Scene: Los Angeles

Anna Margarita Albelo with Vanessa of Curl Girls

When I followed up with her later, she told me this interesting story about getting A Lez in Wonderland funded:

The reality is that very few, if any, producers or TV channels want to fund lesbian films. Lesbian documentaries especially suffer from a bad reputation as either too niche, too austere or too amateur. Thankfully the French channel Canal Plus dedicates one night a year to produce and discuss gay and lesbian culture around the world.

In 2005 I had proposed a doc on the 30th anniversary of the Michigan Womyn’s Music fest, and the channel responded that they were too ugly.

Too ugly? Thirty thousand women?

Make no mistake, this is a problem with many sides. For them, they are under the impression that all the lesbians they ever see are more butch, feminist or non-feminine lesbians, and they were happily surprised by the series L Word (like many others) and wanted to show a different face of lesbians in France. The next year I proposed the Dinah for its glossy allure, but used the opportunity to show as many different lesbians as I could from all ages, colours, creeds, body types or even personality types!

Instead of waging hell on the channel for their comment, I used the opportunity to show them and everyone else who sees the film that there are all types of lesbians, even at the Dinah (presumed to be a "lipstick lesbian" event). More importantly for me was to show other lesbians, "Hey, look at all these types of women feeling good about being lesbians."

Today this is my challenge: Make more films and show more understanding and facets for lesbian and non-lesbian audiences. And also to share information without being too didactic. My "Education through Comedy" principle is the basis for my docs and the stories I want to tell."

When she passes through LA again, I’d like to take her out for a drink. Oh yeah, and get the full scoop on the Cuba documentary to share with you here on AfterEllen.com.

About half of the fully-packed audience left after the "Butches & Femmes" program, which was too bad because the lezploitation documentary that followed, Triple X Selects: Best of Lezploitation, was pure kitschy, sexy fun.

Compiled by Michelle Johnson, this collection of outrageous clips from 20 films made between 1965 and the early 1980s was at times laugh-out-loud funny. Bad acting? Check. Ridiculous scenarios? Check, check. Hordes of randy, voluptuous, scantily clad women? Check, check, check!

Setting the tone for the remainder of the evening, Johnson took the stage and announced, "What a classy place to show a bunch of sleazy movies." Johnson’s affinity for and vast knowledge of the films was obvious, and her introduction to the film was as amusing as the film itself.

Clips from Lezploitation would be too racy to put up here on our PG-13 website, but I will tell you that some of the films featured in it were Venus in Furs, Daughters of Lesbos, Chained Girls, Score, Ilsa: The Wicked Wardenand Bare Behind Bars. At one particular point in the film (don’t ask me which, it’s all a blur of bouffants and torpedo bras), Buddy and I had a Paris/Nicole moment when we turned to each other and exclaimed, "That’s hot!"

As if all of that weren’t enough, two hotties from Toys in Babeland were handing out goodie bags at intermission. Enough said.

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