Hamish Downie Has Five More Questions for Shawna Khorasani
Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…
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: Could you please introduce yourself (again) to our readers?
SK: Hello, my name is Shawna and I love telling queer feel-good stories. I discovered my passion for film and telling original stories when I decided to create my own webseries in my college days. It was not an easy feat, especially for someone who had no film training or experience and no connections. From there, I immersed myself in the film world to learn more by working on set, taking classes and workshops, and attending networking mixers. Eventually, I started writing and directing my own short films, which led to my hit lesbian romcom LoverGirl. It’s been a fantastic journey so far with a lot of support and excitement, and I’m looking forward to continuing on this path!
TGG: Since our last interview, your short film “LoverGirl” has gone viral with over 800,000 views. What has the journey been like for you?
SK: Honestly, when I first put LoverGirl on Youtube after its festival run, I was hoping for at least a few thousand views to reach a wider audience. But I did not expect it to blow up the way it did! I’m so grateful and still blown away that people are still discovering this tiny gay film that was shot in a tiny town in California–and commenting and resonating with it and loving it. People from places as far away as India or the Phillipines or Africa have seen my film. And that’s pretty surreal! It makes me so happy knowing that it touches people in different ways. Ultimately, that’s what I really wanted–to make stories that resonate with people (especially in the LGBTQ community) and give them joy. So I’m really happy I get to do that.
TGG: Can you tell us about your latest film, “Popping the question”?
SK: I got struck with the idea to make Popping the Question in the middle of a work meeting in mid-January. i was so inspired that I finished the first draft that same day. I really wanted to shoot and release the film in time for Valentine’s Day in February–but quickly released that timeline wouldn’t work. When we did eventually shoot in March, it went great and everyone had a blast! Following in the vein of LoverGirl and the kind of story I like telling, I wanted Popping the Question to be a holiday-themed story of romance, love, possibility, joy, and one of life’s greatest adventures–getting to spend the rest of your life with your person. I really enjoyed writing it, and my two leads nailed their performances. I’m excited for people to see this 7 minute short film about queer joy and romance!
TGG: Knowing “LoverGirl” was inspired by the Brat Pack romances of the 80s, what films have inspired your latest short?
SK: Popping the Question was inspired by films like “Imagine Me & You”, “Forever Not Maybe”, “Together Forever”, and “The Date”.
TGG: How can we watch “Popping the Question”?
SK: You can watch the film on Lesflicks, Reel Women’s Network, or Fearless starting June 18th, 2021.
TGG: What’s next for you?
SK: I’ve really been enjoying continuing to build my audience and make new connections. At the moment, I am focusing on finishing up my website and promoting the release of Popping the Question, but after that, I’ll be stepping back a bit to focus on myself. I will still be writing, however!
Tik tok: @filmsbysk