“Embodiment” wants to show the real queer America


Filmmakers Amelia Tovey and Molly Landreth are setting out to capture the essence of queer America. In their new multimedia project Embodiment, they are looking to show the many faces and personalities that make up the LGBTQ community, from Los Angeles to small town Missouri.

Check out the trailer:

Molly said Embodiment came out of her desire “to see exciting, challenging, beautiful images of queer communities that I could relate to.”

“I remember flipping through photo books on women or gays and lesbians and they always left me flat,” Molly said. “I wanted to see a wide variety of gender and body expression that was performative but also very honest. I was inspired by feminist and queer happenings like Ladyfest and Homo-a-Gogo, Radical Cheerleaders, bands like Le Tigre and performers like Vaginal Crème Davis and Nomy Lamm and especially the fantastic book In a Queer Time and Place by Judith Halberstam.”

In 2005, Molly began taking photos of her friends and seeking out strangers on the internet to photograph in communities that were “new and exciting.”

“That is when I realized the need to include video and Amelia Tovey came on board,” Molly said. “Last June we drove around the US together, photographing and filming over 25 new ‘characters’ which we will turn into 25 short episodic films.”

Molly said that she was motivated to tell “new stories not typically represented in conversations about queer life.”

“Sometimes we just do key word searches that seem impossible but which lead to the most amazing and unconventional of subjects, like ‘Gay Preacher Texas,’ ‘Lesbian Sorority Memphis’ or ‘Gay Rodeo Colorado’ and then there will be a match!” she said.

“We really hope that this project will resonate with people of all genders and identities, and that it will become a means of opening up dialog in and out of the queer community about ‘what does it mean to be queer, female, male, American, religious, etc.,” Amelia said. “It’s also important to us that young people identify with these images; we find our biggest fans are queer youth living in underserved communities where access to a diverse range of images and experience is limited.”

Which is why Embodiment is going to be a little different than other queer documentary projects. Once it becomes fully funded through donations, all of the video footage, photos and project details will be posted on Embodimentusa.com, which means it’ll be fully accessible to anyone with an internet connection — for free.

If you are one of the first five people to donate $20 or more today, write in the comments section that you came from AfterEllen.com and you can win a free signed copy of Kaki King‘s new album Junior. No matter what, though, donating $20 gets you a mix CD of music from amazing queer artists like Rachael Cantu, Tender Forever and Gina Young.

You can also follow Molly and Amelia’s progress with the project on Twitter (@embodiment_usa).

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