Ask AfterEllen.com (Jan. 13, 2009)

Question: I Can’t Think Straight has had runs in LA and New York, but even the film’s web site does not show a schedule of it opening wider. Will it be showing in other cities in 2009?

Kim, Chicago, Illinois

Question: Do you happen to know the DVD release dates for The World Unseen or I Can’t Think Straight?

Mary, Raleigh, North Carolina

Shetal Sheth and Lisa Ray in The World Unseen

Answer: We’ve received a whole slew of questions about where to find the two feature films written and directed by Shamim Sarif. I passed your questions along to Aida Kattan, who runs the U.S. branch of the production company (Enlightenment Productions) for the films.

She told me that both films are still in the film festival circuit and fans should check the Facebook pages (I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen) and MySpace pages (www.myspace.com/theworldunseen and www.myspace.com/icantthinkstraightep) for each to find up to date information about upcoming screenings.

Regarding the release of the films on DVD, she told me, "Our distributor, Regent, determines when the DVDs come out in North America. We’re still waiting for exact dates but tentatively ICTS is due in May and TWU soon after. We hope to make both films available for pre-order in the UK early February."

She promised to let us know more details as soon as she gets them.

Lisa Ray and Shamim Sarif on the set of The World Unseen

Aida also sent me this message to AE readers from Sarif:

I’m just overwhelmed by the support and all the positive feedback we’ve gotten from AfterEllen readers. I can’t tell you how much it means, after working hard and long to make The World Unseen and I Can’t Think Straight to know that people are excited and moved by them. And I’d like to thank everyone for voting for me and the movies in the Visibility Awards too. Next up for us — spreading the book of I Can’t Think Straight beyond amazon.com, and maybe even shooting a movie this summer. As always, raising that money, even at a low budget, is a challenge in today’s economic climate especially.

But all afterellen readers can help that by refusing free and illegal downloads of our movies, and waiting for the DVDs…. Again, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to see the movies and read the books and then to comment on them. I know some of you have driven miles to do so and I appreciate it more than I can say.

Her warm message makes it a little easier to wait for the DVDs now, doesn’t it?

Question: What is [singer-songwriter] Missy Higgins doing these days?

— Lien, Deerlijk, Belgium

Question: Any news on Missy Higgins’s new film?

Leah, Coventry, Connecticut

Missy Higgins

Answer: Higgins probably won’t be headed back to the studio anytime soon.

In February, the 25-year old openly bisexual Higgins will embark on a U.S. tour in support of her latest release, On a Clear Night. The tour will run through April, and you can find specifics on the dates at her official website, MissyHiggins.com.

Higgins initially had to cancel some of the dates on her U.S. tour in the fall because she been cast in along with Geoffrey Rush in the film Bran Nue Dae, Australia’s first Aboriginal musical. The semi-autobiographical film, based on the life of writer Jimmy Chi, will mark Higgins’s cinematic debut, and is being directed by Rachel Perkins. The film is being shot in Broome, Australia, and there’s no word yet on the exact release date.

Higgins has said of her involvement in the film, "Broome holds a special place in my heart so this opportunity felt like something I just couldn’t pass up on. I fell in love with all the characters when I read the script, especially my character who is a hilarious hippie. Being my first go at acting I’m a bit terrified but I feel very honoured to be working alongside such an incredible cast and crew and I know it’s gonna be a lot of fun."

Higgins isn’t just busy with music and film; she’s also invested a fair amount of her time in activism. She’s been a poster girl for PeTA, and this year she has become quite active in environmental politics — Higgins recently spoke out about protecting Australia’s Kimberley coast from industrialization (watch the video here).

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