Tag Archives: Lesbian Filmmaker

Young British Actress Receives Princess Diana Award for Campaign Against Homophobia

A budding UK actress has received a prestigious award for her campaigning video against homophobia.

Laura Finnigan, 17, from Bootle, Merseyside, made her short film Changes late last year to make people aware that sexuality is not a choice.

It quickly went viral and has now received more than 35,000 views on YouTube.

The film shows her changing her clothes, hair and life choices before concluding that she can’t change her sexuality.

She made the film with Fixers, a charity that works to allow young people to get their message across in any medium they choose.

Laura Finnigan 01

I wanted to do homophobia because it’s an issue I feel really strongly about. People seem to think that it’s a choice and I just wanted to state a fact that it’s not. You can’t just turn gay. It’s very frustrating. I want people to know as much as possible and to show them that there is no choice.”

She said she was stunned by the reaction to her video.

I think it’s amazing- I didn’t expect it. People all over the world were commenting on the video and saying that it made a really good point.”

Laura now plans to take it into Merseyside schools to educate local teenagers about homophobia.

The Diana Award was set up in memory of Princess Diana and rewards young people who have made a significant impact on society.

Tessy Ojo, chief executive of the Diana Award said:

We are incredibly proud to honour Laura for her qualities of selflessness, altruism and compassion. In the long term we aim not only to award these socially active young people for their achievements, but also to engage, motivate, and empower them to do even more through our training and network programmes.”

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.

15 Female LGBT Filmmakers You Should Follow On Twitter

15 Female LGBT Filmmakers You Should Follow On Twitter – Feel free to add your favourite LGBT filmmakers on Twitter in the comments below, we’ll consider adding them to updated editions of this article.

@DesiMakesMovies@DesiMakesMovies – The tall, attractive, very funny Desiree Akhavan hit Sundance and OutFest this year with her first feature film, the comedy “Appropriate Behavior,” and has joined Lena Dunham on the hit series “Girls”


@babbitjamie@babbitjamie – Jamie Babbit is a film director, producer and screenwriter. She directed the lesbian films ‘But I’m a Cheerleader’, ‘The Quiet’ and ‘Itty Bitty Titty Committee’.


@cdunye@cdunye – Cheryl Dunye is a film director, producer, screenwriter, editor and actress. She is a lesbian and her work often concerns themes of race, sexuality and gender, particularly issues relating to black lesbians.


@cathydebuono –  Cathy DeBuono is an American actress, who has started in lesbian feature films such as ‘Crazy Bitches’, ‘She4Me’, and web series ‘We Have to Stop Now’


@Soniasebastia@Soniasebastia –  Sonia Sebastián is a director and writer, known for De chica en chica (2015), Elisa Guzmán (2004) and Ladrido, and new lesbian feature film Girl Gets Girl the movie. 


@lisagornick@lisagornick – Lisa Gornick works with film, tv, drawing and performance. She is the writer/director of two award-winning art house comedy features ‘Do I Love You?’ and ‘Tick Tock Lullaby’. She also directs for TV including the award winning pickpocketing suspense drama Dip for Channel 4.

@francescagreg@francescagreg – Raised in Rome, Los Angeles and the English countryside, Francesca Gregorini brings a worldly, passionate and unique sensibility to her filmmaking. Her character-driven films – ‘The Truth About Emanuel’ and ‘Tanner Hall’ – are visceral and darkly humorous, stylistically bold, with undertones of the magical and surreal.

@alexkondracke@alexkondracke – Formerly a writer/producer on The L Word and Hung, Alex Kondracke has gone on to director of the movie ‘Girltrash: All Night Long’ and is currently working on a project with Annapurna Pictures.


@RobinsonAngela@RobinsonAngelaAngela Robinson is an American film and television director, screenwriter and producer who is work includes making movie D.E.B.S., directoring episodes of the L word and True Blood.



@JennieLivingsto – Jennie Livingston is a film director best known for the 1990 documentary ‘Paris is Burning’. She is currently working on a new project ‘Earth Camp One’.


@StaciePasson@StaciePasson – Stacie Passon is a director and writer, known for lesbian movies ‘Concussion’.  She was award the Film Independent Spirit Awards in 2014.


@redrubes14@redrubes14 – Yoruba Richen is famed for documentary filmmaker, professor, ‘pontificator’ and ‘passionate adventurer’, who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad including Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Her latest film The ‘New Black’ premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June and went on to win Audience Awards at AFI Docs, Philly Q Fest and Frameline LGBT Film Festival as well as a special jury mention at Frameline.


@turnerguinevere – Guinevere Turner is an actress and writer, known for American Psycho, Chasing Amy and Go Fish.



@kvpi – Christine Vachon – Christine Vachon was born in New York and is a producer, known for Boys Don’t Cry, One Hour Photo and Far from Heaven. She now runs New York-based production company Killer Films and is a champion of the indie film movement..

@laurenwolkstein@laurenwolkstein – Lauren Wolkstein was named one of the top twenty-five emerging filmmakers through The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Independent Filmmaker Project’s inaugural Emerging Visions program at the 2011 New York Film Festival. She famed for creating ‘Social Butterfly’, ‘The Strange Ones’, and ‘Cigarette Candy’.


Exclusive Interview with Marina Rice Bader, Lesbian Filmmaker

Tom Sykes: Your new film Anatomy of a Love Seen is about a stormy lesbian relationship. Were you consciously trying to deal with the kinds of challenges that come up in a lesbian relationship or were you just trying to tell a story that happened to have two lesbians at its centre?

Marina Rice Bader: When it comes to relationships women are so very different from men because women have a tendency to engage on every level, if you will. The story is about how nobody can walk away from a lesbian relationship without this rollercoaster of emotions: pain and resentment and bitterness and compassion and love.

TS: Is it a story that’s therefore specifically aimed at lesbians or is there something for everyone?

MRB: I’m not sure if there’s something for every man but there’s something for every woman because even in a straight relationship women want openness and passion and communication and depth of feeling. I think all women have the potential to go where the characters in my movie go.

TS: Anatomy of a Love Seen has an intriguing film-within-a-film conceit. The two characters meet and fall in love while they are acting on a fictional movie set. What inspired that?

MRB: My favourite movies take me to a different time or place, to a world I’m not familiar with. So when I was writing this movie I wondered where I could take an audience? Most people don’t get to experience a movie set. I also liked the notion of two people falling in love at exactly the same time in front of a camera and twenty or thirty people.

Many of us go through a heart-wrenching break-up and we never get the chance to see or touch our ex again. So I was interested in what might happen if these two lovely women went through a break-up and then were not only in the same room together but were back in bed kissing each other. Would that connection transcend all the problems of the break-up in the first place? Would it be a healing measure?

TS: Most independent filmmakers find it hard to fund their projects. Was it difficult to finance Anatomy of a Love Seen?

MRB: It was a very short process. I decided I was going to make the movie in December 2013 and I had it completely filmed by the end of January 2014. We had a two-week pre-prep and we shot over the course of 5 days which is pretty nuts! But I really wanted to make this film and I called an investor I knew who put up the whole budget: $70,000. The financial restrictions forced me to be more creative because I had to work hard to give people a wonderful film with high production values and the best acting possible, but for not much money. Luckily I found an amazing cast and crew who were willing to come on this crazy ride with me!

TS: What’s your estimation of the current state of lesbian cinema?

MRB: It’s hard enough to fund an indie film but funding a lesbian indie film is very very challenging. Most people still view it as a niche market. When people invest in a film they want to know how many people will see it and whether or not they’ll get their money back. Personally I don’t want to compromise what I’m doing to make bigger budget films, but luckily there are a lot of people who have the same interests as me and who want to get these movies made come hell or high water.

I think we will start to see more films with lesbian content and mainstream budgets, although maybe not in the near future. I’m quite hopeful about this upcoming movie Carol, starring Cate Blanchett, which is based on the classic lesbian novel The Price of Salt.

But it’s a double-edged sword. If big studios start making lots of lesbian films that may jeopardise my company, Soul Kiss Films, which exclusively makes lesbian movies. That said, as long as I keep on trucking and stay passionate, it won’t matter who the competition is.

TS: Although our societies seem to be getting more and more tolerant, have you ever experienced any prejudice or bigotry against you or other LGBTs in the film industry?

MRB: I think the industry here is very tolerant. I feel so blessed to live in Los Angeles and to belong to the LGBT community. I had the luxury of entering this community at the age of 52 when I was already confident and didn’t care what people thought of me.

Now people know that we LGBTs are here and we’re staying here so just frigging deal with it! Get out your history books and look at the freedoms our Constitution guarantee us!

TS: Where can we see the film when it comes out?

MRB: Our world premiere is on July 18th in LA and the film will be available worldwide the next day on our website www.anatomyofaloveseen.com.