This week I talked with award-winning filmmaker Rolla Selbak about her new Web series, Kiss Her I'm Famous. The project stars The Real L Word's Tracy Ryerson and The Violent Kind's Ilea Matthews and is a satirical nod to the sex tapes that catapulted the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian to fame. Coming at a time when gratuitous sexuality and fake publicity seem to be enough to secure the spotlight for just about anyone, Kiss Her I'm Famous tackles this phenomenon in a smart, subtle and entertaining way.
I also talked with Selback about her spin on LGBT issues. When asked about her personal commitment to LGBT equality, she stated:
My personal commitment is very personal, since I am gay, and then as far as the LGBT community, my community, I have been struggling with that as long as I can remember, and things have gotten better and better, but we have a long way to go. I feel that we, as content creators, and as people in the media, have done such an amazing job in the past few years to really help the public open their eyes to our issues. I think it's a great testament to what we have been able to do as people in the media, because in the United States, this is the most acceptance LGBT people have gotten, and even Republicans are changing their stance on gay people and gay marriage. I think we've done an amazing job, and of course I think we have a lot more to go, but I do credit the media for showcasing gay characters and gay stories. We just need more of that and keep pushing further.
Rolla Selbak, who is Palestinian, grew up in the Middle East within the strict social structure of a Muslim family. She won critical acclaim for her feature film Three Veils, starring Sheetal Sheth (Looking for Comedy in a Muslim World, I Can't Think Straight) and Mercedes Masohn (666 Park Avenue) and featuring Eric Avari (Heroes, The Mummy). The film addressed arranged marriage, homosexuality and love within the Muslim-American subculture. Three Veils won Best Screenplay at Film Out San Diego 2012, Best LGBT Film at the New York City International Film Festival 2011 and the Rainbow Award at the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival 2011, among other awards. Selback has also been a panel speaker on independent filmmaking and women in the arts.
For more information on Rolla Selback, visit rollaselbak.com.
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