Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?
Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.
Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.
TGG: I recently discovered this young filmmaker on a facebook group (it’s going the way of MySpace, I know, but still good for something)… and I’m so happy to be able to interview her today… Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
SK: Hi, I’m Shawna, and I’m an indie lesbian filmmaker who loves telling stories about women, the queer community, and people of color. I got my start with a literary webseries I created, wrote, directed, and produced in college back in 2016. It was my first time ever working on such a large scale project (with no film training either), and it was such a fun and great learning experience! As a queer filmmaker, I like seeing lighthearted, feel-good queer stories. Some of my favorite female filmmakers are Desiree Akhavan, Olivia Wilde, Patty Jenkins, Shonda Rhimes, and Alice Guy-Blaché (look her up—she was literally the first ever female director!)
TGG: Could you please tell us about your latest film, “LoverGirl”?
SK: LoverGirl is a lesbian romcom about Dakota, a lovestruck teenager using grand romantic gestures to ask out her crush Danny. It was the kind of film I wish I saw when I was a closeted high schooler. I drew inspiration from Love, Simon and Juno. I wanted to tell the classic high school romance story, but update it to normalize queer romance and crushes as a young LGBTQ person. LoverGirl even won an award and had a very successful film festival run; it is now available on Youtube, and has stolen the hearts of thousands all over the world.
TGG: Your film references a lot of 80s films, what are your favourites, and why were you so inspired by them?
SK: Yes, good catch! LoverGirl was definitely inspired by classic romantic comedies of the 80s and early 90s. Some of my favorite 80s rom-coms are Say Anything, When Harry Met Sally, and The Breakfast Club. I think I was so inspired to emulate these movies because for one, who doesn’t love a good romance? But also I wanted to take the recurring theme of characters using huge sappy gestures to win over their love interest and place it into a queer context. It’s a running joke that lesbians and queer women are bad at telling their crush they like them–so how would a nervous but hopeful lesbian ask out her crush? It was really fun coming up with all of Dakota’s romantic gestures.
TGG: How did you find your lead actor? Shoana’s a star!
SK: Great question. I am so, so lucky I found Shoana T. Hunt, who plays Dakota, the main character. I don’t even remember how they found the casting notice, but they reached out to send over an audition tape. Shoana actually auditioned for both Dakota and Danny, but as
soon as I saw them read for Dakota, I knew I’d found my lead! Gotta love a happy coincidence. And can you believe this was Shoana’s first film project? They’re just THAT good.
TGG: Readers might be interested to see “The Decision”, another wonderful collaboration with Shoana and Shawna:
TGG: So, what’s next for you?
SK: Well, I can’t bask in the glow of LoverGirl’s success forever, can I? Currently, I am preparing to shoot and fundraise for another romcom short about a marriage proposal. Can you sense a theme here? (I just really love feel-good queer stories, okay?) I also am collaborating with a friend on a new mockumentary-style satire/comedy web-series about the wacky staff of an LGBTQ community center under the first year of the Trump administration. It’s going to be a busy year, and I can’t wait!
TGG: We can’t wait to see what you do next. How can we best support you?
SK: I’m currently building new social media channels to showcase my work and am in the process of building a website as well. But you can check out my Youtube channel:
I also have a Ko-Fi account if you want to help fund my next project:
I hope you like LoverGirl!
TGG: We love it!