In just a few days, lesbian filmmaker Esmée Lavalette begins production for her short film, “Found Family.” The film follows the protagonist, Elyse, and the challenges that come with navigating her lesbian identity in her homophobic family and meeting her long-distance girlfriend for the first time.
Esmée Lavalette is a Dutch native who acquired both her bachelor’s of media and culture studies with a specialization in film and her master’s in film studies at the University of Amsterdam. “Found Family” is the final project before finishing her directing certificate at UCLA Extension. In a conversation I had with Esmée, she shared her passion for LGBTQ+ representation in films. “It’s 2020 and there still isn’t enough representation for LGBTQ+ people,” she said. “Especially for lesbians, the story very often doesn’t have a happy ending.” I’ll share a spoiler alert that Esmée confessed: “Found Family” will have a happy ending!
“Found Family” is personal for Esmée as an outlet for her multifaceted passions and a medium for LGBTQ+ people to see themselves. To counterbalance the “norms” of filmmaking, Esmée has hired as many women as crew members as possible. Perhaps more importantly, she cast queer actors as the two LGBTQ+ leads in the film. “Found Family” is a queer story made by a lesbian director and portrayed by LGBTQ actors. A win-win-win!
With a final script, cast actors, and locked locations, “Found Family” is ready to shoot. But the production team needs your help! Films cost money, and some of the big-ticket items on the budget for this film are location rentals, insurance, permits, transportation, food, and festival applications. You can contribute to Esmée’s efforts through the film’s Go Fund Me. Just $5 brings “Found Family” closer to reaching their production goals. If you can’t donate now, share and donate later! The Go Fund Me will be accepting donations all through production. A final cut for “Found Family” is expected around early June. I will certainly be looking forward to this one!
You can follow Esmée’s film and her obsessive posts about Killing Eve on Twitter.
If you enjoyed this post and want to see more blogs about upcoming LGBTQ+ content, please consider donating $3 to the blog’s Ko-Fi page.