. They talked about other projects they have been working on, about queer and non-queer actors playing queer characters, and about mental health. Because the interview was so long, I have divided into two parts. Below, you will find Nicole’s part and here, you will find Mandahla’s part.

You can also find a video of the full interview here.

‘Nicole Pacent Visited the ClexaCon London Press Room’ On the final day of ClexaCon London, Nicole Pacent and Mandahla Rose visited the press room together. They are in Passage together, which will come out in 2019. They talked about other projects they have been working on, about queer and non-queer actors playing queer characters, and about mental health. Because the interview was so long, I have divided into two parts. This is Nicole’s part: http://bit.ly/NicolePacentCCUK

Are movies and TV trying to do multiple birds with one stone as in “we now have a queer character who is black and in a wheelchair.” How do we counter this attempt to stack multiple forms of diversity within a single character?

Nicole Pacent: That is a great question. I would say that detokenizing all of it is the only way to do that. To say ‘We don’t want the token person of color. We don’t want the token queer person. And we don’t want an X amount of women.’ And I am talking about in front of the camera and behind the camera, right.

I think that is the only way to do it. To start looking at people as people versus what they can bring in terms of their “diversity card.” So, that we are not thinking about it in terms like ‘Ok, have we filled all of our boxes and how can we do this with fewer people?’

I think the root of the issue is the fact that people are tokenized so unless we are talking about it those terms regularly and calling that out, then it is not going to change.

On your panels, you two did not get the chance to talk much about your upcoming projects. What would you like to say about them now?

[Mandahla Rose first talked about their shared project Passage. Then, Nicole Pacent discussed her own projects.]

Nicole Pacent: I have been doing a lot over the past couple of months. So, I have on the podcasting front my Coming-Out Pod with Lauren and Nicole, which comes out weekly on Wednesdays. We interview queer people from all walks of life and tell the tales of how they came out to friends and family and the world at large. See how that rolls off the tongue? I have said it many times. It is the opening of our show. No, it is really wonderful. We have interview Stephanie Beatriz and a bunch of other pretty amazing people. That is on all podcast platforms.

Podcast

I am also on another podcast that is 180 degrees opposite. It is a narrative podcast that just came out from the tech giant SAP. It is Sci-Fi, fantasy, Renaissance nerdy kind of podcast called Searching for Salaì. The podcast is about if Leonardo da Vinci’s assistant Salaì traveled through time and met this one woman. It is about their relationship and trying to debunk his story. There is a whole bunch of nerdy Renaissance and nerdy tech and science stuff in it. And it is just like this beautifully written story and I get to act in it. So, I narrate the entire thing and I am also in all the scenes. That is on the total opposite of the podcasting spectrum but also on all streaming platforms.

Two short films

I shot two short films recently that are both about to do festival runs. One of them is called Other Loving. I play the central character who is a bisexual poly character and who is dealing with a break-up with a boyfriend and having to come home to her wife and talk about that. So, it is stuff people are not seeing, haven’t seen, and are going to feel all different kinds of ways about it, I am sure. It was a really emotional and beautiful project and it has some good people behind it.

I also just shot a short film with Melissa Ponzio. She plays my wife in it and that was also a really wonderful and emotional experience. I do not have dates for the release of either of these movies because again it is going to depend on festivals.

I just wrapped a musical presentation of a musical called Lesbian Love Octagon, which Mandahla saw.

Mandahla Rose: It was pretty fun.

Nicole Pacent: It was f*cking great. We may or may not be doing a full run of that in Los Angeles and/or touring it. If we do, I will let everybody know about that.

Nicole Pacent, you have said on a panel that you have feelings about how important it is for openly queer actors to be playing queer characters. Would you mind going into that a little bit more?

Nicole Pacent: Yes. It is funny; I have not come down on either side of the debate of whether people who are not representative of a certain faction should be playing those characters. We have had that conversation about ethnicity too and it makes a lot of sense that if you are not at least a part of the ethnicity you are playing, that seems wrong to me. I have come down pretty firmly on that side of that debate. I do not think it is that much of a debate anymore.

In terms of LGBTQ characters, it is hard. I have two minds about this. As a queer person, I love being able to play queer characters and I love seeing people who are actually queer portraying that experience. Because there is nothing like somebody who knows to be able to do that. And I love the fans’ reaction that I see to queer people playing queer characters. It is really exciting and fulfilling. I think that there is a real power in that that there is not necessarily when heterosexual people play queer characters. So, from an impact standpoint, I think more queer actors playing more queer characters is the way to go.

Artistic standpoint

From a purely artistic standpoint, I do like to believe that as actors, our job is to be able to transform and to be able to embody different people and different experiences and that is part of how we gain empathy ourselves and how we also loop maybe those who are more close-minded into things.

So, artistically speaking, I am much more open about it but for me, from a business impact standpoint, I do not know. So, those are my two feelings about it.

Me: I was at the table reading of Passage. To me, the question is: does the Sci-Fi aspect of it bring more difficulties to shooting it?

Nicole Pacent: Well, we are not on the production side of it. It did not make it more difficult for us as actors.

Mandahla Rose: No, I got a plasma gun and I was really happy with that.

Nicole Pacent: Is it going to take more effects and camera tricks for them? Yes. We definitely were party to that. We could see that happening but luckily, I got to get home and be like “Bye!”

Make sure you follow Nicole and Mandahla on social media! Their handles are @NicolePacent and @TwiistedRose on Twitter and Instagram.

Want to see and read more of these interviews? I talked to the team behind I Can’t Think Straight and Jamie Clayton, who played Nomi in Sense8.

I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London

I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London

In November, Sheetal Sheth (actor), Shamim Sarif (director), and Hanan Kattan (producer) visited ClexaCon London to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their movie I Can’t Think Straight. Fortunately, they also came to the press room, so we could ask them some questions about their movies I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen, about queer roles, and about future projects. Not the entire fifteen-minute interview is written down below, so if you want to know more, please watch the video below this image.

‘I Can’t Think Straight Visits ClexaCon London’ In November, Sheetal Sheth, Shamim Sarif, and Hanan Kattan visited ClexaCon London to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their movie I Can’t Think Straight. Fortunately, they also came to the press room, so we could ask them some questions about their movies I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen, about queer roles, and about future projects. You can find the interview here: http://bit.ly/CantThinkStraight

If you had unlimited time and budget, what would you change about I Can’t Think Straight if anything?

Shamim: The changes would be subtle: the shot making, the editing, some of the direction. I think that is just part of evolving as an artist. I think you would feel that for a song you have written ten years ago or a novel. So, what I tried to do at the end of that screening [ClexaCon held an anniversary screening of the movie on Friday] was think: “Wow, look at the impact it is having. People get the core of it.” So, I should not be pernickety whether a steady cam would have been nice here or there. But I think it is just having more tools […], that would be fun to experiment with.

Hanan: And very expensive [laughs].

Shamim: And very expensive. And often I think time is a pressure for movies. With a bit more time, actors would be able to explore their characters more, there would be more ideas, and we would have been able to shoot scenes that were supposed to be in the film but never made it. That would be great. I think it is time that would be more of a luxury.

More time and money

Sheetal: I think it is the same. For more time, you need more money, so that is usually why you do not have a lot of time. For an actor, it is really about having the space to do your work and generally, in smaller movies, you do not have that much, you know. You have to deliver the moment you get there because of time. I am very proud of the film but of course, if we had more time, we could have maybe expounded something else or explored something else or maybe done a cool shot from a different angle. You know, you can spend a day on a scene, which a lot of movies are afforded to do and you can really find so much in that.

On the other hand, there is also something really organic and spontaneous that happens in an environment of small films. I have done so many independent films. If you have the right people involved and the right kind of hearts involved, and everybody knows what to expect when they go there and do not get caught up on the fact that you do not have that stuff, you can really create in a different space, which is also very exciting.

Pre-sale distribution

Hanan: For me, besides the money factor and time, is to have some pre-sale distribution in place, because it guarantees a wider release. For that to happen, people need to know they can invest the money and know that there is a bigger release. But if you are a first-time or second-time movie, that is not that easy.

As queer women, what are your feelings on the importance of having queer actors portraying queer characters?

Shamim: It is actually something that has come up more recently for me as we cast our next film Polarized. It gives queer women more opportunity. I think there are two things. Here has been such a taboo in Hollywood for women to come out because it feels it is killing their career as a heterosexual portrayal. So, I think it is nice to share the other side of that. That you can have queer women play queer characters.

At the same time, I do not think it should be a limitation. In the same way that I do not think queer women should not play heterosexual characters. On a practical level, sales and distribution, sometimes people want a name. If the only name you can think of is Kristen Stewart and she is busy that moment, there are probably not enough queer actors with enough profile to pre-finance a movie. That is another consideration that people do not want to talk about but it is a reality of making film.

Hanan: Whoever suits the role the most. I think it is limiting. It is really the person, do they fit, the chemistry there, can they do it and do it with justice? For me, it is irrelevant as long as they portray the character well.

Tricky

Sheetal [not queer]: I think it is a very tricky thing. First of all, I think the labeling of an actress in any way is the problem. You are not a queer actress: you are an actress who in your personal life is gay. To me, your sexuality should be irrelevant in the sense that you are in your workspace.

But I totally understand the idea that if that somehow has become something you are labeled with, and you are not able to get jobs as a heterosexual person in a movie… This whole conversation is like… But this is the world we live in, right? If it is a problem, then, of course, you should be able to have the roles that are written for someone who is gay.

But to me, as an actress, I am not interested in playing myself. It is about stretching. There is no point in being an actress if you are only going to do the same thing over and over again. But I do think, as a producer and a content creator, you should just be open to hiring people of all backgrounds, making sure there is a seat at the table for everybody, whatever that may mean. But I do not think that can be the only factor; I think it is a more holistic way of making movies.

What does it mean to you personally and to your career to be at an event like ClexaCon London?

Sheetal: It is so exciting. I still cannot believe I Can’t Think Straight has been ten years. Obviously, The World Unseen as well. I could never have imagined the impact that these movies have had on so many. You hope for that. You know, you hope that when you make art, that impacts somebody at some point other than yourself. I think to be invited and welcomed in this way is really sweet and lovely.

The things that I am hearing from meeting everybody and also being able to meet fans that have been messaging and tweeting me and then finally being able to put a face to a name has been really exciting. And then also hearing what it is. What is the story? Hearing in person what the story is and what it has done and why.

Happy ending I Can’t Think Straight

Sheetal: What I keep hearing about I Can’t Think Straight is the happy ending, which I did not realize, is so rare in stories having to do with two women. I am like: “Is that true?” And they are like: “Yeah, actually, either someone dies or there are drugs or there is something.” How is that supposed to give anybody hope? I just do not even understand. Honestly, it blew my mind when I kept hearing over and over ‘thank you for this.’ I did not even write the movie. I learn. I am learning a ton. The fact that that seems to be the reality for this type of content is troubling. It is shocking.

She asks Shamim if she knew this. Shamim: I did not actually, but I am terrible…

After I Can’t Think Straight

Hanan: No, it is after I Can’t Think Straight. It is based on us really [points to Shamim, her wife], some fiction. So, it is amazing how it has affected women. Many women have come out as a result of this film in particular.

Sheetal: The coming-out scene. Word for word, people will quote me. They say: “This is what I said too.” I am like: “Oh my Gosh, you did?”

Hanan: Yes. A lot of women have felt more comfortable in their skin. Maybe some have not come out still but they feel better about themselves. That it is okay to have such feelings or to go through this and to come out. So, coming to events like this is very important to continue with spreading the message and reaching more people.

Sheetal: And giving it the space and the pedigree that it deserves. You do not want to be in the corner. You absolutely have… Everybody has the right to have their own voice and space heard. And so, for ClexaCon to do that, that is really great for them.

More I Can’t Think Straight

As mentioned, this is not the full interview. You can hear more in my video. Do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and share my videos. That really helps with future trips to LGBT+ cons and with me bringing the cons home to people who cannot go to them themselves, for various reasons. It only takes a few seconds to help our beautiful community!

Have not watched I Can’t Think Straight yet? You can find the movie on Amazon or in iTunes.

Want to read about other cons that I have visited? This is where my ClexaCon Vegas adventure started and this is where my Love Fan Fest adventure in Barcelona started. Enjoy!

Freelancers Anonymous: The New Queer Movie for Everybody

Freelancers Anonymous: The New Queer Movie for Everybody

Freelancers Anonymous will be released November 16 and as I have already seen a screener of it, I can tell you why you need to pre-order the movie now. I love the fact that the movie revolves around female freelancers like me and that some characters are simply brilliant. At ClexaCon London, I have briefly talked to Natasha Negovanlis about the movie. She plays Gayle and is happy to share with you why she thinks you will enjoy this movie. Read my blog post or watch the video below the image.

‘Freelancers Anonymous: The New Queer Movie for Everybody’ Freelancers Anonymous will be released November 16 and as I have already seen a screener of it, I can tell you why you need to pre-order the movie now. I love the fact that the movie revolves around female freelancers like me and that some characters are simply brilliant: http://bit.ly/FreelancersAnonymous

Freelancers Anonymous is about me

Being a freelancer myself, I love seeing that part of my life in a movie. Freelancers Anonymous shows how hard it can be to start something. It does not show how hard it can be to keep your company (about 70% of companies founded stop after only four years!) but you definitely gain insight into all the work it takes.

The movie also shows how it really takes a community to make it happen for you. Everybody adds a piece. Finally, it shows how you need to convince everybody that you have a solid product or service every single day.

Freelancers Anonymous is mostly created by women

Freelancers Anonymous is written by two women (Lisa Cordileone and Amy Dellagiarino), directed by a woman (Sonia Sebastián), produced mainly by women, and all the main characters are played by women. That is rather fresh in today’s entertainment industry.

In fact, Freelancers Anonymous made it to ReFrame’s list as a gender-balanced production. ReFrame is a coalition of industry leaders founded by Women in Film and the Sundance Institute that launched a data initiative in an effort to recognize and promote gender-balanced films and television shows.

It collaborates with IMDBPro and relies on IMDBPro’s data to analyze films and television series to see how many women were involved in the production and how much screen time female characters had. To earn the ReFrame Stamp, a film or TV show must meet some requirements that call for women in key roles like starring, directing, producing, and writing. Additional points are given for having racial diversity.

I admire this movie for having such a female energy!

Freelancers Anonymous has Gayle

For me, the highlight of this movie was seeing Gayle’s second freelance job that she needs in order to support her first freelance job. I do not want to give away what it is but I can only imagine how hard Natasha Negovanlis had to laugh when she first read the lines that she would eventually have to say out loud.

Freelancers Anonymous has queer characters but…

Freelancers Anonymous has queer characters but does not make a big deal out of it. Billie and Gayle are shown in the final few months before their wedding and that is all you need to know about that relationship. Yes, obviously, their wedding plays a big part in the story but not how it has historically been done. It focuses on how they prepare for it rather than on the queer part of it. Because no deal is being made of it and the movie shows the things we all encounter in our wedding planning phase and in our struggles at the office, it is a movie for everybody.

Freelancers Anonymous has Larry

Do I need to highlight one of the few male characters in the movie? Yes. Who is Larry? What does Larry do? What does Larry add? Those are all legitimate questions. I do not have the answers for you. That is precisely why I need to mention him. I love random stuff like that in a movie!

Representation matters

What are you going to do this weekend? My guess is watching Freelancers Anonymous! On the Freelancers Anonymous website, you can pre-order the movie now or order the movie starting from November 16. Would you please share this post with every queer person you know? Representation matters and the more we know what movies are out there for us, the better!

Lesbian web series tip! Different for Girls is a rather new UK lesbian web series. It has crazy talented actors, like Rachel Shelley and Victoria Broom. I cannot wait for another season!

Indiegogo campaign tip! Short film The Date is now looking for funding. It is the story of two women looking for love in the dating world of the 21st century and aims to offer positive lesbian representation in the media. With what I have seen of it so far, I can say that it looks promising!

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