‘Open Up’: Local team seek support for LGBTQIA+ themed short film

A local creative team are seeking community support to bring their story to the screen.

Open Up is a short film in development from the students of the WA Screen Academy, in collaboration with the third year acting students of WAAPA.

Billed as a dark comedy that tells the story of a pathology technician who encounters a victim of her homophobic bullying, the film explores themes of identity, discrimination, homophobia and biphobia.

Writer Sophie Evans and producer Leslie Hornung sat down with us for a chat about the project, and why the narrative looks at queerphobia both externally and within.

“It’s something that we all have to deal with,” Evans tells us.

“Society kind of teaches you to not like queer people, and that’s really hard when you’re figuring out your own queerness.”

“This film not only tries to discuss discrimination within the queer community but within ourselves. On a surface level it seems like [the character] Niamh has picked on another queer person and completely destroyed their lives for a period of time… but it’s also about how she has done that to herself, and the reason she’s done that to herself, and if she can move past and accept herself.”

The pair, who both identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ communities, hope that their own experiences can enrich the storytelling.

“Growing up watching movies or TV shows where the queer character was always written on the stereotype level, my thought was ‘could these characters be written authentically by people whose experiences are authentic?'” Hornung explains.

“We have those lived experiences, and we can give that authentic voice… or try to at least!”

“The concept I was given as the writer, it wasn’t a queer story,” Evans adds.

“When I was writing it the characters were very one-dimensional and they needed to be fleshed out, and coming from a queer experience I felt like it was hitting too close to home and I needed to tell that story.”

Open Up has a Pozible campaign for those who want to support the film, closing Friday 9th October. You can also find more information and get behind the project on Facebook.

Tune in to All Things Queer on RTRFM at 11am on Wednesday 14th October for the full interview.

Leigh Andrew Hill

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