Local filmmaker Ashley Taylor Wright was particularly excited to share details of her new project, Dressed as Girl.
The short film, written by Wright and her writing-partner Dan Robison, tells the story of Fern Falwell Bush, an adopted Chinese-American girl who’s raised in an evangelical household. Fern is about to head to public school for the first time and she’s not ready for all the drama that’s about to unfold.
Check out details about the movie below via Kickstarter:
“For the first time in her life, everything she does is wrong,” said Wright. “She feels so out of place.”
Wright is excited to see this project, which she’s been working on for years, finally get to the next stages of production.
“We’re trying to make this as close and true to life as possible,” she said, taking much of the main character’s evangelical upbringing from her own experience growing up in Lynchburg, VA.
“For halloween, instead of candy, we’d get Jesus pamphlets,” she said remembering some of the more bizarre encounters she had in Jerry Falwell’s hometown and bible-inspired playground. “Just having those experiences… that mentality. Falwell said 9/11 was the fault of gays and feminists… That was my life growing up.”
Using a faith-fueled family as a backdrop, Wright hopes to pull elements from movies like the original Hair Spay by John Waters. In Water’s movie, Penny’s parents put her in therapy when they find out she’s dating a black guy – similarly, Fern’s parents pull her out of school when a mean girl tells them she’s been hanging out with gay kids in school.
“I thought it would be an interesting dynamic, but apply it to LGBTQ stuff and people who are very religious,” she said. “But we don’t want to demonize anyone. We just hope people will look at things a little differently.”
Beyond the story’s LGBTQ-friendly narrative, they’ve also pulled in Dwayne “Milan” Cooper from Ru Paul’s Drag Race season 4, as well as a host of other NYC actors to help bolster the film’s street cred.
You can read more about Dressed As Girl and offer them support via Kickstarter here.