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2018 Films

Films from ClexaCon’s 2018 Film Festival

We are pleased to be working in association with NewFest, New York’s LGBT Film Festival and HGLCF to present some of the best films from their latest festivals! Keep checking back for more ClexaCon 2018 Film Festival updates.

ClexaCon Film Festival 2018 Awards

BEST FEATURE

Carmilla

BEST SHORT

Last Night Was a Mistake

BEST WEB SERIES

Thank You, Come Again

AUDIENCE AWARD

The World Can Wait

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Joanie: Queen of the Paradiddle

BEST PERFORMER

Yessica Hernandez-Cruz for Last Night Was a Mistake

BEST DIRECTOR

Amanda Holland for Last Night Was a Mistake

STAFF PICK – COMEDY

Pop Rox

STAFF PICK – DRAMA

Finding Glory

Congratulations to our winners! Many thanks to everyone who got involved with the ClexaCon Film Festival, a special thanks to the filmmakers, volunteers and to all those who voted and made the Film Festival a success!

Shorts

Apart from Everything

2017 | USA | 20 Mins

Director: Ben Lewis
Written by: Ben Lewis

Starring: Tatiana Maslany, Tattiawna Jones

Synopsis: After a two-year absence and a recent stint in rehab, Fran (Emmy-winner Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black, Stronger) returns to face the emotional fallout of her disappearance and make amends with the girlfriend (Tattiawna Jones, The Handmaid’s Tale, Tully) she left behind.

A Place In The Middle

Documentary

2014 | USA | 25 min

Directors: Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson
Writer: Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

Starring: Ho’Onani Kamai and Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

Logline: A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE is the true-life story of a young Hawaiian girl who aspires to lead her school’s all-male hula troupe and an inspiring teacher who uses traditional culture to empower her.

Synopsis: Eleven-year old Ho’Onani dreams of leading the hula troupe at her inner-city Honolulu school. The only trouble is that the group is just for boys. She’s fortunate that her teacher understands first-hand what it’s like to be “in the middle” – the Hawaiian tradition of embracing both male and female spirit. Together they set out to prove that what matters most is what’s in your heart.

Bonfire

2018 | USA | 5 Mins

In Attendance: Lindy Boustedt, Kris Boustedt, Karie Gonia, Debra Pralle

Directors: Lindy Boustedt, Kris Boustedt
Written By: Lindy Boustedt

Starring: Karie Gonia, Debra Pralle

Logline: A poetic short film exploring the complex feelings surrounding a new love.

Brannan & The Monosexuals: Double Booked

2017 | USA | 18 Mins

In Attendance: Caryn Hayes, Haviland Stillwell

Directors: Caryn K. Hayes
Written By: Caryn K. Hayes

Starring: Vana Bell, Erika Ringor, Kareem Grimes, Haviland Stillwell, Dawn Noel, Ephraim Lopez, Julienne Irons

Logline: Brannan brings a whole new meaning to “double dating” when she inadvertently makes a date with two people for the same night. Stuck between a girl she likes and a guy she likes, she’s in for a long night.

Bury Your Tropes

2018 | Canada | 12 Mins

In Attendance: Erin Carter

Directors: Erin Carter
Written By: Erin Carter

Starring: Diane Chen, Gwenlyn Cumyn, Nicole Duguay, Natasha Negovanlis, Kelly Paoli, Dana Piccoli, Lauren Strapagiel

Synopsis: Bury Your Tropes is a short, student documentary exploring the representation of queer people on screen. Focusing primarily on queer women, the film features people who work in or adjacent to the industry. Using the infamous “bury your gays” trope as a starting point, Bury Your Tropes explores how queer people have been depicted on screen, why contemporary depictions are still harmful, and what must be done to ensure more positive representation for LGBTQ people.

Butch Coyolxauhqui

2016 | Canada | 4 Mins

Director: Karleen Pendleton Jiménez
Writers: Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

Synopsis: A butch lesbian tells the story of her queer body with the help of her mother and the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui.

Counting

2016 | USA | 10 Mins

Director: Dan Pal
Written by: Kari Morris

Starring: Carolyn Reynolds, Kenzie Seibert, Joan McGrath

Synopsis: In 1951 Violet and Milly make a love promise over a penny. In 2015, the promise comes due, and Violet must face a heartbreaking reality.

Joani: Queen of the Paradiddle!

2015 | USA | 31 Mins

Directors: Tina Gordon
Written By: Tina Gordon

Starring: Georgia Joan Hannan

Logline: In 1935, at eight years old, Joani Hannan picked up a pair of drumsticks and beat her path in entertainment history. Joani was a pioneering female jazz drummer who traveled the world in the USO and played alongside Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot”. Despite the challenges and constraints of the 50s and 60’s for women and queers, Joani transcended stereotypes exemplifying to all who she met – the strength, self love and courage to be true to oneself no matter what.

Last Night Was A Mistake

2017 | USA | 15 Mins

In Attendance: Amanda Holland, Mari Taren

Director: Amanda Holland
Written by: Amanda Holland

Starring: Mari Taren, Yessica Hernandez-Cruz, Brittany Ashley, Deyo Forteza

Synopsis: Best friends, Alexa & Maya wanted stress free trip to Vegas away from their significant others. But when the ladies get too drunk and find themselves in a wedding chapel, they’ve got to face the feelings. In a short told completely backwards, the two prove that what happens in Vegas has lasting consequences.

Maricruz

2017 | USA | 17 Mins

In Attendance: Christine McAuliffe, Aaron Amal

Directors: Christine McAuliffe
Written by: Christine McAuliffe, Aaron Amal

Starring: Paulina Cerrilla, David Michael Treviño

Logline: When her devoutly Catholic mother walks in on her and her girlfriend, a 16-year-old girl is sent to the local church to undergo conversion therapy; while there, she discovers the priest who runs the program harbors a dark secret and fights to expose him.

One Way Street

2017 | USA | 14 Mins

In Attendance: Andrea Meyerson

Directors: Andrea Meyerson
Written By: Andrea Meyerson

Starring: Kate Havness, Jesse Archer, Renee Santos

Logline: What happens when your desire drives you in the wrong direction? Revved up by passion and ignoring all the signs, three people set out to fulfill their fantasies.

Fasten your seat belts, this ride may wind up on a very bumpy ONE WAY STREET!

Only One

2017 | USA | 5 Mins

In Attendance: Sierra Schepmann, Patricia Villetto

Directors: Sierra Schepmann
Written By: Sierra Schepmann

Starring: Sierra Schepmann, Patricia Villetto

Logline: Sometimes you need a reminder that your life matters.

Pop Rox

2017 | USA | 14 Mins

In attendance: Alyssa Lerner

Director: Nate Trinrud
Written By: Alyssa Lerner

Starring: Kimia Behpoornia, Sara Young Chandler, Samantha Dilday

Synopsis: Jesse, a 17 year old Iranian-American girl, musters the courage to tell her high school best friend, Roxanne, that she’s in love with her. But when Roxanne invites out new girl Evelyn, Jesse’s perfect night takes a turn for the worse.

Salamagan

2017 | USA | 12 Mins

In Attendance: Elisa Oh, Alyssa Lerner, Alyssa Perez

Director: Elisa Oh
Written by: Alyssa Lerner

Starring: Alyssa Perez, Jiavani Linayao, Olga Natividad, Joi Orbe Brown

Synopsis: Ana fears that coming out to her Filipino Catholic mother would break her heart. But when her mother needs help cleaning a hoarder house, Ana enlists her secret girlfriend for the job.

Sanctuary

2017 | USA | 10 Mins

In Attendance: Jeanette Sears

Directors: Jeanette Sears, Nicole Solomon
Written By: Jeanette Sears

Starring: Jeanette Sears, Latresa Baker

Logline: Throughout the 1960’s, gay bars served as havens for a marginalized queer community across the country. Frequent police raids and laws dictating women to wear three pieces of “gender appropriate clothing” resulted in countless cases of police harassment, assault, and brutality.

Sanctuary follows Meg and Abigail as they navigate their interaction and coping process after one such raid.

Seeing Glory

2017 | USA | 14 Mins

In Attendance: Rick Hamilton

Directors: Rick Hamilton
Written By: Rick Hamilton

Starring: Brenda Crawley, Emily Blake

Logline: Gloria prepares a feast of the senses for the rapidly ailing Eva in an attempt to share a perfect evening and be seen for the woman she truly is. Writer-director Rick Hamilton’s newest film is a bittersweet story of fine wine, dementia and the immortal words of Virginia Woolf.

Tell Me Twice

2017 | USA | 12 Mins

In Attendance: Caitlin Stickels, Kea Trevett and Jess Stark

Directors: Caitlin Stickels
Written By: Morgan Ingari

Starring: Kea Trevett, Jess Stark, Jonathan Iglesias

Logline: Tell Me Twice follows main character Nat, who unexpectedly runs into her ex at a party. This surprise meeting forcers her to confront her buried feelings as she tries to rekindle the relationship.

The Parker Tribe

2015 | USA | 25 Mins

Available on Amazon Prime & Vimeo

In Attendance: Jane Baker

Directors: Jane Baker
Written By: Jane Baker

Starring: Paula Pell, David Koechner, Cassandra Beske-Dunn

Logline: In a single day in 1975, tomboy Mary “Jo” Parker discovers truths about her Catholic family that irrevocably alter her life.

The World Can Wait

2017 | UK | 8 Mins

In Attendance: Deborah Espect

Directors: Deborah Espect
Written By: Deborah Espect

Starring: Veronica Jean Trickett

Logline: Vic is a popular lesbian character in a hit television series. But when the Executives in charge of the show gather to decide her fate, she finds herself having to fight for her survival.

This, Too, Is Love

2018 | USA | 9 Mins

Directors: Sari Katharyn
Written By: Sari Katharyn

Starring: Sophie Gyllenram, Fernanda Barrera

Logline: a sapphic short film on the wordless, weighted moments between two young women in the course of a single day.

Yes and No

2017 | USA | 5 Mins

Directors: Shannon Hardy
Written by: Shannon Hardy

Starring: Katherine Reis, Sadie Miller

Logline: Yes and No is a short drama about two high school friends, KATE and DEVON, who confront their sexual chemistry while using a makeshift Ouija board. As flirtations escalate through questions to the Ouija, their true feelings come to the surface and Kate questions her own sexual identity.

Feature Films

D.E.B.S.

Throwback Movie

2004 | USA | 91 MIN

Director: Angela Robinson
Writers: Angela Robinson

Starring: Sara Foster, Jordana Brewster, Meagan Good, Devon Aoki, Jill Ritchie

Synopsis: Recruited by the U.S. government for their unique ability to lie, cheat and fight, Amy, Max, Janet and Dominique join an underground academy of secret agents known only as D.E.B.S. These crime fighting hotties set out to save the world and keep their lipstick perfectly applied while doing so. Now the girls must combine their skills for their most important mission- to capture vexing vixen Lucy Diamond, the deadliest criminal the world has ever known. When D.E.B.S. star player, Amy, falls for Lucy, chaos erupts and the D.E.B.S. loyalty is put to the test.

God Complex

2018 | USA | 74 Mins

In Attendance: Wendy Woody, Tara Chadwick and Debbie Diesel

Directors: Wendy Woody

Starring: Tara Chadwick, Debbie Diesel

Synopsis: A classic tale of girl meets goddess!  In this action/adventure comedy, Casey’s world is changed forever when she opens a magical artifact given to her by a mysterious woman. Suddenly she is thrown into a world of extraordinary power, vengeful queens, and some interesting new neighbors. Gods, girls, gaiety and best of all, free rent! All part of saving the world.

Signature Move

2017 | USA | 82 Mins

Director: Jennifer Reeder
Written By: Fawzia Mirza & Lisa Donato

Starring: Fawzia Mirza, Shabana Azmi, Sari Sanchez, Audrey Francis, Charin Alvarez, Molly Brennan, and Mark Hood

Synopsis: SIGNATURE MOVE is a comedic and heartfelt look at modern families and the complexities of love in its many forms. Zaynab (Fawzia Mirza) is a Pakistani, Muslim lawyer living in Chicago who begins a new romance with Alma (Sari Sanchez), a confident Mexican-American woman. Zaynab’s recently widowed mother Parveen (Shabana Azmi) has moved in and spends her days watching Pakistani TV dramas while searching for a potential husband for her only daughter. Alma’s mother is a former professional Luchadora, which Zaynab finds fascinating, as she has recently taken up lucha-style wrestling with a former pro wrestler. Zaynab tries to keep her secrets from her mother, who knows more than she lets on.

The Carmilla Movie

2017 | USA | 94 Mins

In Attendance: Stephanie Ouaknine

Directors: Spencer Maybee
Written By: Jordan Hall, Alejandro Alcoba

Starring: Elise Bauman, Natasha Negovanlis

Synopsis: It’s been five years since Laura and Carmilla vanquished the apocalypse and Carmilla became a bonafide mortal human. They have settled in to a cozy apartment in downtown Toronto; Laura continues to hone her journalism skills while Carmilla adjusts to a non-vampire lifestyle. Their domestic bliss is suddenly ruptured when Carmilla begins to show signs of “re-vamping” – from a fondness for bloody treats to accidental biting – while Laura has started having bizarre, ghostly dreams. Enlisting their old friends from Silas University, the couple must now uncover the unknown supernatural threat that’s tied to Carmilla’s past.

Documentaries

MAJOR!

2015 | USA | 90 Mins

In attendance: Annalise Ophelian

Directors: Annalise Ophelian

Starring: Miss Major Griffin Gracy

Logline: MAJOR! follows the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a 73-year-old Black transgender woman who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

2017 | USA | 107 MIN

Director: David France
Writers: David France and Mark Blane

Starring: Victoria Cruz, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera

Synopsis: Who killed Marsha P. Johnson? When the beloved, self-described “street queen” of NY’s Christopher Street was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, the NYPD called her death a suicide. Protests erupted but the police remained impassive and refused to investigate. Now, twenty-five years on, Academy Award® nominated director and journalist David France (HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE) examines Marsha’s death—and her extraordinary life—in his new film. Marsha arrived in the Village in the 1960s where she teamed up with Sylvia Rivera when both claimed their identities as “drag queens,” to use the vernacular of the times. Together, the radical duo fought arrests, condemned police brutality, organized street kids, battled the intolerant majority within the gay community, and helped spearhead the Stonewall Riots. In 1970 they formed the world’s first trans-rights organization, STAR (Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries). Despite their many challenges over the years—bias, homelessness, illness —Marsha and Sylvia ignited a powerful and lasting civil rights movement for gender nonconforming people. Now, a quarter century later, at a time of unprecedented visibility and escalating violence in the transgender community, a dynamic activist named Victoria Cruz has taken it upon herself to reexamine what happened at the end of Marsha’s life. As the film dips in and out of jawdropping archival footage from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON follows as this champion pursues leads, mobilizes officials, and works to get to the bottom of Marsha’s death.

Web Series

After Oil

2017 | USA | 24 Mins

In Attendance: Shailyn Cotten, Jessica Naftaly

Logline: The last five years for Briar Dunlap have been buried under the weight of a global oil crisis which has sunk her small Appalachian town into a desperate fight for survival. Needing to help, she and her friends start delivering food and rations to their neighbors on bike, forming a gang called the “Pahokee Riders”. But when one of her youngest Riders goes missing, Briar and her girlfriend Sarah’s fervent search for their friend uncovers a dark secret.

Easy Abby

2017 | USA | 9 Mins

In Attendance: Wendy Jo Carlton

Logline: Abby likes women. A lot. She has no problem finding any to sleep with, but that’s the only thing that comes easy. Dealing with anxiety, family and money issues is another story. Abby does what she wants and says what she thinks. She’s not a great friend but she’s trying.

Episode Synopsis: “Abby takes Alicia’s bait and winds up having a wild hotel night with her, despite concerns about staying true to Danielle who is working in Italy.”

Fauk My Life

2017 | USA | 12 Mins

In Attendance: Stephanie Neroes, Mary Rachel Gardner, Monique Sypkens

Logline: Fauk My Life is a serialized hour long coming-of-age drama about young adult women, on a journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of college basketball. It follows the diverse lives of seven players and their coach as they face the trials and tribulations of life on and off the basketball court.

Episode Synopsis: As Amy and her parents come to grips with her heading off to college, Amy’s boyfriend, Thomas, plans a proposal and her bff, Kaitline, struggling with issues of her own, succumbs to feelings she never realized she had.

It’s Complicated

2018 | USA | 6 Mins

In Attendance: Francesca Bacaltos

Logline: Alex pushes away Skye, her girlfriend of 6 months, because “long distance doesn’t work”. Her heart, however, insists on holding on.

LA Web Series

2017 | USA | 13 Mins

In Attendance: Emma Maddock, Alexandra Swaren

Logline: LA Web Series is a love story between two young women who start as strangers and forge a lasting bond filled with past stories and future questions. After 7 years apart with no interaction, will everything just fall back into place, or will they have grown too far apart to become one again?

Episode Synopsis: As Landon and Avery spend more time together, their bond forms closer than ever. Landon finds it hard not to compare her life to Avery’s, but Avery reassures her that she is right where she needs to be.’

Middlemarch: The Series

2017 | USA | 5 Mins

In Attendance: Rebecca Shoptaw

Logline: A modern, gender-bent vlog-style web series adaptation of George Eliot’s “Middlemarch,” the series follows a group of students at Lowick College in the fictional town of Middlemarch, Connecticut, who are all just beginning to figure out who they are and what they want.

Nasty Habits

2017 | USA | 12 Mins

In Attendance: Christina de Leon

Logline: A collection of slice-of-life vignettes featuring characters partaking in their own addictive habits.

Episode Synopsis: It’s the morning after Becca left her groom-to-be at the alter and ran away with her maid of honor, Jenny. The two ladies can finally be together; they should be thrilled! But in this tiny motel room in the middle of nowhere, the weight of the situation starts to sink in… they just did something really shitty.

Paranormal Huntresses

2017 | USA | 9 Mins

In Attendance: Giovannie Espiritu, Ilea Matthews

Logline: Lisa, Janna and Sandra are best friends who have one major thing in common, they love watching anything paranormal. Tired of being bystanders and watching men dominate the field , Janna proposes opening up their own female ghost hunting company and calling it, “Paranormal Huntresses.” They have been watching paranormal shows for years, so how hard could it be? Equipped with helmets, painter suits and some old school gadgets, the three girls set out to investigate The Murphy House which is rumored to have once housed a serial killer Mime.

RED

2017 | Brazil | 8 Mins

In Attendance: Germana Belo, Fernando Belo, Luciana Bolina, Ana Paula Lima

Logline: A web series that tells the story of Mel Béart and Liz Malmo, two actresses who meet while shooting a short film and end up taking to their real lives the romantic relationship that they portray in fiction as Scarlet and Simone.

Riley Parra

2017 | USA | 12 Mins

In Attendance: Christin Baker

Logline: Detective Riley Parra grew up in the bad part of town, the crime-ridden No Man’s Land. Now, as a cop in a corrupt department, she strives to make sure the rough streets she left behind aren’t forgotten. She takes the cases that would otherwise be ignored or left unsolved because no one cared enough to dig deeper. One such case leads her to the discovery that No Man’s Land is a battleground between angels and demons, a supernatural war that’s been waged for centuries. Thrown into a world she never believed could exist and told that she’s the only chance of defeating evil, Riley chooses to accept the title of Champion for Good. Demons are real, and Riley Parra plans to give them hell.

Swerve

2016 | Canada | 11 Mins

In Attendance: Kisha Tapangan, Sheila Allen, Winny Clarke and Sharon Belle

Logline: Swerve is the story of Elise, a young woman with overpowering wanderlust and an eternal dissatisfaction with where her life is heading. On her latest quest for self-discovery, she befriends two women, Jen & Stevie, and each of them make a life-long impression on the others.

Swipe Left

2017 | USA | 6 Mins

In Attendance: Rachel Elkins, Hannah Rice

Logline: Beatrice is a wayward queer woman scrambling to find a date to her brother’s wedding. She navigates a world of phallic photos, mean lesbians, bi-phobia, and bad matches, all while falling for the waiter at her favorite restaurant.

Thank You Come Again

2018 | USA | 21 Mins

In Attendance: Chelsea Steiner

Logline: This sex-positive web series follows uptight grad student Riley in her new job at The Pleasure Chest, where a colorful, queer team of misfits introduces her to the irreverent world of the sex toy industry.

Total Party Kill

2018 | USA | 9 Mins

In Attendance: Alyssa Appleton, Aaron Hammersley, Jennifer Karraz, Alyssa Perez

Logline: A group of RPG players must fight for humanity’s survival after they inadvertently broadcast the first night of the apocalypse on their livestream.

Twenty A Webseries

2017 | USA | 7 Mins

In Attendance: Caitlin Combe, Lily Richards

Logline: ‘Twenty’ examines the comedic complexities of interpersonal relationships, focusing on the stories of women and more specifically, LGBT women who are often inaccurately represented in the limelight. Why do we stay in uncomfortable situations? Why do we drive hours out of our way for our friends? Why do we persevere in our passions? Why do we love who we love?

Music Videos

BORN TO LOVE YOU

Playing before Film Festival Awards

Directors: antone+bambi

In the music video for L|M|T’s Born to Love You, directors antone + bambi explore themes of conflict, connection, and memory through modern dance choreographed by Shaunna Vella. When opposites attract, the results can be explosive.