Tag Archives: Feature film

Queen Latifah Teams Up w/ Juliette Binoche & Others To Launch Company To Empower Women In Entertainment

Queen Latifah has teamed up with actresses Jessica Chastain and Juliette Binoche, and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke to launch a production company called We Do It Together (WDIT), which will focus on producing films and TV programming by and about women.

The non-profit company is planning to develop a number of “inspiring” films that they hope will help ensure future opportunities for known and emerging women voices within the industry.

The company’s first film will be announced in May at the Cannes International Film Festival.

WDIT will raise capital from grants, governments, corporate sponsors and individual donations to invest in the production of films. The proceeds will be reinvested in the company to create a self-sustaining organisation to invest in additional films.

The organisation is scheduled to participate at the United Nations’ Third Annual Power of Collaboration Global Summit on February 29.

[interaction id=”568a4dbc3a731d3e71b88659″]

Oscars 2016: 5 of the Biggest Nomination Snubs

In just over a months’ time, the 88th Academy Awards (the 2016 Oscars) will take place. Hosted by comedian Chris Rock, the award show aims to heap praise on those who’ve done a brilliant job in filmmaking both in front of and behind the camera.

Earlier this week, the Oscars 2016 nominations were revealed and while there were some notable highlights (trans drama The Danish Girl landed multiple noms, as did Mad Max: Fury Road) there were also some notable snubs. Below is our list of the biggest snubs; feel free to leave yours in the comments!

1. Carol


Carol is quite possibly the best lesbian film ever made; most people who’ve seen it and critics, many of whom have featured Carol in their ‘best of the year’ lists, would agree.

So why, despite Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara getting nominations for their incredible performances in the film, was the film looked over elsewhere?

In a brilliant article on Autostraddle, Heather Hogan suggests that Carol was kept out of the Best Picture and Best Director categories because of misandry rather than lesbophobia. 76% of Oscar voters are men and as director Todd Haynes “refused to center on masculine experience” it stands to reason that the voters didn’t want to heap praise on the movie.

2. Tangerine

Tangerine 02

Tangerine is a film that stars two trans women (who are also sex workers) named Sin-Dee and Alexandra, telling the story of what happens when Sin-Dee finds out that her boyfriend (and pimp) has been cheating on her. Not only was it praised for casting two actual trans women to play trans characters (a rarity in films these days) but this indie flick was also shot on an iPhone.

With critics raving about the film, the team behind Tangerine decided to campaign for the Oscars, making it the first ever Oscars campaign for openly transgender actresses. A nomination was always a long shot but we’re still sad to see Tangerine and its cast miss out.

3. Clouds of Sils Maria (Kristen Stewart)

Clouds of Sils Maria 02

Less of a long shot was Clouds of Sils Maria. Released in the United States in April 2015, the drama starred Juliette Binoche as a middle-aged actress cast in a film with Chloe Moretz (who plays an up and coming actress in the film), while Kristen Stewart stars as the personal assistant Binoche’s character has some serious tension with.

With Stewart having scooped up a César (a French Oscar) for her role, in what some have called a ‘career-defining performance’ for the actress, many were surprised to see that Oscar voters overlooked her.

4. Grandma


Another film that everybody has been raving about is Grandma. Controversial for the fact that it centres on a grandmother and her granddaughter trying to find the funds for an abortion, critics loved the comedy-drama and said that Lily Tomlin was fantastic in it.

As a result, her Oscars 2016 snub was a shock though some have cited age (Tomlin is 76) and Hollywood’s bias against older women as a primary reason for the snub.

5. Any Actor of Colour

It is amazing (and not in a good way) just how staggeringly, blindingly and frankly uncomfortably white this year’s Oscars are. For the second year on the trot, every single acting nomination was given to white actors and actresses. Not even Will Smith (who offered a brilliant performance in Concussion) and Idris Elba (who delivered a dazzling performance in Beasts of No Nation) were nominated.

Michael B. Jordan was completely overlooked whereas his Creed costar Sylvester Stallone got a nomination and Straight Outta Compton was also ignored despite being a critical and box office smash.

The most recent figure (from 2012) suggests that Oscar voters are 94% white so again this isn’t surprising, but the fact that this has happened another year in a row, at a time when the Academy is reportedly trying to improve regarding diversity, makes this even worse.

Even the Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has voiced her disappointment

Oscars 2016: Cate Blanchett And Rooney Mara Both Nominated For ‘Carol’

Hollywood held its breath today as the academy revealed which of the year’s films it was most impressed by.

The Revenant led the nominations with a total of 12, followed by Mad Max: Fury Roadwith 10, and The Martian with seven.

Cate Blanchett is up for Best Actress for her critically-acclaimed role in lesbian love story Carol – which received a total of six nominations, including one for co-star Rooney Mara, who is up for Best Supporting Actress.


However, there was film failed to pick up Best Picture category, and Todd Haynes was absence in the Best Director category.

Eddie Redmayne is also aiming for an Oscar double after being nominated for Best Actor for The Danish Girl – twelve months after winning the same prize for The Theory of Everything.


However, Redmayne faces stiff competition from the likes of Bryan Cranston, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Fassbender.

Other nominees included Sam Smith and Lady Gaga – who were both nominated for Best Original Song.

Smith – who is nominated for Bond theme, Writing On The Wall – expressed shock after also picking up a Golden Globe for the song last weekend.

Lady Gaga is nominated for her track, Till It Happens To You, which formed part of the soundtrack of film The Hunting Ground.

Unsettlingly, for the second consecutive year, no performers of colour were nominated. Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton) and Mya Taylor (Tangerine) were among the many black actors who were shut out.

Similarly, no women cracked the Best Director race – but, sadly, that comes as no surprise.


Read Cate Blanchett’s Amazing Response To Questions About Her Sexuality

Since being paid to play gay, Cate Blanchett has been faced with the question about her sexuality.

When she was faced with this question a few months ago, she decided to turn the question on it’s head.

Yes. Many times.”

We all saw that comment, and our heart skipped a beat. But then days later, She later clarified her answer at a press conference.

However, in a recent interview with the Guardian Blanchett explained exactly what she was doing.

I also just played Mary Mapes, who’s a journalist. No one asked me how long I’d been to journalism school. If I played someone who has an affair, I think a reporter would probably think twice before asking, ‘Ooh, how many affairs have you had?’ It would be a slightly delicate area.

Carol 01

But there are no holds barred about asking me whether I’ve had relationships with women. And so I facetiously said, ‘Oh yes, I’ve had many relationships with women’ – because frankly, who hasn’t? Of course I said it in inverted commas. But the inverted commas didn’t make the page.”

Recently Blanchett has called for more diversity in portrayals of gay people on screen.

Carol opens in cinemas on Nov 27.

Teacher Told To Resign For Playing This Anti-Bullying LGBT Video

Tom Leahy is a teacher at a school in Kansas, who has been asked to resign after playing a viral anti-homophobia video to 14 year olds in his social studies class at Conway Springs Middle School.

As part of a history lesson on tolerance for an Eighth grade class, the teacher played short film Love Is All You Need.

Based on the award-winning short film of the same name, the hugely popular anti-bullying clip challenges society by exploring bullying and prejudice in a new light.


Now with more than 12 million views on YouTube, the film is based on the premise of the ‘reversed world’ – where social roles are inverted – ‘gay is straight and straight is gay’ – this unique viewpoint allows viewers to ‘walk a mile’ in another’s shoes.

However, Mr Leahy told the Wichita Eagle that the video had “upset too many people” in the predominantly Catholic town, and that he has been asked to step down despite teaching at the school since 1997.

He added:

I knew something was going to happen. I just didn’t know this would happen.”

Watch the full film below;

[interaction id=”560c2d3377aa6c1a034e607b”]

Cate Blanchett Calls For More Diversity In LGBT Characters We See On Screen

Speaking of her new role in Carol – in which Cate Blanchett plays a woman in a same-sex relationship – the actress said it was frustrating because many people expect their own relationships to be represented.

Carol 02

Talking to The Guardian, she said

The problem is that when you represent a character in a same-sex relationship, it’s like you have to represent them all.

You become a spokesperson, which really isn’t the point. When the time comes that we have a diversity of same-sex couples in film, then the problem is solved, I don’t have to stand for everyone.”

In the film, Blanchett’s character, an older woman in 1950s New York, has an affair with a younger woman, who is played by Rooney Mara.

The Highsmith novel, also published under the name The Price of Salt, was ground-breaking in its portrayal of a romance between two women.


At a time when most lesbian love stories were resigned to pulp fiction with doomed characters, the characters in this novel are given a realistic relationship and a chance at a happy ending.

One her character, Blanchett added;

I read a lot of girl-on-girl books from the period. I think there are a lot of people that exist like [Carol] who don’t feel the need to shout things from the rafters.”

Blanchett recently said she was misquoted when it was widely reported she had said she had had sexual relationships with women.

Carol opens in cinemas on Nov 27.


‘Carol’ Review Round-Up: What Do Critics Say About the Upcoming Movie?

Upcoming movie Carol isn’t just one of the most highly anticipated lesbian-featuring films of the year (along with Freeheld and Grandma), it’s one of the most highly anticipated films of 2015, standard.

The film, which is based on the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt, is set in 1952 and stars Cate Blanchett as a married, 46-year old socialite who falls for Rooney Mara’s character, who is a 30-year old shop clerk.


The film breaks ground for a few reasons, as not only is it part of a rare group of films to portray May/December romances (romances between a younger person and an older person) but Carol also covers the class gap between the two women as well.

Blanchett and Mara have been praised for their performances in the film and those who have been lucky enough to see it at film festivals have said that both women are strong Oscar contenders.

So, with a few weeks to go until the film is released at the box office, we’ve put together a Carol review round-up, featuring the excerpts from several different critics.

Carol 02

Alicia Adejobi – International Business Times:

Todd Haynes has crafted a visually stunning picture with Carol, a lesbian love story brought to life with remarkable performances by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Although for all its beauty, Carol concludes with a sense that it could have been rounded-off with a better developed story.

Carol surprisingly has very little dialogue. Instead, Haynes develops the love story by playing on Mara and Blanchett’s natural chemistry which results in many scenes where not much happens but a stripped conversation about trivial matters. Still, where Carol does fall flat in fleshing out an otherwise one-dimensional premise, it makes up in the talents of the core cast, which includes terrific support from Sarah Paulson as Carol‘s long-time friend and confidante and Kyle Chandler as Harge.”

Score: 3 out of 5

Justin Chang – Variety:

…high expectations don’t quite prepare you for the startling impact of Carol, an exquisitely drawn, deeply felt love story that teases out every shadow and nuance of its characters’ inner lives with supreme intelligence, breathtaking poise and filmmaking craft of the most sophisticated yet accessible order.”

Score: n/a

Jason Bailey – Flavorwire:

The performances are predictably astonishing; Mara has a way of conveying the fullness of her character in an offhand line reading, and the variations in Blanchett’s tight smile tell, in their own way, the film’s entire story.

The picture is gorgeous, which is no surprise from Mr. Haynes — lushly photographed by Lachman (yet in grain-pushing Super16, to keep the image from seeming too immaculate, its New York streets a noticeable contrast to Heaven’s squeaky-clean Sirkian suburbs), magnificently costumed by Sandy Powell, every car gleaming, every tchotchke in place. These rooms and stores seem to close in on our heroines; ultimately, they cannot contain them.”

Score n/a

Heather Hogan – Autostraddle:

I was so intoxicated by Carol I wanted to sit down in the middle of the sidewalk on the New York City street and close my eyes and relive every detail, over and over, until I could play it backwards and forwards on a loop in my own imagination for forever.

…To value the rarity of seeing a lesbian film stitched together with such accomplished precision it makes me wish the word “epic” hadn’t been completely diluted so I could bring the full weight of its meaning to bear on this love story. Extraordinary? Singular? Remarkable? Yes, all of those things too.

Perhaps the best praise I can give Carol is that ten minutes into it, I forgot it was my job to be a critic. Twenty minutes in, I forgot I was watching a movie at all.”

Score: n/a

While these are just a handful of reviews, the majority of the opinions we read for this piece were incredibly positive. From being called ‘flawless’ and ‘phenomenal’ and ‘the best lesbian movie ever’, to Cate Blanchett being called ‘the world’s last true movie star’, everybody everywhere has something good to say about Carol.

The fact that the film has less dialogue than most won’t be for everyone, though, but for many people Carol’s gorgeous shots and the sometimes wordless acting, the expressions and the framing of the scene should be enough.

Carol will be available at the box office on November 20 (United States) and November 27 (United Kingdom).

Also read: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara Talk On-Screen Chemistry For ‘Carol’


Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara Talk On-Screen Chemistry For ‘Carol’

Carol screened at the BFI London Film Festival last week, with leading ladies, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, on show to share details about some of the film’s most intimate details.

The film, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 lesbian novel The Price of Salt, is helmed by out director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven) and stars Blanchett who plays alluring married woman Carol Aird, who meets young department store clerk Therese Belivet, played by Mara.

The couple form an instant connection and fall in love. Carol faces losing custody of her daughter in a bitter divorce battle because of her affair with a woman.

The movie’s integral moment when the women finally consummate their affair was treated with nothing but the utmost care according to both actresses as well as director Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven).


Discussion on the red carpet, Blanchett said;

They’re scenes and they’re really important. You always have to scrutinise and ask hard questions of those scenes – how necessary are they? But the consummation of their (Carol and Therese’s) relationship is really important.

It’s just about how we were going to do it. We talked about the scene and there’s a great sense of trust between Rooney and I.”

Blanchett went on to say it was a “relief” when the scene was filmed between them,

Both characters are quite isolated – not only because their feelings set them apart from others, but the gap in their ages. They go through these volcanic feelings towards one another so it was a relief to do the scenes with Rooney. Finally we get to be together.”


Mara added that she felt “comfortable” with Blanchett, saying;

Getting to work opposite Cate was a dream. She’s a very generous actor and super prepared but also she’s very alive and in the moment. I don’t know if many people know this but she’s also really funny – this incredible Australian sense of humour and wit about her.”

Both Blanchett and Mara have been widely tipped for Oscar nominations for their roles.


Haynes also discuss the necessity of a comfortable, respectful environment when shooting love scenes,

We do our best to all talk about it together, me and the actors, to know exactly what they’re calling for narratively to how we’re going to shoot it so they feel as comfortable and prepared as possible,” he described of the process, “This is an essential component of the story and in that regard, there was no doubting it or feeling like it’s exploitative in any way.”

Carol opens November 20th, so get ready to soon fall even more in love with this film and its co-stars than you already are.


New ‘Carol’ Trailer: Watch Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara Embrace Forbidden Love

A second official trailer for Carol has arrived, and the most in-depth look at the romantic lesbian film – swoon.


The film, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 lesbian novel The Price of Salt, is helmed by out director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven) and stars Cate Blanchett as Carol, a socialite housewife who falls in love with a store clerk, Therese (Rooney Mara).

Sarah Paulson also stars, playing Carol’s (Cate Blanchett) best friend, along with Carrie Brownstein, and Kyle Chandler.



This particular trailer features a glimpse at the intimate romance between Carol and Therese, and the series of consequences their affair has on those around them.


Carol’s grounded yet emotional voice-over is giving us serious goose-bumps.


Roll on November 20th, when we’ll all get the chance to experience this beautiful drama for ourselves.

Carol has already seen impressive success at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Watch the trailer below.


Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara Fall in Love in First Trailer For Oscar-Tipped ‘Carol’

WOW! Its here, and its what lesbian dreams are made of – *Swoon* – the Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara led lesbian love story, Carol.


Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 semi-autobiographical novel The Price Of Salt, the film is set against the glamorous backdrop of 1950s New York.

Carol, played by Blanchett, is a married woman who risks everything when she embarks on a romance with a younger department store worker Therese, played by Rooney Mara.

It set critics buzzing with praise at the Cannes Film Festival. On Metacritics, 98% of movie experts gave the film five out of five stars. And now the world has Blanchett pegged for another Oscar, which would be her third after The Aviator and Blue Jasmine.


For direct Todd Haynes, this is just the latest of his feature films to focus on sexual and gender identity. His third film, Velvet Goldmine, focused on bisexual glam rock star in 1970s London. His fourth, Far From Heaven, starred Julianne Moore as a 1950s housewife whose husband (Dennis Quaid) comes out. And his last movie, I’m Not There, starred Blanchett in a gender-bending portrayal of Bob Dylan.

Carol is scheduled for limited release, premiering in the US on 20 November and in the UK on 27 November.

Trailer | Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter Star in Suffragette (Video)

Suffragette focuses on the story of infamous feminist icon Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep) and her friendship with Maud (Carey Mulligan), a working-class wife and mother who joins the Suffragette movement against her husband’s will.

The drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.

These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing.

Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives.

Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational.

The movie’s crew will be the first in history to be granted permission from Members of Parliament to shoot inside the Houses of Parliament.


Could ‘Lesbian Themed’ Movies Rule Next Years Oscars?

Indiewire have updated their 2016 Oscar predictions, and they predict a very real possibility that over half of this year’s female acting nominations could go to portrayals of gay women.

Lesbians have represented at the Oscars before. Charlize Theron won for playing serial killer Aileen Wuornos, Nicole Kidman played Virginia Woolf, and Annette Bening almost won for her rule in the The Kids Are All Right. 

Also read: When It Pays To Be A Lesbian At The Oscars

So who has been tipped?

There is a possibility that openly gay actress Lily Tomlin could get a nomination for playing someone openly gay in Grandma. Which is actually a first – a lesbian actress being nominated for playing a lesbian character – shock horror!

Tomlin would also become the only second gay person to be nominated for playing a gay person. Ian McKellen is currently the only other example.

In Paul Weitz’s Grandma, Tomlin plays a lesbian poet who goes on a road trip with her granddaughter after she breaks up with her long-term partner.


This is her first lead role in a film in over 27 years, and she’s incredible in it. Sony Pictures Classics is surely going to rev up a campaign for her come fall, in hopes of giving 75 year old Tomlin her first Oscar nomination since 1975, when she was nominated for Nashville. Our fingers are firmly crossed.

Also read: Watch | New Clip Released from Lily Tomlin’s New movie ‘Grandma’

If Tomlin does get nominated, she would almost certainly be competing against Cate Blanchett, who got insanely good reviews out of Cannes for Todd Haynes’ Carol. Blanchett plays half of a 1950s lesbian romance in the film, the other half being played by Rooney Mara, who beat out Blanchett for Cannes’ Best Actress award.


Mara is a very likely nominee too, though The Weinstein Company could very well campaign her in supporting.

Also read: Watch | First Teaser of Cate Blanchett’s new Lesbian / Bi-Feature Film ‘Carol’

Either way, this is three possible lesbian nominees.

And then there’s Freeheld, which we’ll likely be released at the Toronto Film Festival.


The movie stars last year’s best actress winner Julianne Moore, who is paired with Ellen Page. The film is a classic Oscar bait story of real life lesbian Laurel Hester (Moore), a police officer in Ocean County, New Jersey. Following her diagnosis with terminal lung cancer in 2005, Hester repeatedly appealed to the county’s board of chosen freeholders in an attempt to ensure her pension benefits could be passed on to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Page).

Also read: Will Ellen Page’s “Freeheld” Be A Surprise Box Office Hit?

The film is actually based on a documentary short that won an Oscar, and is written by the same man who got a nomination for his screenplay for Philadelphia.

We obviously won’t know until we see it, but both Moore and Page sure seem like contenders for best actress and best support. That would also make Moore the only person to receive two nominations for playing queer characters.

Watch | First Teaser of Cate Blanchett’s new Lesbian / Bi-Feature Film ‘Carol’

This week Cate Blanchett’s film Carol premieres at Cannes, and we’re all very excited. We’re even more excited to finally see so clips from the film.


The big-screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 lesbian cult classic The Price of Salt stars Blanchett as a socialite Carol who falls for a younger shop girl (Rooney Mara). While lesbian pulp novels usually ended in tragedy (it would have been blasphemous to end them in blissful romance) Highsmith broke barriers by doing the opposite. In The Price of Salt the lead falls for a young woman – a department store clerk and artist – and spoiler alert (!) it ends in a way that lets us imagine that the two women end up happy together.

Also read: Cate Blanchett Confirms Her Past Relationships With Women

The original 1952 romance novel (which Highsmith originally published under a pseudonym, having predicted public outrage over the queer storyline) was very popular among lesbians of the time period — not all that surprising, due to the unconventional characters that defied stereotypes.

The clips don’t give much a way in terms of plot, but the two stars coy glances say so much more.


On the film, director Todd Haynes says

In some ways, the event of a gay love story is less surprising every day. But I think love stories are hard to pull off, period. They require external forces that keep the lovers apart.”

Cate is now one of several public women who have spoken about having relationships with women, while also not labelling themselves, much like Miley Cyrus.


Watch | New Clip Released from Lily Tomlin’s New movie ‘Grandma’

In her first leading role since 1988’s Big Business with Bette Midler, comedy legend, Lily Tomlin, plays Elle Reid – a bisexual feminist poet  – whose work is like catnip to women’s-studies majors and the like.

She is breaking up with her far younger girlfriend and still dealing with the death of her longtime partner, when her granddaughter, Sage, unexpectedly shows up needing $600 before sundown to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. The duo spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

Like Tomlin herself, Elle is an out lesbian long before it was widely accepted, and her daughter, Judy, had Sage through an anonymous sperm donor. And now it is Sage’s turn to make a critical decision about her own body and the life of her unborn child — a decision, “Grandma” unambiguously argues, it is hers and only hers to make.

I know I’m putting myself on the line, kind of. But I trusted (writer-director by Paul Weitz) and I liked the material. First of all, he had written it with me in mind, and he wanted me. Then as we worked through the material, it just seemed like a good thing to do.”

Lily Tomlin

The film co-stars Julia Garner, Laverne Cox, Marcia Gay Harden and Judy Greer.


For an Honest Portrayal of Lesbian Parenting, then Watch German Film ‘Two Mothers’

There is a film due out on DVD that you should add to your wish list. The German film, by first-time feature writer and director Anne Zohra Berrached, ‘Two Mothers’ (Zwei Mütter) is based on the experiences of several real lesbian couples struggles to conceive a baby.

The film has already won the FGYO Award for best dialogue at its Berlin International Film Festival. Its has also gone on to earn acclaim at several film festivals around the world, including acting awards for lead actresses, Sabine Wolf and Karina Plachetka, who play the married lesbian couple Katja and Isabella looking to have a child.

The story follows the lesbian couple’s path to parenthood. However, when they decide to have a child, they are confronted with unexpected obstacles. Despite living in the relatively progressive Germany, sperm banks and fertility clinics refuse to treat the couple, citing legal reasons.

Whilst Katja begins to doubt if they should continue, Isabelle is relentless in her pursuit of a baby, and after months of stessful and pricey procedures, they turn to a sperm donor. As weeks pass by, Katja starts doubting and discovers that Isa is willing to betray their relationship in order to fulfill her wish of becoming pregnant.

The film explores the troubles the couple face, and in particular Katja, who is worried about her place in Isabella’s pregnancy and in the life of their future child, since she will technically not be the mother or father in the most literal sense. She increasingly feels like an outsider and a passive observer in Isabella’s quest.

The dialogue in the movie is honest and pointed. Katja and Isabella’s relationship is presented sincerely and doesn’t feel contrived. The story unravels slowly and gently to explore the frustrating reality and the emotional burden of such a journey on a relationship.

There is no music to distract or manipulate feelings, nor are there many side characters, so the focus is solely on couple. Both Sabine Wolf and Karina Plachetka performances are strong and very relatable.


The movie that tackles a topic lesbian pregnancy very well, which will appeal to lesbian couples in a similar situation or to those curious about the process. It does not paint a blissful picture, however, and shows the dangers both implicit and explicit to lesbian parenting.

Leighton Meester Talks ‘Life Partners’, LGBT Fans and Working With Gillian Jacobs

In media that feature lesbians, by far the biggest trope that we see is lesbians sleeping with straight men. But, this uncomfortable plot point is rivalled by lesbians falling for straight women.

We’ve seen it everywhere from films (Imagine Me and You), TV shows (Faking It) and it’s even been talked about in songs (Te Amo by Rihanna). But where is the media that just features good ol’ fashioned friendship between lesbians and heterosexual women?

New movie Life Partners is one such breath of fresh air, with the movie focusing on a gay woman Sasha (played by Leighton Meester) and her straight best friend Paige (played by Gillian Jacobs). Sasha and Paige’s biggest source of conflict is trying balance the time they have for their friendship and their love lives rather than the feelings they have for each other.



Now, Leighton Meester has spoken about the movie in a brand new interview. Speaking to shewired, the actress explained that Life Partners’ portrayal of women was “a huge reason” for her taking the part:

“I think, you know, it makes a lot of sense that female characters aren’t written as complex, three-dimensional people and that we’re pitted against each other on-screen. And we’re thought of as competition and put in very unrealistic settings in which the only time we’re on the screen with another woman is talking about men. I think it makes a lot of sense, because films are not made by women very often — as often as they are by men — not written by women as often. …

I think people have this assumption, based on I don’t know what — nothing [laughs] — that women don’t go to movies, and we do. It’s the perpetuation of a stereotype that really comes from something not true, which is that women are competitive with one another, and I think that should stop.”

Leighton Meester

But, while we’ll always champion female friendship (and a movie that passes that Bechdel Test with flying colours at that), the chemistry between Meester and Jacobs is also more of a reason to watch the movie. The actress explains:

“I think both of us really came into it saying we’re going to just be as open and free and as honest as possible with each other. We knew walking in that you never know who you’re going to get, and I think that it was the all-over energy of Susanna and Joni [Fogel and Lefkowitz, the director and co-writer of the film, respectively] and our producers and our crew, which were a lot of women…

Everyone was just friendly and open. When I met Gillian it was pretty much immediate. We were both willing to be open with each other and to take the walls away and to get close and geek out. And so that was very fun.”

Leighton Meester

Meester also says she was keen to buck stereotypes when she was working on Life Partners:

“I would say that when I took on the role and when I was working on the film I definitely wanted to steer as far away as possible from any kind of stereotype or cliché. It’s in the writing and the character that Sasha is gay and that’s the end of the story.

It’s not that she has to come out, it’s not like she has to figure out her sexuality or who she is. It is what it is and she has dates and they don’t work out. And just because she discovers who she is doesn’t mean that it shifts back. … And I think that was refreshing.”

Leighton Meester

She further added that she hasn’t heard feedback directly from LGBT fans but judging by the film’s quality, once she does it will be overwhelmingly positive.

Life Partners is in cinemas now.


50s Lesbian Epic ‘Carol’ ft Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson and Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein, Will Be Out Next Year

While films like 2005’s ‘Imagine Me and You’ and more recent foreign language hit ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ have hit a chord as good queer lady led media. There is generally a stark lack of queer, female representation on our movie screens.

For the sake of both fixing what’s lacking and having the same chances at media representation that heterosexual people do (where boring, trope-y love triangles feature three people of the same gender rather than two), this needs to change. With Hollywood’s ever-changing mind-set and the calls and money of queer media fans making loud noises, things are slowly starting to improve.

One such example is Carol. An upcoming film from filmmaker Todd Haynes, Carol is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 50s lesbian pulp novel The Price of Salt.

While lesbian pulp novels usually ended in tragedy (it would have been blasphemous to end them in blissful romance) Highsmith broke barriers by doing the opposite. In The Price of Salt the lead falls for a young woman – a department store clerk and artist – and spoiler alert (!) it ends in a way that lets us imagine that the two women end up happy together.

Playing the two leads are Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as the younger woman, whilst Sarah Paulson and Carrie Brownstein (Paulson and Brownstein are both openly queer) play two other women in Carol’s life.

With no trailer and just a fan-made video of on set photos to go on it’s unclear if Carol will simply hint at a happy ending or explicitly say it, but we’ll have to wait and see.

As for what else we know about Carol, there’s reason to believe that it’s in very good hands indeed. Backing the project are Killer Films who are responsible for the Oscar winning film Boys Don’t Cry which was based on the real life story of a trans man, their mini-series Mildred Pierce won Emmys, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award and both of the founders of Killer Films (along with filmmaker Haynes) are all out and proud.

It’s making all the right sounds then and we can expect Carol to be released sometime next year, although we could see sneak previews as soon as January, 2015 at the next Sundance Film Festival.

Katherine Heigl’s Lesbian Wedding Movie to Make it to the Big Screen

Katherine Heigl’s gay marriage film ‘Jenny’s Wedding’, is set to be picked up by a distributor at the American Film Market.

The lesbian feature tells the story of Jenny (played by Katherine Heigl), who has led an openly gay life – except with her conventional family. When she finally decides to start a family of her own and marry the woman they thought was just her roommate, her family’s world will be turned upside down.

The film – written and directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue (Beaches, White Oleander, and Deceived) – recently attracted attention for launching a crowdfunding campaign for completion funds. Fans pledged $96,000 towards post production costs via a campaign on indiegogo.

Donoghue said the production wrapped in Cleveland last year, however post production has only recently been completed thanks to the fundraising efforts of fans who helped raise the money for the films final grading, sound mix and titles.


The director says she didn’t make ‘Jenny’s Wedding with the intention of it being a blockbuster hit. She is telling the story of her niece, also named Jenny, who came out to her sister and told her that she wanted to marry a woman. This film is chronicling the journey that they went through together as a family and the personal courage it took Jenny, as well as each of her family members, to live outside of their comfort zone and explore a new world together in order to come back together as a family.

“There is a Jenny in my life and family but this really isn’t her story, but the people who inspired the story have told me that they felt that we had captured them in the film.”

Mary Agnes Donoghue

Donoghue is hopeful that Heigl’s increased profile (thanks to the pick up ofher new TV series State of the Nation by NBC), will bode well for a cinema release of Jenny’s Wedding.

Behind the Scenes of Spanish Lesbian Feature Film – Girl Gets Girl

The production of Spanish lesbian feature film “Girl Gets Girl” (from the director of “Girl Seeks Girl” web series) is in full swing in Madrid.

“Our film is a chaotic and entertaining comedy by the creators of “Girl Seeks Girl”, an internationally acclaimed online series. Brazil, Italy, France, China… no market was able to resist the freshness, originality and humanity of our characters, their way of relating to each other and way of seeing the world. A funny comedy who show a positive and kind view of lesbian characters.”

Makers of Girl Gets Girl

Here’s a behind the scenes peek into their world…

Plot Synopsis

Life smiles on Inés in Miami. She is professionally successful as an illustrator and has a stable relationship with Rebeca. But her whole world is torn apart when it is discovered that she has not met the delivery deadlines for her next project and she has dedicated herself to seducing any attractive woman she has met in the state. In the space of one day, Inés finds herself without money and without a girlfriend.

The time has come to return home, and above all, the time has come to win the heart of Lola, the heterosexual she has been in love with since she left Spain.

But Inés chooses the wrong time to do this. Turning up unannounced at Lola’s house, Inés interrupts the “First Period Party” in honour of Candela, the daughter of Verónica, the woman who Inés left pregnant on the day they were to be married. And not only that… also present is the woman known as “Sofía please”, the comics publisher to whom Inés owes a significant professional debt. And Javier, Lola’s ex, with whom Inés always competed, and his 37-year-old pregnant wife. And Fran, the gay friend with a hetero mindset, whose girlfriend Linda is a spectacular transvestite. And Marta, who has finally won over Rai, the neo-punk of her dreams, on the same day that she receives an unexpected visit from her mother… Girl Gets Girl, a party, a daughter, many girls and something else.

Outfest 2014 – America’s Leading LGBT Film Festival – #OutfestLA

Los Angeles-based Outfest – America’s leading LGBT film festival started on Thursday. The 11 day event is the highlight of LGBT film circuit and showcases LGBT films from the past year’s festival circuit, as well new releases.

Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is now the leading organisation to promote equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest goal is to build community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives.

Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world to audiences of nearly a million. They have educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers and protected more than 30,000 LGBT films and videos.

The 32nd Outfest LGBT Film Festival, kicked off Thursday night with its Opening Gala, a star-filled soiree and screening of the festival’s inaugural film, Life Partners.

“The community feels like they’re still kind of on a high. We’ve had some of the best ticket sales this year that we have had in a number of years. You just feel this sort of joy around Outfest, around being together. The gay community is continuing to celebrate and really excited to see our lives and stories on screen.”

Kirsten Schaffer , Outfest Executive Director


Here is asneak peak at some of the films playing at this year’s Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

Show your Support for Lesbian Film Project – Love Is All You Need

Based on the award-winning short film of the same name, the proposed feature film Love Is All You Need? challenges society by exploring bullying and prejudice in a new light. Based on the premise of the ‘reversed world’ – where social roles are inverted – ‘gay is straight and straight is gay’ – this unique viewpoint allows viewers to ‘walk a mile’ in another’s shoes. 

Inversed, mainstream norms are thrown into chaos as we follow multiple story-lines of everyday people who are bullied for the opposite-sex partners they love. This inversion is a powerful learning tool that has created an overwhelming response from people all over the globe. Translated in 15 different languages, the filmmakers receive emails daily about how the film has helped ‘change minds’ and open otherwise close-minded people to understand that ‘Love does not define who you are’.

The original short film was released in 2011, and went on to win numerous festival accolades, be viewed over 30 million viewers online. This project has created an overwhelming response from people all over the globe. Translated in 15 different languages, the filmmakers receive emails daily about how the film has helped ‘change minds’ and open otherwise close-minded people to understand that ‘Love does not define who you are’.

The writer and director – Kim Rocco – has now started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to turn the short film into a feature-length film. Rocco is just 21, but became one of LA’s most coveted union script supervisors, working closely with notable mentors such as J.J. Abrams and Gore Verbinski.

The film has also gained the support of GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and From The Heart Productions.

To support the project go too www.icantstopbullying.com.

Watch the original short film – Love is All You Need?