This short film program examines how communities and individuals inhabit, resist, and transgress gendered power structures in private and public spaces with verve and creativity. Adopting an intersectional, non-binary approach, the program aims to give visibility to marginalized experiences and identities through a range of cinematic forms and aesthetics, including animation, abstract film, music video, documentary, and experimental narrative. The first part of the program explores themes of eldercare and dis/ability, black identity, labor and exploitation, femininity, the ambivalence of parenthood and bisexual visibility. The second part begins with a journey about gender non-conformity within the context of African heritage and spirituality, and then looks into the vulnerability and isolation of abuse, culminating in a documentary about three Muslim women and their stories of sexual assault, challenging the stigma that has long suppressed the voices of survivors.
Krissy Mahan MY AUNT MAME (2017, 9 min, digital)
Krissy Mahan FAGGOTGIRL IN WINTER (2015, 3.5 min, digital)
Carrie Hawks BLACK ENUF* (2016, 23 min, digital)
Damien Luxe WORKING GIRL BLUES (2009, 4 min, digital)
Signe Baumane WOMAN (2002, 10 min, digital)
Joanna Rytel STAY-UPS (2017, 11 min, digital)
Patricia Silva A FEELING MORE THAN A PICTURE (2018, 10 min, digital)
Seyi Adebanjo OYA: SOMETHING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO WEST AFRICA! (2015, 30 min, digital)
Constanza Mirré I (2017, 2 min, digital)
Nadya Ali BREAKING SILENCE (2017, 40 min, digital)
I made great progress in my filmmaking, my work got screened in many places, and I made new friends through it all. Smashing success!
I don’t have any festival screenings coming up, so I am busily making new work, hopefully done in time for consideration for the fall festivals. I hope that the generosity and support that was showered upon me this year will transform into the positive change I hope for the world. I feel so grateful.
l’m ready to keep disrupting the status quo, and with a super ’17 behind me, now more that ever I’ll fight with humor and love. Watch me soar!
My parody of the recently-became-cult film “Carol” will be showing at the Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest from 14-19 November, 2017. I’m very excited because I like that little movie I made. I can’t really believe people got suckered into considering that Haynes thing as one of the best lesbian films ever. In your mind, replace Carol with a straight white man, (perhaps a rich and influential person in Hollywood whose name rhymes with Mine-stein) and you see that there is nothing funny about it at all.
After debuting at the Wotever DIY Film Festival, my “Carol” toured around with the Women Over 50 Film Festival last winter and this spring. Here’s the trailer.
You should know that the audio for my trailer is the exact same audio in the theatrical release version. This parody wrote itself.
I’ll try to keep up with links to reviews about my work at festivals here.
Here’s a good one to start with! GUM – Glasgow University Student Magazine
“My Aunt Mame’ is a short film conducted solely through Fischer-Price toys. Time is woven between various pasts and the present: the present is a woman sitting at her ailing mother’s bedside; the past experiences of growing up queer in the 1970s and 1980s. Mame exists solely in flashbacks as a forgotten lesbian aunt, ostracized from her family for being queer. Each visit marks a different holiday and a different girlfriend to introduce to the family. The film’s playfulness in its composition juxtaposes its seriousness in content, mirroring the director’s experience of caring for a family member while filming the piece.”
The Women Over 50 Film Festival was held on 14 – 17 September, 2017 at The Sallis Benney Theatre in the University of Brighton, and I was honored to be selected for it. My new movie “My Aunt Mame” (trailer here) screened in the Anchor program on 17 Sept 2017.
The festival had its origins in a screening in 2015, arranged by Nuala O’Sullivan and some friends, who programmed a day of films by/about older women. And now having watched the high quality, fascinating WOFFF’s selections, I am even more perplexed about why movies featuring older women are not very widely seen and celebrated.
I really enjoyed Brighton. My hosts were lovely, the cute city is right on the sea and I had nice weather, and it is a manageable size for walking and being new.
The festivals selections were very excellent. Here are some notes I took.
Saturday noon 16 Sept 2017
Hearts On Fire program
Loved the two animated films, both excellent; “Lying Women” (Deborah Kelly, 2016) and “A Woman Apart” (Mary k. Omelina, 2017), this one was a standout for script and the animation. I’d like to see that be even bigger. “Girls Of A Feather” (Dina And Elsalam, 2016) made me want to visit Alexandria, Egypt, and I liked the slow pace.
Saturday 1:45pm 16 Sept 2017
“Brand New Day” (Patricia Beckman Wells, 2017) was frigging amazing, and Patricia herself was so friendly and generous with animation advice. See this movie if you can. “Hear Me Now” (Maria Viola Craig, 2017) was about the survivors of the sanatariums for TB, super sad. I’d like to find out more about the supporting the program, that was shown in the “Girls And Glaciers” (Annette Frahm, 2017) documentary.
Saturday 4:45 16 Sept 2017
“Get Riel” (Will Barnard, 2017) is a short doc that i hope will be expanded about Elsa Perez, a dancer raised in South Africa, and the apartheid that she overcame. I went to her dance workshop later that night — she still has MOVES at what like 80? “Mary Mother” (Sadam Wahidi, 2016) should be required viewing for everyone, i mean it. The lead actor, Zubaida Sahar, was FIERCE. This film takes you inside not only inside an Afghanistan village, but inside a family and a relationship. In my films I am also trying to disentangle people’s preconceived ideas (often negative) from the bodies of the real live people living in them. This script and story were educational for me. I would like to watch this again if i can somehow.
Saturday 6:30 16 Sept 2017
I was a little tired/hungry by this point, so i didn’t see the whole program. I watched “Cherry Colour Buttonholes” (Brenda Miller, 2016). The film only had voices off screen and the visuals were only women’s hands sewing. I so appreciate textiles, sewing and other skills traditionally associated with women’s work. I’m glad to see them celebrated in film.
Sunday 12:00 17 Sept 2017
(This is the program where “My Aunt Mame” was included)
The production values and straight-up star power in this program was very high. Well-known older women actors were in three of the eight films. My movie was different then the others, but it was the first time I saw it on the big screen and i thought it looked great. The audience laughed at all the right places, too! What a relief. Everyone was enchanted by “Oor Wally” (Martin Lennon, 2016) about an older woman who has been a soccer team mascot for years. The most important one for me was “MUM” (Meriem Adib, 2016). The film just plops you into a domestic scene with a child, but the mother-figure is a blow up (sex) doll. Right off the bat you start asking questions and feel a little weird and sad. In the three minutes of the film, you really understand that something is very wrong. Turns out this is about austerity cuts to programs that support sex workers. “MUM” is powerful film, AND Merriem Adib, who made it, was so nice to me at the Q & A! She said “When i go to festivals, I always find a gem or two. I really liked your movie.” YAAAAYYYY!!!!
Sunday 1:45 17 Sept 2017
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
Another excellent animation! “Espressivo: A Love Song To Coffee” (Deb Ether, 2017) delighted me visually and also made me want to improve my stop-motion range. I was giggling the whole way through.
A good documentary film in this program was “Rebel Menopause” (Adele Tulli, 2014). The subject, Therese Clerc, is fascinating, and the project the film centered on the Baba Yagas in Paris, France, is brilliant. The production quality was high and it made everybody feel inspired.
Sunday 4:45 17 Sept 2017
Holy cow another smart and well-produced animation!!?? “A Short History of Indians in Canada” ((Nancy Beiman, 2017) looked so very good! And the story of Canada’s history with indigenous people is one of genocide, as we know. So to turn that into a compelling animation is a creative puzzle like the ones I try to solve — how to use animation in the service of justice, while knowing the audience might have strongly held opinions on the topics. “The Hide” (Gaynor Macfarlane, 2017) also tackled a loaded subject – current policies on immigration. I like that she used little (if any?) dialogue. The editing was just right, and it tells a strong and good story. I hope this film gets seen in more places. “Days Of Awe” (Rehana Rose, 2012) is a technical triumph and tells an important family story. It was interesting to linger in a person’s living space while just hearing people close to the person (who is not in her apartment) talk to her over recording devices.
Sunday 6:35 17 Sept 2017
Beyond I love Fay Presto! “Fay Presto” (Hanna Aqvilin, 2017) made a 17 minute doc about this groundbreaking magician that was smart and tackled sexism head on. I hadn’t heard about her but now hope to see her tour the US when the tour comes to the USA. OMG i just looked it up and it was LAST WEEK. I’m so disappointed. Dammit. Anyway. “Real Artists” (Cameo Wood, 2017) makes the audience think. It was terrifying and also (embarassingly) gratifying to see a movie about how movies are made. I got to feel smug like “ha ha I don’t care what hollywood or chinese audiences think!” but at the same time I know that this movie could be about any market or group of consumers that want to be fed entertainment.
The awards went to deserving films, and I won a bottle of wine in the raffle.
I am very glad that I went to this festival. I was going to go regardless of if my movie was shown, but considering how strong the program was, I am so glad and proud that my film was included. Well done and THANK YOU, Nuala, Hilary, Pricilla, Helen and Natalie
Wow. I am the luckiest person in the world. Who would have thought that some construction paper and Fisher-Price people would be the reason I am going to the UK this September! My movie “My Aunt Mame” was selected by 4 film festivals so far, and I hope some more, too, (because i sent it out to more that 75 festivals).
The biggest thanks goes to the Wotever DIY Film Festival, led by Theresa Heath-Elul and Tara Brown. They showed a Faggotgirl film in 2013, and have been my biggest champions ever since. You never know when something happens that changes the course of your life, and I am sure that being selected by WDIYFF is one of those things. I aspire to maintain the high standards that their festival set in all the future work that I do; accessible, inclusive, rigourous and fun.
Thank you Looking At You Productions for encouraging me to make this movie, thank you Women Over 50 Film Festival for making a dedicated festival to older women, thank you Leeds Queer Film Festival for your demonstrated leadership, for years now, in how to make a festival fully accessible, and thank you Scottish Queer Film Festival for your enthusiastic support of even my most wacky projects. I am so humbled and happy to be bringing Aunt Mame’s story out to the world. It is a dream come true as well as my political project to be making funny movies that remain hopeful and fun in a world that needs love and joy.
Wow! So i’m not sure if anyone even reads this, but if you know me, you know that i am very happy to just amuse myself by making movies that sometimes even screen at accessible, friendly, feminist and often queer festivals.
So IMAGINE MY SUPRISE that my movie about my great aunt will be gracing the silver screen across the WORLD, or at least across an ocean. I will add more later, but here’s what i can share so far:
Scottish Queer International Film Festival
We are super pleased to announce that SQIFF 2017 will take place 27th September to 1st October in Glasgow. We return with our packed programme of screenings, workshops, discussions, and parties creating community and pushing boundaries in LGBTIQ+ film and art. This year SQIFF will be bigger and better, taking place across 5 days! Our main venue will once again be the CCA with events at other venues around the city.
I’m writing on behalf of Leeds Queer Film Festival to thank you for allowing us to show your film. The festival was a resounding success and we received especially good feedback for the programme this year. We were so pleased to be able to show a very strong selection of films and had some difficult decisions about which films we had to leave out.
You will find attached our laurel, which we hope you can use in promoting your film.
We wish you the best of luck for all your creative endeavours and look forward to receiving submissions from you to future festivals.
Twin Cities Pride and Gender Reel Minnesota present three amazing nights of free film screenings and Q&A’s – 4/5, 4/12 and 4/26. All films will be shown at Sateren Auditorium on the Augsburg College campus in Minneapolis.
4/26/17: Film Shorts.
7:00 PM -8:00 PM — From dating calamities and bathroom mishaps, join us for a fun filled hour of film shorts featuring some of the funniest flicks to premiere at Gender Reel in the past 6 years. Films include: Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure (12 min), Crazy Hot (10 min), The Heartbreak of VD (13 min), Cover Up (11 min) and Faggotgirl Gets Busy In the Bathroom (4 min).
8:15 PM to 8:45 PM — Coming Full Circle: The Journey of a Transgender Korean Adoptee (29 min).
HuffPostUK article: It Is Important That People With A Learning Disability Are Seen On Screen And Stage Simply Because We Exist
(from the article linked above) “When I first started acting, I faced a lot of negativity. There was a lot of misconceptions from casting directors that I wouldn’t be able to act a part, or that I would hold up the filming or production schedule because of my disability. They were also worried about how to direct me as they didn’t know how to communicate with me or didn’t think that I would be able to understand what they wanted me to do.”