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Loving Annabelle is about a schoolgirl
with a crush on her teacher. Do you
have experience in this area?
I never had any major crushes on
teachers, but I went to camp every
summer and always had a crush on a
counselor. And it was always unrequited.
There’s nothing harsher than wanting
someone who doesn’t have the slightest
interest in you. That is why I am so
glad I wrote Annabelle and Simone who
definitely requited their love.
You have created the most popular
lesbian film of recent times.
I don’t know if I realize how much people
like the film. I’m still so ultra critical, being
that it is my first real feature. When our
publicist said it was the highest selling
gay film on Amazon.com, I thought it
was a joke.
How difficult was funding, casting,
and distributing the film in terms of
its subject matter?
Because it was a “gay” film we had a
lot of offers being that there isn’t very
much material for lesbians out there.
Casting and funding were a nightmare.
I went through three different teachers
and finally three days before shooting,
Diane Gaidry came on. Both our leads
didn’t have bankable names so people
were scared to invest. But, somehow it
worked out in the end and I think Diane
and Erin were better than any “name”
could have been.
SPOKE TO LOTL.
The film is very stylish. Do lesbians
demand more from visual narratives
now, and where did you acquire your
I like lush and warm tones and rarely
find myself drawn to grit and grain and
more realistic style shooting. It serves its
purpose when it needs to, but for Loving
Annabelle I wanted every frame to be
like a still picture. That’s what I told my
DP, Cynthia Pusheck, who is an amazing
photographer. I told her if I hit pause on
any second of the film I would want it to
make a great still photograph.
Has your sexuality affected your
position in the film industry?
It’s so easy to get pigeon holed in
Hollywood and that is why I love making
smaller independent films. I can have my
voice and some day if a studio and the
public can handle my voice then I’ll be
making bigger movies. My spiritual side
is what comes out in my next project
and it’s a side of me I think anyone can
Actress you’d most like to direct in
I really want to work with Maria Bello. I’d
also love to work with Angelina Jolie and
Gillian Anderson. God there are so many.
I hope I can make enough movies to work
with each one of them.
Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival delivers a
particularly strong year of features by and about lesbians
– from the confronting Boy I Am, which may just surprise
lesbians resistant to the idea of transgender to The Best Of
Lesploitation, which serves up a twisted feast of Sapphic
sleaze featuring lesbianic nuns, frisky prison inmates and
lesbo vampires among others. Programmer Megan Carrigy
reports told LOTL “There is an incredible variety and quality
this year. We have so many sumptuous 35 mm films from
South east Asia, Europe and America.” Top picks include
the moving drama Electroshock set in Franco’s Spain in
the 1970s where two women are forcibly separated, the
gastronomic romance of the lusciously filmed Nina’s Heavenly
Delights, the Philippine family drama Summer Heat, and
Last Second, the first lesbian film to come out of Indonesia.
For those with limited attention spans there are always the very
popular shorts sessions. One of the films offered is lesbian riot
grrrl flick Surf Gang. Katrina del Mar, the film’s director/writer/
producer/editor shot the film on super 8 with the help of her
lesbian friends. “Sometimes I write the dialogue; other times it’s
a rough framework or improvising. I once had a movie outlined
on a Post-it Note; I have shot and edited a film in six hours.
I’m a little bit Ed Wood,” says the New York-based director
who believes it’s better to just do it than wait for funding. “I had
to give up on perfection just to get it done. The budget was
tiny. I paid rent late, had a benefit party to pay my landlord: this
is how to get a film budget together.” Inspired by punk rock
and DIY filmmakers such as Russ Meyer and John Waters, the
main thing, she says, is to enjoy the process. The film was shot
in The Hamptons, Rockaway Beach and Florida and tells the
story of two sisters and a gang of tough chicks that run amok
at the beach. “To look at six girls with large chests kick ass
and take charge and do whatever the fuck they want is fun.”
Visit queerscreen.com.au for details and booking.
Surf Gang by Katrina del Mar;
Nina’s Heavenly Delights by Pratibha Parmar
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