Home' LOTL : Sep 2014 Contents The film ‘Appropriate Behavior’ is a com-
ing of age comedy about a young woman,
Shirin, who is trying to rebuild her life and
come out to her family. How did you first
come up with the idea to make a movie
I had been filming a web series ‘The Slope’
and while I was doing that I had been writing
a script. As we were doing a second season,
my co-creator and I wanted to work alone,
so I changed the script and made it more
about what I was dealing with at the time; the
aftermath of coming out to my family, and the
The film also explores the concept of sexuality
and coming out to traditional and conserva-
tive parents. In your own experience, did you
struggle to come to terms with your sexuality?
I struggled with a lot of things growing up. I
was a real loser, a very ugly kid, and didn’t have
any boyfriends or girlfriends. But I didn’t have a
huge identity crisis over sex. I always knew that
I was attracted to men and women, so I never
thought I was living a lie by dating a guy.
And how was the coming out process for you?
When I first started making my web series, I
wasn’t on good terms with my parents, but the
more positive attention my show got, the more
my family was able to see how I have changed
for the better. They were so eager for my work
to do well, and because my work was so much
about my personal life, it meant that they also
had to be okay with my being gay.
Where do you source your inspirations for
your film? Are they in many ways autobio-
Autobiographical is a strange term. Things
that have happened in my life inspire a lot of
the themes in the film, but it is not exactly
true to form. A lot of changes have been
made, simply because a reenactment of my life
wouldn’t be that interesting at all.
Congratulations on getting into Sundance!
Can you walk us through your Sundance
Thank you! Well I submitted a rough cut in
October and then didn’t think about it. You
hope that it does well, but you never plan a
future for when that happens. For me, I really
didn’t even think I would get into Sundance
and it was truly shocking when we got in, in
the best way possible.
Has your family seen ‘Appropriate Behavior’?
My mum saw it at the press screening, which
was stressful but good. Then my brother, dad
and mum saw it at the premier and it was a
really great experience. My family is extremely
supportive. I was able to keep showing them
that a life being out was potentially positive,
and that I could keep doing things I had
Do you have any words of wisdom for aspir-
ing film makers?
Don’t wait for permission from other people to
make something. Make whatever you want but
treat it within your means. Be creative and find
stories you can tell, using what’s at your disposal.
PLAYS AT QUEER SCREEN FEST 18TH SEP
lotl.com • Lesbians On The Loose Magazine
FILM | REVIEWS
APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR COMES
TO QUEER SCREEN FILM FEST
Desiree Akhavan’s first feature film helps her reflect on her own struggles
coming out as a young, bisexual, Persian woman. BY AMBER KINNEAR & JANICE FUNG
ten films on sale now!
SUNDAY SEP 21 8:30PM
Queer Screen Film Fest closes
with the excellent new film Pride,
winner of the Queer Palm at
Cannes Film Festival 2014. An
uplifting British comedy-drama
inspired by a remarkable true story.
Dance of the Orchids
FRIDAY SEP 19 6:30PM
Soongava follows the lives of two
passionate lesbian lovers, Diya and
Kiran, as they struggle with the
tradition and the morality of Nepali
society to pursue their relationship
regardless of the consequences.
2 014 17- 21 September
Event Cinemas George Street and Dendy Newtown
Film image: Appropriate Behavior
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