DURHAM, N.C. — Approximately 30 women gathered on Jan. 11 at The Bar Durham, 711 Rigsbee Ave., to be extras in a new film produced and written by local filmmaker Marilyn Hays. It is directed by Hays and collaborating director Becky Lane.
Going by the working title of “B2F,” the storyline follows a butch lesbian who goes to the bar with a friend, confronts her prejudices and then has an adventure. It was filmed at the bar and at Hays’ personal residence. Hays lauded The Bar Durham’s owners Renee Batchelor and Rosemary Allegretta, saying they were “wonderful.”
The main characters were hired from New York City because it was easier to find and audition professional actors there, Hays said. She added that two other characters and all of the extras were local to the Triangle or Triad areas, as well as a band featured in the film.
It stars Julie Novak, Amy Driesler, Eva Tenuto, Lisa Gagnon and Jennifer Evans.
The band is Boys in the Well who hail from the Western Carolina mountains. They are a four-piece folk with alternative undertones group comprised of Danny and Justin Lanier, John Daniels and John Edwards.
Monique Veasquez handled the cinematography and film editing. Piper Kessler was the sound editor and sound mixer. And, Courtney Satterfield served as the production assistant.
Hayes said that the film was submitted to the Frameline Festival in San Francisco on Feb.14. She hopes that it will be part of the gay and lesbian film festival circuit this year. And, she said that she felt it would make the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival later in the year since “nearly all [of the] the women’s committee worked on the film.”
Filmmaking required capital and Hays used a “good bonus” from her work place to finance the project.
When asked why she did the film, she said, “I’ve been on the Women’s committee for the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival for several years and have hosted many fine filmmakers for our festival which I have always considered to be the highlight of the Triangle Gay & Lesbian social calendar. I’ve said for years that I would make a film when I found a story I could tell in 10 minutes. A funny thing happened during the festival before last, which was the seed for the story. After I wrote the script, I showed it to some film friends; one in particular, my director’s mentor, Becky Lane kept after me to commit to making the film. Lane offered some outstanding suggestion that ultimately made it a much better and funnier film and was essential with some last minute notes and changes on the day the primary dialogue was shot. My actors also helped make it sparkle with their ad lib contributions.”
Hays grew up in Atlanta, Ga., and moved to Durham in the late 1980s. She is currently an IT security business consultant for Hewlett Packard. Besides the North Carolina film fest, she has been involved with Full Frame. In her spare time she enjoys home renovations, restoring boats and is building an airplane in her garage. : :