I had the opportunity to ask Jessica Huras all about her upcoming short, Bing! Bang! Bi!. Debuting virtually this week at the Frameline International LGBTQ+ Film Festival and then next month in the Inside Out Film Festival, Huras is both the creator and the star of a story that focuses on bisexuality and taking a stance on your identity. Thank you to Jessica Huras for answering all of my questions.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourself?
I’m a Canadian actor and filmmaker, currently living in Toronto. I moved to the city when I was 19 to attend theatre school, dropped out after two years and started making my own work. I ran my own theatre company for a bit and landed some roles on Candian television. While living between Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, I started to get really interested in writing and directing, which is how my first film came to be!
How would you describe your comedy short Bing! Bang! Bi!?
The film is a bi-visibility, slice of life, comedic short that follows Morgan – a recently single, struggling actor, who is trying to navigate her sexuality and express herself amongst her oldest friends after arriving in her hometown for an unusual gig.
Could you share a bit about what inspired this project?
I wanted to write a screenplay that was personal and meant something to me. My process was inspired by a scene I had observed between two exes who hadn’t seen each other for almost 20 years. By exploring the fluid nature of relationships and love gone by, I started to zero in on what I really wanted to explore – the intricacies of being bisexual.
As someone who also identifies as bi and is also married to a woman, what are some of your reactions to bi erasure in both media and in your own life?
I’ve definitely experienced the assumptions that since I’m partnered to a woman, that I must be gay, and that my partner and I must be lesbians when in reality, neither one of us identify that way. I identify as bi/queer and my partner identifies as queer. I think our societies’ obsession with thinking of everything in binary terms, is the root cause. Bisexuality has been delegitimized and stigmatized since it came into being. I would definitely like to see more Bi/Pan/Queer representation in the media, which is why I made it the central subject of my first film.
How do you hope viewers react to Bing! Bang! Bi!?
I hope they gain more insight into the Bi experience and that they find the characters relatable. I also hope they laugh!
What do you hope to see in terms of bi/queer/pan representation in the media going forward?
I would definitely like to see more of it! Especially in lead roles where identity/orientation isn’t necessarily the subject of the show or the defining element of that character. If we could get to that point, where bi/queer/pan representation is as prevelent and familiar as all the hetero stuff we’ve grown up with, that would be good. Also, we’ve seen a lot of straight actors playing queer roles. I’d like to see more queer actors on screen representing the community.
Who are some of your favorite queer identified characters in media?
I love the characters of Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer) in Euphoria. Mishel Prada in Vida. Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) in I May Destroy You. Sophia (Laverne Cox) in OITNB. Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel in Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Léa Seydoux in Blue is the Warmest Colour. Noomi Rapace in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) in the “San Junipero” episode of Black Mirror.
Where can our readers see Bing! Bang! Bi?
It’s premiering virtually at Frameline Film Festival Sept 17-27th, where tickets are available to anyone living in California. It’s also playing at Inside Out Film Festival Oct 1-11th, in their Local Heroes program, and tickets are available to anyone living in Ontario.
Where can they find you and information about your projects online?
I’m on IG @jessicahuras and Twitter @JessicaHuras and you can always check my imdb page for updates on acting roles and film projects.
The story focuses on Pepito, a young boy who lives with his grandmother. For a long time he has only had one friend, a doll named Lola. When he meets a young boy named Miguel he now has a new friend to have adventures with. When the story starts we see that Pepito is afraid the children he goes to school with will make fun of him, but at home he is free to play freely with Lola. When he meets Miguel the two have a completely trusting friendship and he introduces him to Lola. We see the two grow closer and eventually have to confront bullies when Lola falls out of Pepito’s bag.
This story is so cute and the art truly highlights the story. We see vibrant images of Pepito and Miguel playing with Pepito’s abuela. The friendship that we see grow in the story is just so well written and shows that you should not feel ashamed to like toys that you want to like. It also shows the evolution of a friendship between Miguel and Pepito, who are wonderful together. If you are interested in Pepito Has a Doll you can find out more on the official website for the book.