We recently launched our movie Erasing Eden into the arena of Film Festivals. The first of which was the Female Eye Film Festival (FEFF) in Toronto, where it was received well. Erasing Eden was one of four films reviewed by the Toronto Film Scene:
“ERASING EDEN is a unique and emotional character piece you shouldn’t miss…”
– ADREW PARKER, Toronto Film Scene
It was in Toronto, during the FEFF, where I was inspired to write this article for Ms. In The Biz magazine. It’s mostly a tongue and cheek piece, but the narrative is pretty close to what happened while self-funding Erasing Eden.
6 Ways to Finish a Micro-Budget Movie
Stay tuned, more to come…
I try to up the ante in my creative life by going outside my comfort zone, most recently I attended Comic-Con, not as a fan but as a spy. With half of the event’s 130,000 attendees being women, I came looking for gender equality. Immediately I noticed signs posted everywhere addressing the issue of sexual harassment during Cosplay. Although it is in my wheelhouse, the effort it would have taken to sexually harass someone in that hot crowded convention center was energy I was not willing to expend.
In addition to revealing costumes there were women dressed as Supergirl, Batman or Ghost Busters, thanks to the all female cast coming soon to the remake. I’m on the fence about how to costume Pimp Girl, the protagonist in our upcoming action film. There must be a functionality to the outfit, but not to the point that it acts as a sexual repellent or form of birth control. Ideas welcome, please leave them in the comments.
My creative partner Justo Diaz and I were excited to attend the Women Who Kick Ass panel featuring among others Kathy Bates and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth in the HBO’s Game of Thrones) . The line for Hall H panels was so long that we just about gave up when we were approached by two pimply faced thirteen year olds who hocked us re-entry passes for $20 a piece. We tried re-selling them on our exit but went into a shame spiral and gave them away.
Also on the panel was Gal Gadot, the lead in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. Apparently there was some fan backlash over her casting because her boobs weren’t big enough. Does she shoot
lasers out of them? Are giant boobs a super power of some sort that I’m not aware of? Ay caramba! My favorite moment during Q&A was when a rabid male fan wanted to know why he was antagonized for wearing his Wonder Woman t-shirt when women can wear a Batman or Superman shirt. This moment was poignant, because we sometimes forget that men are also evolving.
My heart sank at an earlier panel when teaser footage was unveiled of Legendary’s Warcraft movie, a tent pole extravaganza with no major female characters –not a villain or hero in the bunch. But then again, it looked like such an epic flop that like a witness to a homicide, I left there thinking sometimes it’s best not to get involved.
My final thought is that despite the typical display of boobage there was an equal and opposite force of modern female roles. Following this logic, I expect to see more content that inspires and empowers women next year – right?
I am developing a project, the comedy “Unicorn Sex Party” about a sex-starved divorcee and her foray into swinger’s parties and sex clubs. While in Cannes for the film festival, I thought it would be the perfect time to check out the vibe at the sex clubs – Oh la la! My theory was that the climate might be a bit more misogynistic than the clubs in the states, but then again the French pretty much invented sexy so I was anxious to check it out!
Famous for les club échangiste, I imagined Cannes swingers clubs over-run with starlets and celebrities during the festival. What famous couple would need me to jump-start their lackluster love life? What globe trotting billionaire would step off his or her yacht for a night of pleasure avec moi?
At 10 pm I was the first person to arrive! Awkward. Apparently business is slow during the festival because traffic is bad. The bartender was good looking, but very busy putting out pretzels and chocolates. I went straight for the jacuzzi, enclosed in a fabulously kitschy jungle grotto, avec exotic plastic plants and artificial rocks. Heavy black light completed the vibe, and as I stepped in to soak my aching feet, my Malibu Barbie pedicure glowed luminously pink in the luke warm water. Ahhhh.
The doorbell rang and a second and third man entered the building. I was outnumbered and fear crept over me like a wet blanket. A warning from a French friend back home: Be careful of the men in the clubs. My body tensed as I perched on a fake rock, ready to spring into action.
But they barely looked at me as they dashed around re-jiggering the stereo system. A man looking like Kenny Powers visited me briefly, inquiring in a heavy accent “Are you okay?” I nodded yes and he scurried off.
In the states, my experience in the swinger’s scene with men is that they generally pander to the pleasing of women. Men are reviewed online with comments like “good oral skills” or “excellent use of the hands” (lol). So when a single male approached me, I expected the same until he made oafish advances, in spite of me asking him to slow down. Ugh. I lost patience, put my clothes on and hit the cobblestone road!
Exactly one year has passed since my separation from my husband and the universe has provided me with plenty of sexual healing. So much in fact that I feel over saturated. However upon my return to the USA, I did have the pleasure of having a man give me a tantric yoni massage, which is all about pleasing a woman. (ladies, google it – amazing.) Although it is unfair to generalize, my experience proves a difference in male sexual behavior in the swinger’s scene in France. Vive la difference.
I have been dying to go to the Cannes Film Festival for over ten years. This year in 2015, I finally went, appropriately in what is being called The Year of the Woman. While it is encouraging to have the ACLU fighting gender disparities in TV and film directing, there is a long way to go to affect real change.
What better way to get the party started than to ban a group of from a Cannes gala screening for not wearing high heels! The outcry rippled through the festival, but I wish it were more for the main Cannes competition only including two female directors. I happened to get a gala ticket for one of the two – “Mon Roi” directed by Maiwenn and gleefully suffered the red carpet in six inch heels.
Marche du Film Cannes 2015
As a Cannes newbie I was shopping “Erasing Eden”, the nearly complete feature drama that I directed. The hallways of the Marche du Film, however, were devoid of female protagonists and female filmmakers, judging from the posters and key art. My creative partner Justo Diaz and his wife have three little girls and we want them to grow up with entertainment that eclipses the gender bias. We have been crafting “Pimp Girl” a vengeance-laced action story featuring a kick ass female protagonist to that end. I tried to imagine our project squeezed into this year’s crop of male centric Van Damme movies and Game of Thrones rip offs. Think big.
Inside – The Palais
Real change is going to take a lot of hard work, solidarity and sacrifice; it must be felt economically by the industry. Echoing influential writer Melissa Silverstein from a recent female activist gathering, money talks and action is necessary. Melissa raised two ways to affect change that I will personally challenge myself to implement:
Boycott male driven and directed films…and HIRE WOMEN.
For the ACLU petition Click here:
(stay tuned for my next blog post “Cannes Sex Party”)