“Me being gay doesn’t mean you failed as a mother, and once you understand that, then maybe “WE” can be US again!” ~JULIE (Tasha Villard) to her church-going mother Debra (Kemba Gosier), after Debra attempts to woo her lesbian teenage daughter back to the “straight and narrow” path with one book in particular: MY EX-GAY LIFE: THE ROAD BACK TO SALVATION.
Today’s New Release: TRACKS (The *Award-Winning* LGBT Short Film)
Winner of *Best Short Film: Female Division* at the 2011 FilmOut Festival-San Diego, as well as being named an *Official Selection* to festivals such as the 2010 Philadelphia QFest among numerous others, TRACKS is a film that -in a mere 26 minutes- effectively displays the struggles that young gay teenagers can experience while growing up in religious households. With this film in particular, we see how the traditions of the African-American community amid the landscape of the “Old Baptist South” can (and most likely still WILL) stifle the inner growth and personal discovery of the LGBT crowd (or individuals) trapped within it. The performances by the two young lead actors, Tasha Villard (Julie) and Erica Burns (Tasha) are natural and straightforward. While the character of Tasha is stuck living in a trailer with her bible-thumping grandma after her mother tossed her out, Julie is at odds with her own mother, Debra, who tries way too hard to “help” revert her daughter to heterosexual tendencies by introducing one self-help behavioral book after another. Our two young lovers find solace at a wooded rendezvous point, which has an old beat-up red sofa. Used by Julie as a place to read, write, reflect and occasionally sleep at night, some viewers might question the cleanliness of such a meeting place; I certainly did. But where can you really go at that age??!
Budgeted at about $20,000, this short from Miami-based writer/director Deana Williams may leave the viewer with some questions, which I’m sure are open to interpretation. Does Debra’s repetitive insistence on books like MY EX-GAY LIFE: THE ROAD BACK TO SALVATION perhaps stem from hidden “curiosities” of her own? Are the girls giving in too easily to family pressures? TRACKS is truly a piece that’ll have you thinking. It’s also a quick watch, so click the link! What are you subscribers waiting for??
Written & Directed by Deana Williams
Starring: Tasha Villard, Erica Burns, Kemba Gosier, Maryel Epps, Stephanie Mabeus
Budget (Estimated): $20,000 USD
Tagline: Based On True Events