Every holiday season traditional and streaming networks create a ton of holiday romantic comedies, but they consistently fail to create meaningful stories from the queer perspective.
Production teams Tello Films and DASH Productions are going to solve that problem this year with “Season of Love”, their first queer holiday romantic comedy feature, to address the lack of any predominant LGBTQ storylines in holiday romantic comedy films.
Of the 52 holiday films released in 2018 between the two rom-com juggernaut networks, Hallmark and Lifetime, no films featured a LGBTQ couple. The LGBTQ community remains underserved across all networks in their Christmas movies.
In response, the owners of Tello Films and DASH Productions — Christin Baker, Ashley Arnold and Danielle Jablonski — issued a “Pitch to Production” challenge calling for holiday stories featuring queer women. Following an overwhelming number of submissions, three winning pitches were chosen. The first pitch winner, Season of Love, will be be developed into a feature film as a joint project between the two companies scheduled for release in late 2019.
“We’ve grown up looking to see ourselves in these types of films that highlight romance, friendship and family during the holidays,” said Arnold. “We still aren’t seeing these movies made for our community. We’ve decided that we needed to do it ourselves.”
Written by Kathryn Trammell, directed by Christin Baker, “Season of Love” “ follows the lives of three very different queer couples in dealing with their love lives in various interrelated tales all set during a frantic time before Christmas through New Years.
“Family is such an important aspect of the holidays,” said Trammell. “My hope for this film is that it’s more inclusive of what family means for the queer community — that when our audience watches it, they’re able to see their lives reflected in it. The idea of chosen family and family acceptance is something queer people can largely all relate to but we don’t always see it represented — especially in film.”
The highly anticipated film stars Emily Gross (“Iris”), deaf actress Sandra Mae Frank (“Kenna”), and Matthew Bridges (“Charlie”). Additional casting is actively underway.
LGBTQ representation on television in 2018 hit a record high this year, according to GLAAD’s annual TV diversity report. Sadly, the same can’t be said about its Hollywood counterpart. The GLAAD report found that filmmakers and producers miserably failed to include LGBTQ+ characters in their work.
“While we’ve made considerable strides in moving the needle culturally, there’s still not enough queer women creating content,” say Danielle Jablonski
Looking at the Oscar Nominations this year is a sad reminder that the lack of women representation is still a problem, much less the lack of LGBTQ+ women representation:
No woman nominated for Best Director.
No woman nominated for Cinematography.
No woman nominated for Editing.
No woman nominated for Music.
One woman nominated for Adapted Screenplay.
One woman nominated for Original Screenplay.
We all must do better!
This is why the producers and director on this project are women, the writer is a woman, and the lead characters are women. The entire team is committed to adding to the great storytelling landscape supporting women filmmakers.
In fact Tello Films have been producing and distributing innovative, high-quality films and series for more than 10 years. Their mission and passion is to produce content that includes the wonderful spectrum of strong women that is often lacking in mainstream media.
The feature film enters production this summer with an expected theatrical release this holiday season.
“Season of Love” will undoubtedly be one of our community’s new favorite holiday traditions!
As they kicked off their IndieGoGo campaign, let’s all join this movement and help them make some noise about “Season of Love” so they can bring this next Christmas-binge classic to the world: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/season-of-love-queer-holiday-romcom#/