DVD Cover for Nesting DollNicole Conn launches Indiegogo campaign to fund her next feature film, ‘Nesting Doll’

It is not every day that you get the privilege to speak with a talent, whose name is synonymous with lesbian films, such as Nicole Conn.  Recently I did just that; when I sat down to discuss Nicole’s upcoming feature film, Nesting Doll.

We discussed all matters ranging from the relevance of the lesbian film in today’s society, the difficulty she has as a filmmaker asking people to help her fund her films and the need to educate not just lesbians, but everybody about the “difficulty of putting these things (indie films) together.”

This is a filmmaker that puts her heart, soul and funds into her films.  In fact, Nicole is so driven to make the high-quality indie films she is so well known and respected for she told me every “dime is up on that screen, if it’s not going to look professional” then it’s not worth doing.

We have all seen her films, beginning with the classic Claire Of The Moon, which really put lesbian films on the map.  What followed was Elena Undone, famed for the longest screen kiss and her most recent success A Perfect Ending.  These are the films that have spurred women from across the globe to write to Nicole and express their love for her work.

They are the films that allow women to undertake emotional journeys and discover their feelings, where they otherwise may not be able to do so.  The issue now is “we [lesbians] have integrated ourselves into the world so well we are now disappearing” Nicole states, it’s brought into question at times the ongoing relevance of female queer films.

After all, when you can turn on your television and see the popular characters on mainstream shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars and OITNB it’s no wonder Nicole has mused over whether there is an audience for female films, by female filmmakers’ now or in the future.

What a Nicole Conn film represents for queer film, are stories with flawed, yet engaging characters in the midst of an inner struggle searching for who they are. Let’s not forget, it isn’t a Nicole Conn film without a sexy and epic romance playing out.

Nesting Doll continues this and builds upon the layers of a story surrounding “four women who have had different relationships with their mothers and how it has affected them,” Nicole explains. Originally intended to be based on Nicole’s classic story “Passion’s Shadow” it has morphed over time into its own stand-alone story for the screen.

It is clear when talking with Nicole she has a true passion for filmmaking and storytelling. What else is prevalent is her love of being a mother. After all, she says to me, “If you’re loved and loved by many… what else is there?”

Her integration of a sub-story regarding a special needs child into Nesting Doll is a direct link to her relationship with her cherished son and she speaks of the frustration she has felt when people have been quick to stare at her and her son when they are out in public.

It’s this public attitude in some, that solidifies the view of others, such as producers, that have started, “nobody wants to see special needs kids,” Nicole explains, “if you try to pitch something with a special needs kid, they don’t want to see it.” It is this willingness to challenge these issues that have made Nicole the filmmaker she is so well recognized for today.

We discuss the topic that Nicole Conn is the least comfortable with and that is funding or more to the point asking for funds.  Nesting Doll is currently seeking donations through Indiegogo to help fund the film (a link to the campaign is below). It’s a topic that Nicole, as an artist, has a hard time grasping. Armed with her “secret weapon” one of her lead actors in Nesting Doll, Alexandra Adomaitis, whom Nicole describes as “as a true talent, [who’s] gonna be a big star someday,” they have embarked on a fun and interactive crowdfunding campaign.

The campaign includes special rewards to entice and thank fans for donating.  It may be an opportunity to secure someone of a kind Elena Undone memorabilia and alike.  As Nicole explains it, they really wanted to provide the fans with a meld between a Kickstarter type experience and an Indiegogo campaign.  The salient point to remember as Nicole reminds me is “if all my fans gave me $10—I could go make four movies”.

As we talk about the “misconception that people think that people [Hollywood filmmakers] live in this glamorous setting.  I can tell you, you can’t make a living on these films,” although a blunt point, it’s delivered with a great deal of humour by Nicole as she laughs about the realities of indie filmmaking.  She explains to me that it takes an incredible amount of time, money and hard work, from a small army, to get her films made.

It’s evident to me that when Nicole speaks, this is a labour of love for her and she is genuinely grateful to her fans for their support. Nicole tells me about the wonderful generosity of some women who have “recurring monthly payments of $10” and these donations are from the women she knows do not necessarily have the means to do this, but they believe in her work.

When we discuss her loyal fans, which have contributed to her campaigns, projects and work in general, Nicole asks me if I could give a shout out on her behalf to some fabulous and generous contributors.  Specifically, she names Lily and Lisa; Chakinta (Jones, No. 1); Vera Bourne, Dixie Meekings and Aquila Wolf-Wilde, all of which have been universally generous in their support. It’s these women and so many others like them whose generosity and pure belief in the work Nicole does, makes her films possible.

To that end, Nicole Conn and her team are asking for our help to bring her next film, Nesting Doll to life through a donation to her Indiegogo Campaign (see the link below).  Without our generosity to help keep our lesbian films alive, it will continue to become increasingly more difficult for Nicole or any other independent filmmaker to make the films we all love.