In September of 2014 I decided to create a non-profit fiscal sponsor crowd funding organization. I have become well aware of the nail biting, gut wrenching, nose to the grindstone things that lesbian producers, directors and writers have had to do in order to literally squeeze dollars out of friends, family members and fans in order to make their film. Now four months later I can look at where my More Than Friends Film Funding has come and what I’ve learned… so far.
One of the best parts of being approached by filmmakers looking for support is that they send me their scripts. I have read some of the most powerful, sexy or funny lesbian stories in the past four months that I’ve ever read. With the exception of a handful of them, most of these scripts SHOULD become films. They MUST become films. I mean there is good stuff being created out there. I will not give anything away so don’t try (though I’ve been known to cave for a two pound box of dark chocolate and almonds).
But, you will be completely blown away by Nicole Conn’s new film Nesting Doll and Deb Shoval has begun filming AWOL, which tells a very unique military lesbian love story that isn’t at all like A Marine Story. Kate Johnston is busy on her next script but isn’t sharing… YET. And wait until you watch Becky Lane’s Chanticleer, which she wishes to turn into a feature film. I know Marina Rice Bader is busy creating one of the most beguiling stories I’ve ever read and cannot wait to see translated to film. Please tell Desiree Akhaven who wrote, directed and starred in Appropriate Behavior that we want more, more. And the list goes on.
The one thing I’ve learned is that lesbians want their stories told. I’ve walked out of Frameline and Outfest and heard women say, “More, we want more”. They want a film that gets it. A film that gets who they are and how they live in the world. They really want films that have fascinating characters that have something new and provocative to say. It can be sexy love, wacky comedy, high drama, or frightening mystery (hey, who out there is the next lesbian Agatha Christie?) Above all, they want characters that bring memorable stories to life and just happen to be told by lesbians.
And I’ve learned that we are a unique group, we lesbian film fans. We want it all and can’t understand why it is hard to make great lesbian films. You can’t buy a new car without dollars. Guess what, you need the same thing to make a great film. Isn’t there a lesbian MGM or Warner Brothers (Warner Sisters???). Aren’t big studios begging to give independent filmmakers the dollars to bring that script to life? The answer is, “no”. Simply, if we want it, we need to pay for it up front. So when you are wondering when the next Crazy Bitches or Foxy Merkins is premiering, remember that the writers and producers are hoping and banking on we film fans to donate to their film funding campaigns. It is as simple as hitting a donate button. Try it; you’ll be very happy you did.