Logline: Every Sunday a group clad in neon spandex, crop tops, and gold booty shorts gets together for Sexitude, a body-positive, sex-positive, age-positive dance class in San Francisco created by D’Arcy Drollinger.
Length: 5 minutes
Director: Meghan Ryan
Producer: Meghan Ryan
This is Meghan Ryan’s first film, created as a student. This fall she’ll be starting an MFA in Cinema program at SFSU.
Key cast: D’Arcy Drollinger, Linden Cady, Jimmy Moore, Elisabeth Miles
Looking for: film festival directors, journalists
Funders: self funded, student film
Made in association with: California College of the Arts, Film I
Release date: December 2015
Where can I watch it at the film festival or in the next month? The short screens at Frameline Film Festival on Monday, June 20 at the Victoria Theater as part ofthe ‘Only in San Francisco’ program.
Congratulations! Why did you make your film? This past fall I was talking a film class at California College of the Arts and preparing to apply for graduate school. I had been taking Sexitude, the body positive, sex positive dance class, for about a year, and it was unlike any dance or fitness class I had been to or heard about. As someone who has always struggled with body image issues and is not very confident in front of a crowd, I noticed a change in my attitude after I had been going to the class for a bit.
Although the change was small, it was getting out of my comfort zone, enjoying to opportunity to be a little outrageous, and being with a group of people that held no judgment that made me see this class was more than simply a dance class, it was a unique community that just wouldn’t exist in a lot of places in our country.
Imagine I?m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film? I’m really excited that the film is screening as part of the ‘Only in San Francisco’ program. At a time when the city and the Bay Area are changing so quickly, it’s important to remember what’s unique and extraordinary about this city. This film, along with others in the program, reminds us this is a place where you can let your crazy out and there is a community that will embrace you.
D’Arcy Drollinger created not only a dance class with a positive message, but he’s built a community around this class that has, to a degree, changed people’s lives.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film? I think, in some way, we all struggle with insecurities and finding our place in the world. D’Arcy speaks of starting Sexitude after he couldn’t find the dance community he was looking for. The other subjects in the film talk about becoming a part of this community and putting aside insecurities around ability or appearance, and how that change in attitude opened up doors that otherwise would never have existed. The underlying message is to take that risk and put yourself out there.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The film was shot over a couple of months, and edited in just a few weeks, so there was not a lot that changed from my original idea for the film. I went into it with an idea of who I wanted to feature and generally their connections to Sexitude. What I didn’t know was each individual’s early experience with the class, which was all revealed in a single interview shoot.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
So far it’s only been shown to fellow classmates, friends, family, and the Sexitude community. The feedback has been good, biased I’m sure, but the story resonates, it’s fun, and people not familiar with the class have been fascinated with it. I haven’t had any feedback yet from people outside the Bay Area, but I’d be interested to see what the reaction would be in more conservative areas. From a production standpoint, there was a lot I learned making this, and a few things I would do differently if I were to do it again.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
So far, no, and I think that has to do with the audience that’s seen it. In the editing process there were moments in the rough cut screening where classmates couldn’t recognize the characters when they were in drag, which is important and was a good reminder to remove myself from the content now and again.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I am grateful for this opportunity to spotlight a very unique San Francisco experience and tell the story of how something as simple as a dance class can change one’s perspective. I hope that more people find out about the film and more importantly, about Sexitude, Oasis night club, and the diverse community of people that make this city just a little more fabulous.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Frameline is the ideal place for this to screen, and I hope that this builds some momentum and interest from other festivals. I’d love to see this screen in areas where sexual and personal expression are not as accepted as in San Francisco. Through this dance class, you learn to embrace who you are the power of a well executed sexy swipe, which we all could use a little more of.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I hope that the audience sees in this film what I saw in this class, and that’s the idea that we’re all a little imperfect, and that’s what makes things interesting and exciting. It’s very easy to get comfortable in your life, but some of the most fun is had when you take risks and allow yourself to be a little uncomfortable.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Are you going to class on Sunday?
But seriously, I hope that this film will inspire people to try that thing that has seemed too scary or out of character, and to talk about how we need more spaces like this where people feel welcome no matter how they look, what age they are, what sort of background they come from.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
This fall I will be starting an MFA in Cinema program at San Francisco State University, focusing on documentary film, while maintaining a couple small freelance design projects. D’Arcy continues to teach Sexitude, produce shows at Oasis, and run the club.
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