Entertainment » Movies

Lesbian Filmmaker Directs She4Me Marriage PSA

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Wednesday Nov 20, 2013

Lesbian director Nicole Conn, known for her seminal works like "Claire of the Moon" and "Elena Undone," has stepped up to direct a public service announcement for Marriage Equality, to be released in December. The video, "She4MeMarriageEquality," will feature an original song written and performed by Jen Foster, plus a cavalcade of celebrity guests.

"I think of this as a mini-film," said Conn in a recent interview with EDGE. "My work has always focused on showcasing women at their very best, whether it is about empowering women to find their passion as in 'A Perfect Ending,' or feeling the essence of motherhood as seen in 'Little Man.' 'She4Me' is an elevated expression of pure love between two women and their celebration of that love through the most sacred ritual we know: marriage."

Conn said that when Sue Melke approached her about directing the PSA based on Foster's song, "She," she didn't even have to think about it. She said yes, having worked with Foster in the past on the song "Broken" for her feature "Elena Undone."

For Foster, the project is ten years in the making. When she wrote "She" more than a decade ago, she was struggling to make her Southern family proud, and still find a way to be true to herself.

"I was at a pivotal point in processing what it meant to be a woman who loved women," said Foster. "So 'She' was a huge statement for me. It was my way of working through the pain, coming to terms with myself and finally owning the fact that I am a gay woman."

When she began playing it live, it became clear that the message resonated with her fans. Discovering a YouTube video of a teenage girl singing a speeded-up version of the song inspired Foster to record a dance version of "She." She spoke to her manager, Melke, and teamed up with Eve Nelson to produce the new track.

"Sue and I initially envisioned aligning the song with the marriage equality cause, to bring the message of love and tolerance to as many people as possible, and Sue has absolutely astounded me with how she has pulled all the pieces together," said Foster. "It’s a long story, but everything has evolved so well. It’s amazing that the brilliant Nicole Conn is now directing this Marriage Equality USA PSA set to my song!"

The video features cast appearances by Foster and award-winning actors Niven, Pacent, Gabrielle Christian and Mike C. Manning. Other celebrated guests include Rebecca Staab, Traci Dinwiddie, Guinevere Turner, Ana Ortiz, Judy Reyes, Mary Wells, Jennie McNulty, John W. McLaughlin, Cathy DeBouno, Haviland Stillwell, Steve Tyler, Bonnie Somerville and Jessica Graham. ??Greater Los Angeles area Marriage Equality USA members will serve as extras in the video.

"I have never really seen "She4Me" as a standard music video," said Conn. "I think of this as a mini-film. When Marriage Equality USA joined us, the project escalated into a PSA, which made it even more important that I tell the story that needed to be told."

Marriage Equality USA believes that the video has the potential to go viral and reach people in all corners of the country and around the globe, to show the love and commitment that is celebrated and protected by passing civil marriage for LGBT families.

"This video is another important part of MEUSA’s mission to educate our friends, family and colleagues that marriage does matter -- that we can all connect to the ideas of love and family that are so beautifully illustrated in Jen’s song and Nicole’s vision," said Marriage Equality USA Executive Director Brian Silva. "We are so appreciative of their work and also the volunteers who donated hundreds of hours to make this vision a reality!"

Foster echoed this sentiment, saying, "I am beyond excited that my song can play an integral part of such an inspiring, collaborative effort to help in the fight for marriage equality across this nation and the world."

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/SHE4MarriageEquality?directed_target_id=0

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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