Tag Archives: lesbian film

Kristen Stewart, Clea DuVall and Aubrey Plaza line up in face masks for the Happiest Season

Kristen Stewart is not one to let a face mask cramp her style. The actor attended the drive-in premiere of her new Hulu film Happiest Season this week wearing an all-black Chanel look and a Love Wins face mask.

After the red carpet, Stewart ditched the heels and skirt, changing into a pair of ripped black jeans and a green bomber jacket while speaking to the crowd with co-star Alison Brie, who opted for lightwash jeans and a wool blazer.

Happiest Season stars Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as a lesbian couple, Abby and Harper, who are dealing with the stress of a conservative family at Christmas. The young couple are in the flush of love, living together in Pittsburgh and approaching their one-year anniversary of meeting on Christmas.

That holiday cheer is all the more remarkable given Abby’s aversion to Christmas since the loss of her parents at 19. So in an impromptu bit of sentimentality, Harper invites Abby to spend the holidays with her family in the suburbs—and Abby is ready to meet that commitment with a Yuletide proposal.

There’s just one problem: Harper is not out to her family, for fear of tainting father Ted’s (Victor Garber) mayoral campaign. And while the last thing that Abby wants is to go back into the closet, she reluctantly agrees to it for the chance to see what kind of family created her favourite person.

The film was directed by Clea DuVall, and its incredible cast also includes Dan Levy, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Mary Steenburgen, Jake McDorman, Victor Garber, Mila Kunis and Burl Moseley.

In October, DuVall told EW that she wrote the film from her “own place of truth,” something that Stewart said made the film that much more authentic.

“I grew up watching and loving conventional movies like this. Seeing [marginalized] people loving each other in the middle of something that’s so standardized was really exhilarating and freeing,” Stewart continued. “There’s a lack of confusion and generalization Clea brings [as a queer woman]. I want people to see that two girls in love is just so fun.”

Kate Winslet And Saoirse Ronan Romance ‘Ammonite’ Opens In Theaters

Written and directed by Francis Lee, Ammonite is set in the 1840s and follows once-acclaimed paleontologist Mary Anning (Winslet), who works alone on the Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis.

With the days of her fame behind her, she’s stern and doesn’t exactly like the company of others. She spends her time digging up common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing widowed mother (Gemma Jones).

Mary receives an unwelcome visit from fellow scientist Roderick Murchison (James McArdle), who hopes to accompany her on one of her daily excavations. Beside him – but not really with him – is his troubled wife, Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan).

Murchison asks Mary to keep his wife company who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. The two are from totally different worlds Mary struggles while living on the poverty line while Charlotte comes from privilege — but opposites attract. Realising their bond, the two eventually enter a passionate — and forbidden love affair.

Some of Mary Anning’s living relatives have disputed the movies portrayal of her relationship with Murchison, arguing that Anning’s sexuality was unconfirmed.

However, director Lee has defended the storyline on social media, writing in part: “After seeing queer history be routinely ‘straightened’ throughout culture, and given a historical figure where there is no evidence whatsoever of a heterosexual relationship, is it not permissible to view that person within another context…?”

He added: “As a working class, queer film maker, I continually explore the themes of class, gender, sexuality within my work, treating my truthful characters with utter respect and I hope giving them authentic respectful lives and relationships they deserve.”

Ammonite is currently scheduled for release in November, and on demand December.

Watch: Ellie and Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)

This new queer film revolves around high-schooler Ellie (Sophie Hawkshaw) who has a crush on her friend and classmate Abbie (Zoe Terakes) and must summon the courage to both come out to her mother and ask Abbie to the school formal.

Luckily for Ellie, the ghost of her dead lesbian aunt Tara (Julia Billington) shows up to dispense sage advice. Tara is quick to take exception to the label of “ghost,” stating that she prefers to be thought of as a fairy godmother, which becomes one of many recurring gags delivered skillfully by the instantly likeable Billington.

Ellie and Abbie debuted at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in February, and won the Audience Award for best feature.

It’s also proved a hit at film festivals with screenings around the country, and is opening in select cinemas next in November 19.

Filmmaker Monica Zanetti has adapted the movie from her own stage play of the same name.

Speaking to QNews.com.au  Zanetti discussed the lack of same-sex rom-coms when she was growing up, particularly family-friendly films.

“My experience of coming out was similar in some ways to Ellie’s experience. I realised I liked someone, and I was so excited about that. I had this wonderfully supportive experience from my parents at the time. But as much as I wanted to write a really simple lesbian rom-com – because their really aren’t any in Australia – I couldn’t without acknowledging the people that have come before.”

Zanetti incorporated that history through the character of Tara, played by Billington. She said her openly gay uncle partly inspired the character.

“He lived openly my whole life, but he came out in the 1950s or 60s. He lived very true to himself in a time when I know how incredibly hard that would’ve been. Tara is fictional but she’s based on that knowledge that I had an easier time because of those who forged this path.”

Heartfelt performances from a mostly-LGBTQ cast lend the film a sense of immediacy and warmth. The real key to the film’s success, however, is director Zanetti’s compassion and empathy, which allow her to deliver a film that is light-hearted without being dismissive, and poignant without being preachy. In Ellie & Abbie, she skillfully weaves together comedy and drama to tell a beautiful, affirming story of young love.

Evan Rachel Wood and Gina Rodriguez star in Miranda July’s Quirky Con Story ‘Kajillionaire’

From acclaimed writer and director Miranda July comes a profoundly moving and wildly original comedy,

The story centres on the struggling Dyne family, headed by Theresa (Debra Winger) and Robert (Richard Jenkins), who have spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam, and steal at every opportunity.

Old Dolio, named after a homeless man who won the lottery, is a ticking timebomb of repression, masked by a low monotone and a curtain of hair. Her parents control every facet of Old Dolio’s life, but their situation has already grown unsustainable, with their kooky landlord giving them a week to make rent or else they’re out on the street.

Fortunately, the Dynes have trained Old Dolio well — “she learned to forget before she could read or write,” her father beams — and she quickly proposes a solution: One speedy roundtrip flight to New York and back yields a stolen luggage scheme and travel insurance to get them out of their jam.

But in the midst of their absurd plot, the family’s tight-knit routine gets complicated when Old Dolio’s parents meet the kooky Melanie (Gina Rodriguez) on their flight and decide on a whim to bring her into their clan.

Her mother rations affection as she does money, insisting her daughter “doesn’t know anything about tender feelings”. And so Melanie tenderly takes it upon herself to introduce her new friend to pancakes, dancing, pet names and intimacy. The tremors that Old Dolio grits her teeth through suggest an internal shift is taking place.

Watch the trailer below.

This Cute Lesbian Murder Mystery Is Perfect for Movie Night

This lesbian historical murder mystery is everything that you need in your life.

It’s unlike any other. If you’re tired of lesbian couples where both girls look like they just walked out of Abercrombie and Fitch catalogs, and if you’re tired of historical movies that drag, and if you’re tired of lesbian characters meeting tragic ends in nearly every movie or TV show – then Mystère á la Tour Eiffel is the movie for you.

Welcome to Paris at the turn of the 20th century. The 1800s are fading fast, and the Eiffel Tower now stands tall over the city, glittering with majesty – and murder.

When a terrible murder occurs at the Eiffel Tower, the daughter of one of its architects, Louise, (Marie Denarnaud) is framed, and no one seems to believe that she’s innocent. She and her girlfriend, Henriette (Aïssa Maïga) adventure across Paris in order to prove Louise’s innocence.

If a murder and a lesbian relationship aren’t scandalous enough, consider that Louise is a divorced woman, which was incredibly taboo at the time. After the divorce, she moves in with her father until another male suitor can be nudged into marrying her. Louise, of course, has no interest in that, and as soon as she meets the dashingly beautiful Henriette – who is a woman of color – their passions for each other build.

It portrays their relationship in a realistic way; there’s no room to say that they’re just friends, but there’s also no voyeuristic hypersexual scene, like the one from Blue is the Warmest Color that dominated a news cycle.

Despite its bold take on 20th-century feminism and racial equality, this film is far from preachy. Instead, it’s a charming romp that manages to entertain and enthrall without taking itself too seriously.

Mystère even touches on mental illness, as one of the protagonists gets locked up in an asylum, where she and the other women face cruel treatment. The film is notable because the protagonist doesn’t protest that she isn’t mentally ill and that her asylum stay is a mistake – she knows that she is mentally ill, but contrary to popular belief at that time, she insists that her mental illness isn’t her homosexuality.

Although the women at the asylum are mistreated, Mystère portrays zero violence against women. As mentioned earlier, many lesbian films have tragic endings: sometimes the pair gets gruesomely torn apart by society, or one or both characters die or endure sexual assault. But this film has none of that. There’s a happy ending, and no woman has to die.

The film is originally in French, but watch the subtitled version here.


Something Is Oddly Addicting About This Lesbian Witch Movie

Sorceress’ unofficial tagline is, “What if all the characters in Girls were lesbian witches?”

While I’m not a fan of Girls, I do support queer lady loving. And magic. Why not combine the two?

Sorceress is a queer indie movie rapidly gaining a cult following. It bills itself as a comedy-drama, although the drama sometimes overshadows any urge to laugh – until the moments, of course, when the drama is so over-the-top that the viewer can’t help but laugh.

The film has a gritty, homemade feel that may or may not be intentional. Given its low budget, that’s to be expected. The film looks washed-out as if someone either forgot to add color or used the Sierra Instagram filter from start to finish.

Sorceress’  setting certainly doesn’t make it a vibrant film. This movie follows a young witch named Nina raised in the US who returns to Eastern Europe, where she was born, to sort through her life after a mysterious and devastating tragedy. At the same time that she learns to accept her magical powers, she learns that having sex with women is awesome.

The plot is mindlessly enjoyable, although it won’t win an Oscar for breakthroughs in queer cinema anytime soon.

Nina, the witch, has the very sexy job of working in a library, where she meets an alluring and mysterious woman named Katya. You can tell she’s mysterious because her name is Katya. They start spending time together, fall in love, have minor identity crises over whether they’re gay, and mumble a lot of their lines. But somehow their love perseveres.

The plot gets a bit muddy in the middle. At one point, Nina becomes a radio hit, and by the end, as Decider so succinctly puts it, “Nina is a former librarian sorceress popstar.” If that plot sounds like it was written by a freshman lesbian film student trying to get a C+ on a student film, well…

Still, something about this movie is oddly entrancing. Perhaps it’s the harsh Eastern European weather that casts an ominous shadow over the film, the paradoxically likable unlikability of the characters, or just the fact that there are lesbians with magic.

Decide for yourself. Watch the film on Prime Video.

Lesbian Film ‘Vamanos’ Asks About Life After Death

By telling the story of a masculine-presenting Latinx lesbian and her lover, Vamanos weaves an intricate tale about sex, gender, mortality and empowerment.

The film follows Hope, a queer Latina woman mourning after the death of her butch girlfriend, Mac. When Hope learns that Mac’s family wants to bury her in a dress, Hope decides to fight against it, knowing that Mac would rather die again than be buried in feminine clothing.

Mac’s conservative family insists on burying Mac in a dress. Hope realizes that the only way to get justice for her girlfriend is to band together with her friends.

The director, Marvin Bryan Lemus, emphasizes that this is a movie about the gay Latinx community created by gay Latinx artists. As such, it’s not a typical queer film. Says Lemus,

It’s not about experimenting with your best friend at boarding school, or crossing the border, or gang violence, or even coming out of the closet. We want to tell a different story.”

The story centers around the idea of visibility. In life, queer people can fight for their rights – but who will fight for them in death? As such, queer erasure is pervasive.

Says Lemus,

It’s about finding the strength and courage to always fight for your identity in the face of discrimination – and not just for yourself, but for the loved ones around you.”

Victoria Ortiz, who plays Mac, is also a masculine-of-center Latinx woman in real life. She says that the film forced her to think critically about how she wanted to be presented in death. Before the film, she’d never really considered it – and neither have many queer people.

With Vamanos, Lemus aims to paint a three-dimensional picture of Latinx queer people. Other projects that do the same include Netflix’s One Day at a Time and web series Brujos.

Watch Vamanos for free on PBS and check out the official website.

‘Desert Hearts’ Is Getting A Sequel

I remember when I saw Blue is the Warmest Color about three years ago; the bitter taste it left in me had nothing to do with the nature of the sex scenes, or about the guy waxing poetic about female orgasm in a room full of queer women. After all, it was the first movie solely about lesbians I ever saw after already having questioned my sexuality for a couple of years.

What felt the worst when I left the theatre, was that feeling of incompleteness, of having been let down: why wasn’t the scenario all dreamy, cliché and ideal? Why did Adèle cheat on Emma with a guy and they had to break up, drowning their sorrow in more spaghetti Bolognese?

I didn’t know why I felt that specific need; after all real life generally isn’t dreamy, cliché and ideal. That of course, until I knew: this movie, being the only lesbian movie I had seen up to that point, made up the 100% of lesbian representation I had in my life.

I know that this is no sufficient statistic sample to rely upon, but it still was, and it was trying to tell me one thing: as a queer woman you’ll never have a happy ending.

The following year I watched a dozen more of movies featuring queer women. The statistic sample broadened, and the result remained similar: most queer women in movies either end up with a guy, die, commit suicide or murder – and break up somewhere along the process. Whenever I wanted to discuss and criticize that –specifically for Blue is the Warmest Color and for this year’s Orange is the New Black episode-that-must-not-be-named-and-the-existence-of-which-I-still-refuse-to-acknowledge – people told me that they didn’t find that to be a problem: it was realistic. People break up in real life.

People die in real life. Lesbians and bi women are people, so naturally they break up, they die, and their stories have bad endings.

The thing is that, always statistically speaking, the endings for straight – and obviously cis – people in mainstream films and TV series are not always that realistic. There are hundreds of movies with discouraging and realistic endings, but for every such romantic movie, there is a dozen or romantic movies with pulled-by-the-hair, intensely enhanced, unlikely, unrealistic and unbelievably cheerful endings, in which it seems like the entire universe stopped dealing with its shit for a little while to get Brandon and Mary together in the middle of a rainy 5th Avenue on New Year’s Eve. Why couldn’t we just as easily have Brenda, Mary and their seven cats snuggle happily in their cottage on the last shot of a rom-com? Why do we have to dig so freaking deep in indie Imdb lists to find that rom-com?

The world of cinema, after all, is supposed to be the world of dreams. The world of everything, to be more specific: of dreams, of romance, of drama, of realism, yes, but also the world where everything could happen.

Well, everything apart from the cats and cottage and the happy lesbians.

This is exactly what made the 1986 indie movie Desert Hearts so special: in Donna Deitch’s movie, set in the 1950s, Professor Vivian Bell arrives in Nevada in order to get a divorce from an unsatisfying marriage, and meets Cay Rivvers at the ranch where she stays. Rivvers is an out lesbian who draws her into an affair and their romance sparks in a Western setting and soundtrack.

What’s amazing about this film is that the ending is uncharacteristically happy. It’s thought to be the first lesbian film where the protagonists not only survive till the end, but their relationship even gets stronger. Especially considering when it was made, this is somewhat a miracle, revolutionary even for today. It is thought to be a generally sweet and heartwarming film, following the two women, the problems they face and the building of their relationship in depth, featuring some great and unique scenes.

As Robin Morgan, author and second-wave feminist then said: “This was the first lesbian love story—first same-sex love story at all—in which the protagonists were not either porn actors and in which one or both of whom didn’t kill themselves at the end,” and today added that it could be hard for millennials to imagine the atmosphere of complete lesbian invisibility that prevailed back then.

Deitch was told that she would never be able to work in the same town again, and the actors who participated in the movie (even the ones in straight roles) were told that this was a career-ender. She said that after the film’s premier she received “not a very nice review” by The New York Times critic Vincent Canby, whom she later called “not a very nice man”. According to her, such a review from the New York Times was a death sentence back in the day, but Deitch wouldn’t give up: she advertised the film on her own with self-made leaflets that she handed around town with her brother, to people waiting outside cinemas.

Still, Desert Hearts almost reached box office records and was embraced by multiple film festivals when the movie was launched. Deitch was even asked by Oprah Winfrey to direct the TV miniseries The Women of Brewster Place, featuring one of the first lesbian couples that appeared on TV. Her TV career went on for 25 years and she won an Emmy award, a Hugo award and the Sundance Special Jury Prize for Desert Hearts.

After 25 years, Deitch announced at NBC Out, at a screening of the film at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the making of a sequel to the first movie Desert Hearts.  At the MoMA event, she introduced the stars Helen Shaver (Vivian Bell) and Patricia Charbonneau (Cay Rivvers) who stood up and kissed on the stage. Charbonneau’s daughter was also there. She was called “the Desert Hearts’ Baby” since her mother was pregnant with her during the screening of the film.

Deitch is raising funds for the sequel which will be set in New York – that being the only information that has been shared about the project. She recalled her fundraising process for the first movie that took two years to be completed, in the queer-hostile Hollywood environment of the ‘80s.

Deitch had to sell her house in order to raise money, as well as shares that costed $15,000 for a limited partnership. The main funding resources though, came from feminists and lesbians. “There were straight men, gay men, it was a mix,” she said, “People saw it as a potentially quite commercial film.”

Her fundraising methods were more like those used in political organizing than akin to normal Hollywood studio backing – money raised mostly within the community.

The sequel of Desert Hearts is enthusiastically expected, and we hope for it to set a path for more optimistic, encouraging queer movies that will remind us that we deserve a little piece of happiness in the world.

Rachel McAdams Joins Rachel Weisz In Lesbian-Themed Movie ‘Disobedience’

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara has great success with the lesbian-themed love story Carol, and now two other big-tim hollywood actresses are taking up the Sapphic mantle.

Variety reports that Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz are set to star in Disobedience.


Based on Naomi Alderman’s book (which was published in 2006), Disobedience centres around a Ronit (Weisz), a woman who returns to her Orthodox Jewish home following the death of her father. She then rekindles a romance with her best friend (McAdams), who is now married to her cousin. following the death of her rabbi father, of whom she had been estranged. Upon returning, Ronit rattles her quiet hometown when rekindling a formerly repressed relationship with her best friend (McAdams) – a woman who just happens to be currently married to her cousin.

It certainly looks like we’ll be back in the territory of forbidden desires, sexual angst and hidden passions.

Weisz will produce alongside Ed Guiney, and Sebastian Lelio is on-board to direct the film based on a script he co-wrote with Rebecca Lenkiewicz.

Production is expected to get under way in the first quarter of 2017.

McAdams previously starred in the lesbian-themed Passion, although that thriller, from director Brian de Palma, found little success.

Hopefully Disobedience will find a bit more of an audience.

New Lesbian Film, ‘August in the City’ Begins Crowd Funding Campaign

Great news! A new film entitled August in the City has started its Crowd Funding Campaign!

And to make it even more exciting, the plot offers not only a compelling story, but also a couple twists we can’t wait to see on the big screen.


The story focuses mainly on August (Daniela Mastropietro), a 45 year old woman, struggling with an alcohol addiction while simultaneously trying to make peace with the past she left behind.

August also has 2 daughters, Anna and Marie (Stacey Raymond and Amanda Tudor)  who have just started college although they couldn’t be any more different in the way they approach life and its challenges.

When Anna comes back home for Thanksgiving, she brings Nick….who just so happens to be a girl.

Her daughter’s relationship makes her confront her own feelings she had to burry deep down, 20 years ago when she decided to pursuit her goal of starting a family with her husband, Salvatore (John Solo). Adding up to the already intriguing story, when Anna introduces Nick to August, we are taken back 20 years earlier, and see what truly happened to August in 1978.

Perhaps even more curious, the story is based on true events. Lisa Tedesco, the screenwriter, based the script on her own mother’s story, later adding her own fictional twist:

My mom had called me one night and said that she has written a little something about me. It was about my very first love that I had in college – her name was Nick – and she was expecting to see a young man when I brought her home.”

It’s safe to say, I haven’t been this excited for a movie in a long time! I am sure it will be a compelling, deeply emotional story where we can not only count on the expertise of Tedesco and fellow director Christie Conochalla, but also take a deeper look into what the world was like for young queer women chasing love in the late 70s.

The movie is currently in pre-production and if you would like to check out more about the movie or would like to help out by contributing, “August in the City” has  its own IndieGoGo page, which you can find here.

Ellen Page Has Started Shooting For Her New Lesbian Film ‘Mercy’ With Kate Mara

Yes, Ellen Page and Kate Mara have just started shooting for film Mercy.




Created by Tali Shalom Ezer, the romantic lesbian drama is sure to pull at our heartstrings, while also having more than enough substance to keep our interest.

According to Variety,

Page is portraying Lucy, the daughter of a man on death row falling in love with Mara’s Mercy character, a woman on the opposing side of her family’s political cause. As a result, Lucy’s value for truth is tested as her world begins to unravel.”

We can’t wait

‘First Girl I Loved’ Is The Coming–Of–Age Romantic Lesbian Film Of Our Dreams

Summer may be coming to an end, but there is still a reason to be happy. Because on the 18th October ‘First Girl I Loved’ is released nationwide and if all the rave reviews are anything to go by, we are going to love it. The film has done the rounds on the film festival circuits and was very well received. Plus, the two protagonists are very easy on the eye and that certainly helps.

Written and directed by Kerem Sanga, the film tells the story of Anne (played by Dylan Gelula from Netflix hits ‘unbreakable Kimmy Shmidt’s and Casual) who falls in love with the popular high school softball player, Sasha (played by Brianna Hildebrand from Deadpool).


AS their romance blossoms Anne’s best friend Clinton (played by Mateo Arias) is not giving her the support she want’s and he appears almost jealous. It doesn’t take long to realise he is hiding something from her as he releases his inner feelings complicating Anne’s life even more.

Every lez can relate to those feelings we had when we first began to realise we liked girls and the different emotions that evoked in us. Who can forget it, really? A time of confusion, excitement and panic. I’m really looking forward to watching this ‘trip down memory lane’ and I’m confident we won’t be disappointed.

With comments such as ‘earnest and awkward, hilarious and touching’ coming from Autostraddle along with winning The Best of Next award at the Sundance Film Festival, I’m sure we are all going to be super impressed with First Girl I Loved.

‘That’s Not Us’ A Long-Term Relationship RomCom, Released Digitally and on DVD

In That’s Not Us, three couples (one gay, one lesbian, and one straight) head to an upstate New York beach house to “enjoy the last days of summer”.” But, “what was meant to be a fun, carefree retreat transforms into an intimate exploration of sex and commitment.”

In this romantic comedy, the couples answer the question of ‘how can we make our long-term relationship last?’


Speaking to the San Francisco Bay Times, William Sullivan, who co-wrote and directed the film, explained the thinking behind it:

The impetus for the entire project was that we were seeing coming out or falling in love stories. We wanted to do something that reflected what we go through and experience on a day-to-day basis.

That was the trigger that made us write down things we were thinking about. We had an outline for the characters and their arcs, and we wanted to explore these themes—the vulnerability, the physical separation of the gay couple, and the sexual offseason.”

When the film made the rounds at festivals last year, the response from critics was fairly positive.


At the Big Gay Picture Show, they said that That’s Not Us “is a surprisingly sweet film, with some moments of humour and lightness, which feed into a drama that’s far more absorbing than you might expect, thanks to interesting characters, some good acting and real chemistry between the couples,” even if the premise “may seem artificial.”

Meanwhile, the Toronto Film Scene said that the movie “is well served by its improvised dialogue” and that although the film is “weightless”, it is “charmingly filmed and inescapably endearing.”

At the Examiner, their review explains that “the 90-minute movie remains strong right up until the end when each of the three narratives gets resolved.”

That’s Not Us is now available via DVD, VOD, iTunes and Amazon.

James Franco Is Rebooting 90’s Cult ‘Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?’ As A Lesbian Vampire Movie

James Franco has just finished production of a new film which is actually the remake of the cult TV film Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?


But this time around, the film focuses on a dangerous relationship between a teenager and her vampire lover.

The actor-writer-director announced his plan to revamp the thriller last year but, according to Vulture, he has now revealed how his film will differ from the 1996 original.

The original film’s star, Tori Spelling, will also star in the remake – except this time, she’ll play the mother, not the daughter.

Leila George will play her teenage child, who introduces her parent to new love interest Pearl (Emily Meade).

Although her daughter seems happy, Spelling’s character “can’t shake the feeling that something is very wrong.”

The film, which will premiere on the US TV network Lifetime, has been officially described as a “vampire love story that brings a whole new meaning to ‘sleeping with danger’”.

Franco will also star in the film, along with Ivan Sergei, who played the dangerous boyfriend in the original.

Franco says that his decision to make the film was influenced by Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig’s 2015 Lifetime drama A Deadly Adoption.

Will told me that he was actually inspired by my going on General Hospital when he made that. Then Lifetime came to me and [asked if I would] like to recreate one of their movies like Will did.

I said yes, as long as I could change it a bit. It has some similar elements of the original but it’s completely revamped. You’ll have a very non-Lifetime movie on Lifetime.”

The last time lesbian vampires hit the screen was in James Corden’s Lesbian Vampire Killers – which was voted the biggest flop of 2009.


This new project – Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? – will air on the US channel Lifetime on June 18.

‘Aviliaq: Entwined’ Features an Inuit Lesbian Relationship Interrupted by Christianity

Over the past 12 months, wlw (women who love women) moviegoers have been positively giddy about Carol, the critically acclaimed film that features Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett as two women in love in the 1950s.

But it’s not the only film in recent years to show a 1950s lesbian love story and those looking for another fictional romance set in the same time period should also consider Aviliaq: Entwined.

Aviliaq: Entwined, directed by Inuit filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, is about two Inuit lesbians in love.

Set in the 1950s at in an arctic outpost camp, the two women struggle to stay together “in a new world run by outsiders”. The film’s official blurb explains that this story of love and friendship is “interrupted by convention and religion” as “Christianity encroaches on Inuit beliefs”.

In an interview with Daily Xtra, Arnaquq-Baril says that

I decided to make it a lesbian love story because growing up in the north I didn’t really think about it much, but as an adult, I learnt that there are some people in my life who I love very much who are gay and never told me or anyone in their families or close friend circles and I was shocked. I wanted to make this film because I wanted to let the people I love and other people out there that I don’t know, who might be in the same situation, let them know that there are people out there who love them and care for them and accept them for who they are”.

Aviliaq: Entwined, which was released in 2014, featured at the Women In Film + Television Vancouver (WIFTV) event earlier this month, but Arnaquq-Baril says that she would also like to show the film in Nunavut as well. The filmmaker also says that the film has started some conversations in Nunavut, which is a success.

5 LGBTQ Films from Sundance 2016 That You Must Watch

Every year, the Sundance Film Festival takes place in Utah. As well as being a good excuse for movie lovers to get together and enjoy a shared interest, it also gives us an idea of which films will be making the headlines throughout the year and which are likely to scoop up awards.

Sundance is also good for discovering LGBT films as well, as the event gives them a platform to show off how great they are, regardless of budget. So, to save you from going through the dozens of films at Sundance to find the ones with LGBT content, we’ve put together a list of the ones that you should keep an eye out for.

1. First Girl I Loved


Described as a “headstrong, cool nerd”, 17-year old Anne is a member of her high school yearbook committee. While covering the school’s softball game she falls head over heels for Sasha, the team’s star player.

The two girls grow closer and when Anne tells her best friend Cliff how she’s feeling, he reveals his own crush on Anne and proceeds to lash out at her in “unanticipated ways”

2. Lovesong


In Lovesong, Sarah (played by Riley Keough) is a young mother raising her daughter in a country home as she feels “abandoned” by her husband who travels for work. When Sarah’s friend Mindy (played by Jena Malone) comes to visit, the two women head out on a road trip and following a heart-to-heart, a “long unspoken intimacy emerges between the longtime friends”. But Sarah can’t put her feelings into words yet and Mindy goes home.

Flash forward three years and Mindy is getting married and when the two women see each other again, “Sarah is forced to reconcile the reality of her feelings”

3. The Intervention


The Intervention isn’t necessarily an LGBT-film but it does feature a same-sex couple. In this movie, marking the directorial debut of Clea DuVall (she also wrote the film), bride-to-be Annie rounds up her “30something” friends and they head out to a summer home.

Here, Jessie, Jessie’s partner Sarah, Annie and her fiancé and Jack and his 22-year old girlfriend try their best to stage an intervention for Ruby (Jessie’s sister) and her husband Peter as they try to convince the married couple that their relationship is toxic.

4. Kiki


Kiki, from Swedish documentary filmmaker Sara Jordenö is all about the Kiki scene of New York City. The Kiki scene, it’s explained, is where “competition between Houses demands leadership, painstaking practice, and performances on point”.

The film reveals more about this “high stakes world” and is also a window into the “daily lives of LGBTQ youth of color in NYC”. Moreover it offers “representation of a marginalized community who demand visibility and real political power”.

5. Suited


Suited is another documentary from Sundance 2016, with this one starring Bindle & Keep, a tailoring company that caters to a diverse LGBTQ community and looks beyond the gender binary”.

Not only does it follow Rae and Daniel, the clothiers behind the brand, but it also delves into the lives of Bindle & Keep’s customers, including Mel who wants to look good for their 40th birthday party and Everett, who’s a law student in a “conservative environment”.

Catch Sarah Shahi In New Lesbian-Themed Film ‘Guns for Hire’

Sarah Shahi is in a new lesbian-themed film called Guns for Hire, and it looks pretty freaking good.

Writer/director Donna Robinson is behind the film that stars Michele Hicks as a hitwoman named Beatle Boyin, who is a part time tow truck driver and part time assassin.

Athena Klendon (Ever Carradine), is a mysterious, beautiful young woman, with a secret, and they quickly strike a deadly bargain; in exchange for her own execution. Athena will change her life insurance policy to reflect Beatle as the beneficiary.

Guns for Hire

However (plot-twist), as she begins to fall for the beautiful Athena, Beatle seeks the approval of her psychiatrist (Orlando Jones) to make the hit.

Sarah plays Carla, a stripper that hooks up with Beatle, and ends up getting more involved than she hoped to be.

Guns for Hire 01

Watch the trailer below:


Student Who Described Lesbians As “Perverse” In Essay Continues Legal Action Against University

Student, Monico Pompeo – who described lesbians as “perverse” in an essay – continues to legal battle, claiming she has been ostracised by professors at her university.

Ms Pompeo filed an appeal to the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver claiming the University of New Mexico (at which she was a student), violated her First Amendment right to free speech and that she was kicked out of class in 2012.

Ms. Pompeo says the action was taken in 2012 after she described lesbianism as “perverse”, in an essay about a film about a lesbian romance.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Pompeo alleges that her teacher’s actions violated the syllabus of the class which called for “open minds” to look at “representations of a plethora of genders and sexualities.”

Ms. Pompeo claims she was accused of employing “hate speech”, and in 2013 filed a lawsuit, which gained attention across the US.

After initially finding that Ms. Pompeo had a plausible case for her lawsuit last year, Chief US District Judge M Christina Armijo later found that the student had been given several opportunities to rewrite her essay.

The judge found after investigation that Ms. Pompeo had had explained to her that she had not backed up her opinion that lesbianism is “perverse” with critical analysis.

Judge Armijo also found that communication attempts were made by the professor in question and her boss to get Ms. Pompeo to re-write the essay, and that taking such action was within the realm of teaching.

A hearing is set for next month.

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;

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Italian Screen Idol Looks To Challenge Lesbians Stereotypes With New Film ‘Lo e Lei’

Italy is a country is not really known for its support of same-sex couples. But it would appear we’ve found a new champion in the actor Sabrina Ferilli, who is seeking to change the perception of lesbians in a country where homosexuality is often depicted in negative terms.

Sabrina Ferilli 04

Ferilli is starring in Io e Lei (She and I), a romantic comedy released in cinemas this week that depicts what critics are calling a “normal” lesbian relationship.

Fabrizio Marrazzo, a LGBT rights campaigner with the campaign group Arcigay, reported

It is an important movie that is speaking to society and politicians, and it’s saying that there aren’t rights for gay and lesbian couples. Sabrina Ferilli is a real female symbol in Italy. It’s important she has this role so that people understand that lesbians don’t come from another planet.”

Marrazzo adds, noting that gay and lesbian people in Italian films are usually characterised in very stereotypical ways, with men looking feminine and women looking butch.

Ferilli has compared her decision to take on the role to Tom Hanks’s decision to play a gay man with Aids in the 1993 film Philadelphia. Hanks was the first box office star to play a gay man and won an Oscar for his portrayal of a sick lawyer who sued his firm for discrimination.

An article in Italian daily La Stampa said that the value of Io e Lei, a film by Maria Sole Tognazzi, was that it would not scare people, but instead “entered on tiptoe” in a country that regards same-sex relationships as deeply controversial.

Sabrina Ferilli 01

It has also been noted that the film “minimises the erotic sphere”, and has been called the “anti-Blue is the Warmest Colour” – the critically acclaimed French film about a lesbian relationship, which contained several graphic sex scenes.

Ferilli told La Stampa

I was caught by the idea of a story of two women who love each other, with total communion of feelings. I never turn away from battles. We live in a country that is bigoted, that leaves people on the street, with no solutions, particularly those who are considered not normal.”

The film’s release comes as Italian lawmakers are gearing up for a potentially controversial vote this month that would offer same-sex couples the right to a civil union.

Italy is now the only major western European country that does not recognise such partnerships.

Matteo Renzi, the centre-left prime minister, has vowed since he came to power last year to pass legislation offering same-sex couples the right to civil unions, but he has struggled to find a willing majority to push the law through.

The proposal faces tough opposition from Catholic groups and conservative parties.

Italy is facing international pressure to act following a July ruling by the European court of human rights that found the country did not offer adequate legal protection and recognition to same-sex couples.

Marrazzo, the gay rights campaigner, said a majority of Italians do support civil union rights – about 80% – although support wanes when people are asked whether LGBT couples ought to be allowed to adopt children.

Marrazzo sees the release of Io e Lei as a good step, even if the real battles ahead cannot be left only to “fiction”.

‘Dual’ Is a Love Story Where Language Barriers Don’t Matter

Europe has delivered some great gay films over the past few years.

In 2006 we were blessed with Imagine Me & You with Rach and Luce making us all shed a tear, 2011 had Swedish film Kiss Me (Kyss Mig) about a woman who has an affair with her stepmother’s daughter and in 2013 we fell for Blue Is The Warmest Colour‘s gorgeous French accents.

So after having enjoyed a good run of queer media both on the British Isles and on the continent, it’s time to add yet another film to the ever-growing list.

The next movie to join their ranks is Dual, which is a film that stars two leads (one Danish and one Slovene woman) who speak English to one another throughout the movie.


Our two protagonists meet when 25-year old Danish woman Iben’s travels are temporarily ground to a halt when her plane is forced to stop in Slovenia.

The travel company sticks the passengers on a bus, to go to a hotel but when most of her counterparts leave, Iben decides to stay on, asking airport shuttle driver Tina (who is also in her 20s) to give her a sightseeing tour.

From then on, it’s quite easy for Dual‘s viewers to fall for the pair. With a language barrier being a bit of an obstacle, Iben and Tina speak English and when Tina says that she hates sleeping, they stay up talking all night.


In fact, you know this duo is a big deal when not only does Iben skip her flight to be Tina but after a job interview goes wrong, Tina decides to ditch home and travel with her. Iben even accompanies her when Tina goes to come out to her parents.

Although Tina’s mother is ok with Tina’ sexuality (though she warns Iben that when they break up to make sure that Tina will “have the courage to go on alone”) Dual isn’t exactly a simple find yourself/fall in love type of story as Iben is also holding to a huge massive secret that viewers will want to keep watching for.

That’s all part of the intrigue though and you can see Dual at the Outflix Film Festival.


In ‘Raven’s Touch’ Two Women Find Love as They Cope With Grief

Grief is an odd little thing in that everyone deals with it differently. Some people just want to retreat, close themselves off and deal with it by themselves, getting by the best that they can. While others smother it with human contact, ignoring it and spend time with friends and family, hoping that the worst of it passes.

ravens touch 02 ravens touch 01

In new lesbian film Raven’s Touch, both of these things are reflected.

Dreya Weber (who wrote the film and co-produced/co-directed it with Marina Rice Bader) stars as Raven, a woman who has unfortunately just lost her niece and so she is now living alone in the wilderness.

It’s her own personal retreat and so understandably, the dynamic shifts when Kate (played by Traci Dinwiddie) rolls into town with her two children.

After getting out of a relationship with Angela (played by Nadège August) who is described as a ‘toxic’ woman with a violent streak, Kate and her children have come to this campsite (that was owned by Kate’s grandfather) in order to get away and just spend some time together as a family.

ravens touch 03 ravens touch 04


Raven doesn’t exactly give them the warmest of welcomes and from the trailer, it looks as though the two are anything but abrasive to one another.

But instead of butting heads for 90 minutes, viewers eventually see how Kate and Raven fall for each other, dealing with the things that trouble them and letting them go in order to be happy.

Speaking to AfterEllen, Dreya explains that

… if we can intervene on our own behalf when we are suffering grief and let others in, then we can be healed”

and that part of the inspiration behind Raven was her brother who was diagnosed with HIV and has the “instinct to want to crawl into a corner and isolate”. But ultimately, “we need people” to help us cope, she says.

Raven’s Touch had its premiere in August, visit the film’s Facebook page for more information on how you can see it.

Gina Gershon Discusses her Legendary Lesbian Role in ‘Bound’

Gina Gershon was a guest on The View last week, to discuss her new film Staten Island Summer, and to also talk about her famous part as Corky in the Lana and Andy Wachowki film Bound.


Raven-Symone asked about her taking on LGBT characters when she’s not part of the community, and Gina joked, “Well, I’m not a Hasidic Jew either!” about another recent part she’s played.

The actress, who has played queer character in other films like Prey for Rock ‘N Roll and Dealin’ With Idiots, told a great story about making a decision to take a chance, even when the people around her told it was a bad idea.

You know, it’s a funny thing with Bound. I remember I loved the script so much and no one knew these unknown directors and I wanted to meet them just because I thought, ‘The writing is so spot on.’ And as soon as I met them, I was like ‘These guys are great.’ You could tell they were geniuses. But my agents and everyone was like ‘You’re not doing this movie — it’s going to end your career.’ I’m like ‘Why?’ They’re like, ‘Well, you’re playing a lesbian—it will ruin your career.’ It’s like ‘So what? It’s a great part. It’s like the classic part I never get to play.’ And they’re two unknown directors—I’m like, ‘They’re bad asses.


These directors are incredible.’ And they’re like, ‘No, no. It will ruin it—we can’t let you do it.’ And I said, ‘Well, I guess then I’m going to have to leave.’ And I left my agents over it. It was weird, but at the time—you know, this was before Boys Don’t Cry came out and stuff—if definitely pigeonholed me for a second. After Showgirls and that, then all of a sudden I was just getting killer lesbian motorcycle crazy people, and which, I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is so silly.’ But I’m so proud that I did that movie and so happy that it helped a lot of people. It’s amazing. It’s a great film. I love that movie.”

You can watch that portion of the interview below (stars 19:23 in).


Better Visibility: 8 Reasons Why We’re Excited For This Years Outfest

Things are looking good in the world of Queer cinema. Last month’s gay marriage victory was celebrated as a win for not only the nation’s LGBTs, but for Americans who believe everyone deserves equal rights under the law.

One major factor in burgeoning acceptance stems from the new millennium’s explosion of LGBTs in the media; by shining a spotlight on the humanity of gay individuals – and not just what they do in the bedroom – the once-ostracised demographic has become more relatable to mainstream America.

Outfest, is one of America’s oldest queer film festivals. Its started last Thursday but runs for more than a week.

Addicted to Fresno

Judy Greer, Natasha Lyonne, and Aubrey Plaza star in this dark comedy from director Jamie Babbit (But I’m a Cheerleader). Greer plays a sex addict who joins her sister (Lyonne) on a hotel housekeeping staff. We’re hoping the film will cement Greer’s leading lady capabilities; if nothing else, it will be a satisfying corrective to recent blockbusters (Jurassic World, for example) in which her immense talent is stifled by the bit parts she’s given.


Tig, the documentary chronicling lesbian comedienne Tig Notaro’s battle with cancer. “It’s really remarkable to go from a time when you’re not even sure if you’re going to live, several times, and then to have a movie made about my life, and live to see it,” said Notaro. Not only is our favorite sapphic funny gal living, but after seeing the film, we’re living for her.

Jenny’s Wedding

This family dramedy starring Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel is making its world premiere at Outfest before it hits theatres and VOD. Heigl plays Jenny, a woman who lives with her girlfriend, but has yet to come out to her family. When she finally does and begins to plan her wedding, tensions surface within her family. Will love conquer all? (Probably.)

A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile and The Cult of JT LeRoy

These two documentaries both unpack prominent hoaxes that rocked their respective communities. “Gay Girl in Damascus” was the popular blog of a Syrian lesbian commenting on the 2011 Syrian uprising. JT LeRoy was a literary rock star whose past stayed shrouded in mystery. Both of them were elaborate personas put on by straight people. With these films, we can learn the full and strange stories behind the deceptions.


This little gem stars Dianna Agron as a Sara, a young women stuck in a small town with few options, is at the top of my list of queer films this season. Agron nails the melancholy of this coming-of-age film, which is beautifully shot and directed. Sara’s romance with Paz de la Huerta‘s Pepper is intriguing and certainly pushes the norms of what we’ve become accustom to in lesbian/bisexual films.

Portrait of a Serial Monogamist

Written and directed by Christina Zeidler and John Mitchell. This is a story of a forty-something lesbian, and accomplished breakup artist, who leaves her long-standing girlfriend to pursue a younger woman, only to be haunted by memories of the past, and the growing realisation that she may have broken up with the love of her life.

While You Weren’t Looking

This South Africa drama features the stories of a married queer couple, and their daughter and her new butch girlfriend. Dealing with issues of infidelity, classism, race and family, the film is a fascinating look into the lives of these very complex women.


Married couple Deb and Trish have it all…or do they? The spark of romance has been replaced by the everyday hustle and bustle of raising a family, and their marriage is starting to fray at the seams. When Deb becomes attracted to another mom at her children’s school, the drama really starts to unfold.

Outfest Stream’s Some of Finest Festival Films Free Online

Outfest LGBT Film Festival has taken a huge step towards making its films more accessible this year with the launch of Outfest Online, a free streaming platform offering shorts, documentaries and feature films from this year’s lineup and previous festivals.

Outfest Online sees the festival partner with DIRECTV to offer more than 60 films, for free and nationwide. There are plans to keep adding new titles to the library, which will main available until the end of the year.

Outfest Interim Executive Director, Christopher Racster said

The films showcased at Outfest Los Angeles increase LGBT visibility; sharing them strengthens understanding, and in turn, creates meaningful change. Outfest is an irreplaceable launch pad making sure that our storytellers are supported and with the help of partners such as DIRECTV, assuring that their work reaches around the world.”

Dan Ferguson, from DIRECTV added

Outfest Los Angeles, which attracts audiences exceeding 40,000 annually, delivers creative, diverse and innovative films. As a proud supporter of the LGBT community, and a sponsor of Outfest Los Angeles festival for the past several years, DIRECTV is excited to take this next step, and help expand the reach of these films beyond traditional festival attendees.”

With more than 60 films available right now, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Titles currently online include Patti and Me, Minus Patti, TomorrowThe Heroes of Evil,TomgirlGideon’s CrossMaybe Next SeasonThe First DateGay OverBrocKINGton,The Friend from Tel AvivNo BoundariesMore of Last NightCafé au LaitTransfigure,Contribution of a VerseCagedEliseCherry WavesRubber DuckieA Bitter Pill,Eargasm and more.

The Outfest festival will run through to July 19.

Check out our full festival coverage here.

Babadook Director’s New Movie will be the Tragic Lesbian Love Story ‘Alice + Freda Forever’

Last year’s film The Babadook was one of the scariest things on the block.

Alice + Freda Forever

The movie was a psychological horror about a single mother raising her son alone after her husband was killed in a car accident as he drove her to the hospital to give birth. The boy struggled to sleep and and often talked about an imaginary monster; and after reading a storybook called Mister Babadook, the boy becomes convinced that the Babadook is stalking them.

The Babadook


It was a horrific story that certainly caused a few restless nights, but director and writer Jennifer Kent earned heaps of praise for it.

The success and critical acclaim of that film also makes Kent the perfect person to helm Alice + Freda Forever which, despite its name and its ‘tragic gay love story’ description, is just as psychologically troubling and as uncomfortable to hear about as that of The Babadook.


Alice + Freda Forever is actually based on a book of the same name, about a real-life 19th century event in which Alice Mitchell, a 19 year old girl from Tennessee, pretended to be a man in order to marry her girlfriend, 17 year old Freda Ward.

Per the tragic side of that love story, things went horribly wrong when someone discovered their love letters and so Alice and Freda were forced to split up and stop contacting each other.

Alice persevered though, continuing to send Freda messages, but when the other girl didn’t reply Alice slashed Freda’s throat with a razor and killed her. As a result of Freda’s murder (and due to her lesbianism), Alice was soon put into an insane asylum, though she died several years later under ‘mysterious circumstances’.

Alice + Freda Forever 02

The situation is also one of the things that sparked the United States’ unfortunate fascination with lesbians as well as the idea that lesbians prey on other women or are inherently violent or mentally ill.

In the 20th century we saw ‘pulp’ novels pop up, with the stories typically involving a butch lesbian and a femme lesbian getting together before one (or both) of them died or left the other for a man. It is widely believed that Alice and Freda’s story is what inspired these books.

Framing the historical context of Alice and Freda’s story will be key to how good or accurate the film is – after all, there is no shortage of dead lesbians or lesbians being treated badly in modern day media.

Producer Sarah Schechter is convinced Kent can pull it off though, as she told Variety that “Jennifer’s debut film was one of the most accomplished I have ever seen and I’m thrilled she shares the same passion for telling this powerful, intense and unfortunately still timely story”.

There’s no word yet on who will play the two women or when the film will be released, but we’ll keep you posted once we know more.


Lesbian Film ‘Almost Adults’ Being Made by Stars of The Gay Women Channel

If you’ve been around the queer media block a few times then you’ll be very familiar with the ‘gay girl falls in love with her best straight friend’ trope. We’ve seen it on many occasions in Glee, Degrassi and Once Upon a Time, just to name a few. But by now we’re bored of it. Lesbians don’t always fall in love with their straight BFFs and they deserve to fall for someone who loves them back.

Thankfully, the stars of The Gay Women Channel know this and the two YouTubers, Sarah Rotella and Adrianna DiLonardo are using their years of experience as a director and writer (respectively) to put together a movie. The film is a comedy called Almost Adults and unlike the trophy gay content we’re used to, the film will star a lesbian who isn’t in love with her straight best friend whatsoever.

Instead, the conflict between the two main characters Mackenzie (played by Elise Bauman of Carmilla fame) and Cassie (the actress who plays her will be revealed on April 1st) is because they are headed in different directions in their lives. Mackenzie is coming to terms with her sexuality and Cassie is choosing a career path and this is extra stress on top of the fact that they’re in their final year of college. You’ll be glad to know, though, that despite the massive amount of pressure on Mackenzie, she does find love. Rotella and DiLonardo are staying quiet on the details of that, though.


So when can we see Almost Adults? The film is currently seeking backers on Kickstarter and although the goal is $40,000, backers have blitzed through that and at the time of writing the current raised amount is $96,000. Backers are being told that their perks (some of which include digital downloads of the movie) will be delivered by July 2015 so we can expect to see the film then.

The campaign ends in four days and some of the other perks include a personalised voicemail from Sarah and Adrianna, an executive producer credit on IMDB, and an invitation to go to an Almost Adults table read.

Shirley MacLaine Believes ‘The Children’s Hour’ Was Not as Powerful as it Could Have Been, Because of the Films Lesbian Theme

It’s been 54 years since Shirley MacLaine starred opposite Audrey Hepburn in drama The Children’s Hour.


During a screening of the film at TCM Classic Movie Festival in Hollywood at the weekend, MacLaine (now 80) said Director William Wyler ‘had trepidations about the subject matter – it was 1961 and nobody had done that.’

She believes the film was not as powerful as it could have been, because of this.

Scenes of brushing each others hair or ironing clothes – he cut some of them out and in doing so I think pared the picture down a little bit.”

Shirley MacLaine

The The Children’s Hour is based on a Lillian Hellman’s play which was banned in some major cities in the 1930s, because of its lesbian theme.

The storyline focuses on, best of friends Martha (MacLaine) and Karen (Hepburn), who’ve set up a school on a Massachusetts farm, find themselves charged by a vengeful pupil, Mary, of being secret lovers.


When the story spreads, parents withdraw their children from the school. The rumor spreads, the school is abandoned and the two women’s lives are destroyed.

That kind of same-(sex) love was not tolerated.”

Shirley MacLaine

Ironically, Wyler had directed an earlier and even more sanitised version of Hellmen’s play in the 1936 film While These Three. In that version, the rumor is about one of the women having had ‘relations’ with the other’s fiance.

The early film has a happy ending while The Children’s Hour ending is dark.

MacLaine believes Wyler took on the play again with The Children’s Hour because he felt While These Three had swung so far away from Hellman’s play.

Despite his watering down of some scenes, MacLaine enjoyed being directed by Wyler and especially enjoyed working with Hepburn.

I adored Audrey Hepburn. We had a wonderful relationship.”

Shirley MacLaine

India Censors Ban Lesbian Film, Saying it Will ‘Ignite Unnatural Passions’

India’s Central Board of Film Certification has banned a lesbian film – claiming would ‘ignite unnatural passions’ in viewers who watched it.

Unfreedom is the story of a young woman who resists an arranged marriage to be with her girlfriend. The film contains nudity and lesbian sex scenes, which promoted the CBFC, to render much of its content too controversial for general audiences and therefore banned it from major release in India.

The movies Director, Raj Amit Kuma, recently spoke to Bangalore Mirror about the film

“The two stories are juxtaposed and the film challenges the idea of religious fundamentalism and questions its connection with homosexuality, which is a biting reality of India. They plainly told me that after watching the film, Hindu and Muslims will start fighting and will ignite unnatural passions. I was aghast as my film is not provocative.”

The film shifts between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows the Muslim terrorist who kidnaps the Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists because she is secretly in love with another woman. The four characters come face to face with gruesome acts of violence in battles of identity, sexuality, religion, love, and family.


Kumar, who is based in Florida, told the Mumbai Mirror that the film was rejected by all three committees of the board — the Examining Committee, the Revising Committee, and even the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. When a film fails to clear these three hurdles, it is considered banned, unless the filmmaker moves court.

He appealed to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, but was denied a certificate, so is trying to launch a crowd-funding campaign to finance a release in India via alternative methods.

The filmmaker appealed to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, but was denied a certificate.

“I’m making an appeal in the High Court now as the censor board cannot tell a filmmaker what to make and what not to.”

Raj Amit Kuma, Director

Earlier this month, Indian censors muted the word ‘lesbian’ in the film Dum Laga Ke Haisha, sparking cries of homophobia.

Homosexuality was criminalized in India in 2013 and incidents of rape have been escalating. In addition, for more than a decade, India has been mired in the politics of religious violence between Hindus and Muslims.

Unfreedom is a hard-hitting attempt to show the intertwined relationships of religion, violence, sexuality, and intolerance. The film will be released in around the world in May.

London LGBT Film Festival To Showcase 5 Gay Films Worldwide For Free In 70 Countries

London LGBT film festival has announced that five short films from BFI Flare, will be available to audiences around the world for the first time through BFI Player, as part of British Council initiative.

Queer filmmakers have delivered some of cinema’s most striking, vital, challenging, provocative and beautiful films, and BFI Flare has been key in bringing these to UK audiences over the last 29 years. We’re thrilled this partnership will open up the festival to audiences around the world, giving millions of people the opportunity to enjoy great new LGBT films.

Tricia Tuttle, Deputy Director of Festivals at the British Film Institute

On at London’s Southbank, the LGBT Film Festival started yesterday and runs until 29th March.

On Wednesday 25 March, fiveFilms4freedom will become a 24-hour campaign asking people everywhere to watch a film together over the course of one single day. fiveFilms4freedom is the world’s first digital, global, LGBT film festival and will be promoted through the British Council’s network in more than 70 countries and regions including across the Americas, China, India, Israel, Kosovo, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and the Middle East.

fiveFilms4freedom is a ground-breaking LGBT film festival supporting freedom and equality all over the world and showcasing some of our finest short film makers. By bringing together the British Council and films from BFI Flare we are promoting LGBT cinema in countries that make up fifty percent of the world’s population.

On 25 March we are asking the world to watch a movie together and show that love is a basic human right.”

Alan Gemmell, Director of fiveFilms4freedom, British Council

This will be a chance for audiences, wherever they are, to enjoy a taster of LGBT cinema; to find out a little bit more about emerging LGBT filmmakers from around the world; and most importantly, to show support for freedom and equality everywhere. fiveFilms4freedom is produced in partnership with Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity.

fiveFilms4freedom not only showcases some phenomenal talent, but also brings together the international LGBT community. In 77 countries around the world it is still illegal to be gay, and in five it is punishable by death, so the opportunity to showcase LGBT stories and filmmakers in more than 80 countries worldwide is fantastic.”

James Taylor, Head of Campaigns, Stonewall said

The five films represent a cross section of contemporary LGBT short film. The films are made by lesbians, gay men and transgender filmmakers, and range from sweet short stories about first love to documenting activism. They are polished, rough, funny, sad and inspiring and each has a different voice.



The films are:

An Afternoon (En Eftermiddag): Director Søren Green’s new short film is a sensitive exploration of nascent sexuality. Mathias and Frederik are two friends who spend an afternoon together; Mathias has decided that this is the time to tell Frederik that he is in love with him.

Chance: Jake Graf’s self-funded short film premieres at BFI Flare. It focuses on older gay love and overcoming loneliness as a chance encounter between Trevor and a mysterious stranger equally troubled by his own past, forces both men to start to live again.

Code Academy: Canadian writer and director Nisha Ganatra is best known as producer-director of Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning TV series. In Code Academy, when searching for love in all the virtual places, Frankie, Libby and Sheridan are their own worst enemy.

Morning Is Broken: Director and writer Simon Anderson’s 2014 film is a beautifully shot coming-of-age drama set in the lush English countryside, following a young man’s struggle to come to terms with his sexuality at the end of his older brother’s wedding.

True Wheel: Director Nora Mandray’s 2015 documentary focuses on Fender Bender, an inspirational bicycle workshop for queer, transgender and women’s communities in Detroit.

Watch the five films online