Still from 'First Girl I Loved'
Still from ‘First Girl I Loved’

First Girl I Loved takes us on a heartfelt and honest journey back to our queer-girl lives as a teenager.

It’s no secret that the high school experiences of an LGBTQ teenagers can undoubtedly be one of the most tumultuous and painful times in their lives. This is the time when we tend to discover who we truly are and attempt to find our place in the world.

First Girl I Loved is full of teenage female authenticity as it tells the story of two high school students who share a strong connection to one another. Anne (Dylan Gelula) is a misfit teenager who donates her time to the yearbook committee. She ultimately hits it off with Sasha (Brianna Hildebrand), the beautiful softball star to who she reaches out for a yearbook interview.

But when Anne tells her best friend, Clifton (Mateo Arias) about her new crush on the softball jock, he reveals deep and hidden jealousy that threatens more than just the girls’ budding romance.

Winner of the coveted Best of NEXT Audience Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, writer/director Karen Sanga offers us a look back to our high school days. The days were full of heartbreak, love, fun and growth. I haven’t been able to view another lesbian film, like this, that shows so much truth and pain when dealing with the issues queer girls face when they live out their high school years.

I had to take a good two weeks to process my emotions after watching this film. It really hits close to home if you were ever a struggling teenager trying to find yourself in a time where popularity and status reigned supreme. There is so much truth and beauty to The First Girl I Loved and it should be embraced.

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