In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting interviews, opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
From A to Q by Emmalie El Fadli is the future of LGBTQ storytelling where it’s not so much grounded in coming out but in the feelings, motions, and paths life takes us on because of who we are. And that’s so true for this movie and it’s lead protagonist Alex, who one day wakes from a dream in which she confesses her feelings to a girl who just so happens to be her best friend. Talk about messy!
What we expected to be a coming out story ends up being this beautifully woven story about accepting those feelings inside yourself before you even utter the words that are branded on your heart; the truth that you’re part of the rainbow mafia. And luckily for us, we got a chance to speak with director and writer Emmalie El Fadli about their process, where the idea of the film came from, and so much more!
QNS: Where did the idea for the short film come from?
Emmalie El Fadil: I’ve always wanted to make a film From A to Q. Like, about the…I don’t want to call it a coming out experience because she really doesn’t come out. She has feelings for her best friend but she has no clue what it means yet. So she hasn’t yet come out. So, I say it’s more like coming to terms with yourself. Kind of self discovery type thing.
But I’ve always wanted to make a film like this. Like, since I was little. Probably when I was younger, it was probably more of a coming out story. But as an adult I felt like we have a lot of those stories already. And I wanted to make this a bit different.
And a lot of it is kind of personal as well. I ended up going out with my best friend back in highschool. I obviously had feelings for her so that side of it is kind of the same. But originally I was watching…the way that I felt creative was when I was watching season three of Atypical.
I was watching and loving the story between the two girls. So, their chemistry sparked something in me and I was like, “It’d be really cool to actually make something like that with girls and their feelings for each other.” So, that was that.
QNS: How was this experience different from your first time around?
Emmalie El Fadil: I learned a lot in comparison to my first film The Date, which is also queer and on Youtube and Amazon Prime, because I had absolutely no clue. My best friend is a filmmaker as well so he’s done more films. So he knew a lot more about how things should be run. And me, I was like, “Am I missing crew?” And he would go, “Yeah, you’re missing a lot of the most important crew members.” And I was like, “Really? I can’t do without?” And he was just basically teaching me all these things for From A to Q.
I knew going into the next film what I needed, who I needed, all of that. And I felt more prepared as well, for sure. The first film, the night before filming, I completely broke down. I was surrounded by massive equipment. Just a ton of equipment in this tiny room and I was like, “How the fuck am I going to do this?” But this time around I was like, “I am going to do this and it’s going to be good. And I know what I need to do and who I need to get on board.”
The process was easier and nicer.
QNS: What kind of advice would you have to someone who is starting out and is inspired, like you were?
Emmalie El Fadil: That’s really hard. Hmmm…obviously writing it is the first step. But there’s a lot more to that. You have to believe that you can make it. So, like my best friend, the filmmaker I was talking about, he kind of gets down about writing certain scenes because he’s realistic that we might not get this location or this actor. And I’m just like, “Write it.”
You do not know what is around the corner. You don’t know if you’re going to get a bunch of money the next week and you’ll be able to afford the location. You should never stop yourself from writing what you want to write. There should be no reason for that. Because everything else that comes with making it, that can be worked on. You can change the script after. But write what you want to write.
QNS: What was the importance of writing and creating a queer story like From A to Q?
For me it’s always important to write queer stories. I’m gay so I think I would find it really hard writing something that wasn’t gay. Or maybe not gay, but that would have a gay character in it or a gay story. I’m trying to get to the point where I’m writing stories where sexuality isn’t mentioned but you know that person is gay but it is not the founding base of the film. So, I’m trying to get to that point. I’m not there yet. But I still have a lot of stories to tell where it isn’t based on their sexuality.
I think it’s important in general. For one, I don’t think I could write anything else. And two, it’s just important in general because we don’t have enough of it, especially not positive stories. So that’s my main aim with From A to Q.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)