Interview With Tina Scorzafava


AE: I remember you saying that the film is intended to show that you can do

action and sci-fi with queer characters. Do you feel that audiences respond to that, as

opposed to the usual festival dramas and comedies?

I think audiences respond to any

genre film as long as it’s a good story done well, and I especially feel action

sci-fi films would be something they’d love, since it’s all but been neglected.

Based on festival audience reactions so far, where the short In Twilight’s Shadow has been screening,

I think we gave them something fresh, fun and visually exciting that they’ve

been waiting to see.

But without enough of these types of short films, festival programmers have

a hard time programming them since they don’t have others like it to fill a

program. And because of that, some audiences are really going to miss out.

AE: Do you think there’s real potential for queer characters in mainstream

action sci-fi films, or on the flipside, potential for queer films done in this



I might be a Pollyanna wearing

rose-colored glasses, but I fully believe mainstream is willing to accept queer

characters — within certain boundaries.

They don’t care about seeing the

queer process, and even they’re tired of the stereotypes. But if you give them

a character who just happens to be queer, put them in a solid story wrapped in

big action and intense effects, surrounded by a great cast — then the queer

content becomes just an element, not the focus.

However, a concern popping up is that

the companies say they have no money to make these kinds of films. Plus, based

on some of my past conversations with a few of them, they seem to believe what

the mainstream industry believes: Queer films are not profitable unless the

budgets can be kept to an extremely low dollar amount.

But it’s just a fact that you can’t

shoot a well-done, believable action sci-fi film or TV series for the same

costs you could a drama or comedy. Just the small additional crew, effects and

stunt teams require more. But if you plan your shoot creatively and use all

available resources to keep the budget down, you can make it cost-effective.

I’ve done it.

AE: It’s clear that there’s a great deal of backstory and mythology

underlying the short film. Could you give us a few clues, especially about the

heroine, Carlisle?

Um, if I explain the mythology and

backstory then where’s the fun of watching the feature once it’s made? But I

can share this: The feature script of In

Twilight’s Shadow
is an adventure about a young woman’s battle to accept

the dark gift and all the power, seduction, rage, sorrow, excitement and

consequences that come with it.

I’ll take you into Carlisle’s inner

sanctum, to witness the Coven and all its mythology from the inside. Everything

I hope to achieve is there to give the audience what they need to enhance the

experience and seduce them into her world.

AE: Speaking of a dark gift, there have been comparisons to Buffy and Underworld. What would you

say to differentiate your film from them?

: It has a fascinating story, with all

the action and effects you’ve come to expect, but what will separate In Twilight’s Shadow is that it asks a

question of the audience: "If eternal life was laid at your feet and you

could have almost anything, what would you desire most?" I think our answer to that will intrigue


AE: Finally, I want to know what you’re seeing in mainstream genre film. Do

you think women, queer or not, in sci-fi, action and superhero movies are in

trouble right now? That is, relegated to playing wives, sidekicks, girlfriends,

damsels in distress, etc.? If so, how do we fix that?


It’s true that women have

typically been relegated to secondary or stereotypical roles, although they’ve

been treated more favorably on TV.

But we can’t deny that we’ve also

been given some strong females in good action film roles — Sigourney [Weaver], Angelina [Jolie],

Charlize [Theron], Uma [Thurman], Linda [Hamilton], Milla [Jovovich] and Keira

[Knightley] — just to name a handful. But they’re few

and far between.

Sadly though, it’s worse within our

community and probably will stay that way for a long while. Queer —

specifically U.S. — filmmakers are literally making shorts and features by

themselves on peanuts, whereas action sci-fi films require at least a raise to

cashews — thanks to Dara [Nai] for that metaphor — and a certain level of


Until we start getting assistance

both financially and creatively from the queer networks and production

companies, with audiences supporting it at the box office/festivals, then the only hope of women — queer or

not — in these kinds of films lies in the hands of a few mainstream straight

male directors — which is fantastic, but not nearly enough.

Watch the trailer for In Twilight’s Shadow:


Twilight’s Shadow
is currently playing at LGBT film festivals across the

country; visit

for more information.


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