"Baby Lu" is the first feature film to be helmed by writer/director Emily Ray Reese. Baby Lu is a queer coming of age story set in a tiny out skirt town of Taos, New Mexico. Lucinda, a thirteen year old girl, is growing up under a well intentioned but unequipped single mountain man father. When an intriguing new woman moves to town, the two of them must grapple with new emotions and the confusion of Lucinda’s burgeoning sexuality.
For the past 5 years, Emily has directed over 5 short films including "Cecilia" a queer film that screened at Outfest, Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film, and Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival amongst many other queer film festivals around the world.1) How is Baby Lu different from most queer stories?The story of Baby Lu is inspired from my own unique upbringing in rural New Mexico. Growing up with my own mountain man father presented an array of experiences and challenges, which came to a head when I entered my teens and even more so when I realized I was gay. While it was difficult to speak with my father growing up, we always had a way of tacitly communicating when he’d take me fishing or hunting. These moments bonded us forever, even though we could never openly discuss my sexuality.New Mexico and it's culture of hunting, fishing, and "living off the grid" is a unique world that is rarely explored in cinema and we've never seen a film specifically tackle coming of age and coming out in that region. The environment and the history of the region really enriches the story and sets an incredible backdrop for this queer story.
2) What excites you about writing/directing Baby Lu?I have always felt like an outsider between the two worlds that I live in. I had different values then the hunting, gun loving community I grew up in yet I love that way of living. Now that I am an adult and have become a part of a very progressive and queer friendly community here in Brooklyn, I still however feel that I have to balance the politics of my upbringing with my current community. My goal for Baby Lu and it's story is that it can inspire some empathy that will allow us to identify similarities between both cultures. I hope that by seeing the world through Lucinda's eyes, I may be able to bring these opposing worlds together to cultivate dialogue and forgiveness.3) What's one thing you've learned that would be helpful for first-time writer/directors?
Collect an amazing team of collaborators! Honestly it takes a village to make a film and your movie will only be as good as those you have chosen to work with. Assemble your team according to those who's work you respect and who's company you enjoy. Once you have people on board you have to trust them to do their jobs.
And you must love your story! If you don't believe in it no one else will.
4) How can people get involved or support the project?
The most helpful act at this point would be to donate what ever you can to our kickstarter campaign and then tell everyone you know about what we are
doing and inspire them to donate as well!
Our kickstarter campaign is set with an ambitious goal of $50k and so far we have raised a whopping $30k! With less than 8 days left, we need to expand our network and reach as many people as possible so we can reach our goal and begin production this fall.
To see more about Baby Lu and support our campaign please visit our kickstarter page at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/185154191/baby-lu