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Girls On Film: The First Date Review

Jul 14, 2014

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  • By Emily
    Finding quality lesbian films is often like looking for a needle in a haystack when it comes to the mainstream media.  There may be one or two characters on TV, the odd indie film that gets critical attention but doesn’t quite make it and one stand-out film per year – compare that to the number of movies that succeed with straight characters and we’ve clearly got a raw deal here.  No wonder it’s why we turn to independent filmmakers to find true representations of our lives, just like in the new short film collection, Girls On Film: The First Date.
    Following on from a previous collection, Here Come The Girls, these award-winning short films depict the experience of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women from all over the world and display the kind of passion and realism that some features take 90 minutes to muster.
    The short from which this collection takes its name, The First Date is the story of the awkward initial encounter that we all dread but can all relate to.  Bringing the slightest touch of sci-fi is Air Balloon, a Norwegian short in which Julia can’t let go of a box of video memories from her recent breakup with a beautiful redhead, while Fresh Air 2 is a psychological comedy/thriller sequel where Kerstin and Petra’s couple’s therapy takes a turn for the sinister.

    Air Balloon dir. Yenni Lee (Norway)

    AWOL tells the tale of Joey, a young, soon-to-be soldier whose plan to run away with her neighbour before her deployment looks to be in jeopardy followed by What’s Your Sign; a comedy about what happens when you the person you crush on catches you talking about them.  James Dean is the Scottish story of a young transman at the very beginning of his journey with a family who struggle to accept what is different and Irish documentary Hold On Tight gives us a look at the real relationships and struggles of same-sex love in Ireland.
    Rounding out the collection is the French film, Social Butterfly, because no lesbian collection is complete without a hot French lesbian story.  A mysterious American girl gatecrashes a party in France and helps shake up shy Chloe’s world.  And finally, Dream Date is one couple living the reality of a wedding anniversary after you’ve been married for years with a few kids.
    As you can probably tell, this collection has a lot of variety and you don’t see the same story or character twice.  Each film has a unique visual and writing style and proves that there are talented storytellers out there, that there is great variety in our lives and that not every lesbian story has to end in a pregnancy or one of the women leaving to be with a man; the two most common tropes in lesbian stories.  Standing out in the collection is Hold On Tight, where the honesty and genuine love displayed between the subjects is utterly captivating.  Also making an impact is Social Butterfly, which although plays exceedingly well as a short, could easily be extrapolated into a feature.  And of course, the sexiest of the shorts is the French one.  You may not be overly familiar with the world of short films but look at it this way, you can watch nine engaging films with great lesbian characters in one go rather than waiting for mainstream studios to get up the nerve to tell our stories.

    Girls On Film: The First Date is available from today.

    Emily is the Community Manager of Dattch as well a part-time film reviewer and full-time cookie monster.  She can’t walk in heels, is a crossbreed of Essex girl and Londoner and makes cupcakes like nobody’s business.  Find further nonsense from Emily on Twitter @moulder5000

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