Bird, 12, has to become a woman whether she wants to or not when - in the worst week of her life - she gets her first period, is ditched by her impulsive, free spirited mom, and learns that you can never really go back to The Valley.
Interview with Writer/Director Dorie Barton
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! I wanted to explore telling a story of a girl’s first period and transition into “being a woman" by making it the focus of the film, not just a punchline, or just a way to gross someone out or humiliate someone. i had a terrible first period. a lot of women i know went through a hard time. i felt like it was worth a whole film.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It’s a sweet, funny, awkward coming-of-age story with terrific performances by everyone in the film. Girl Flu. sparks some great conversations. women feel more understood after seeing this film and guys really do learn a lot! There’s so much we never talk about and the film gets people talking.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
There are some parts of this story that are based on my own life, and i interviewed dozens of women about their experiences, so this film is filled with extremely personal stuff. it’s universal in that half of the human population gets their period. the other half needs to be included if we’re going to demystify it.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The editing process was the place where things became the most elastic, but ultimately, the film plays very close to how the script read when we started pre-production.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Everything has been very positive. I’m especially happy with the great feedback the cast is getting. Everyone is so good in this film. the actors got to surprise people a bit with these roles, because many of them are playing characters they haven’t before and getting to show different sides of themselves.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I like feedback. It’s part of the art form. a play or a film isn’t really complete until the audience joins it and the “conversation” begins. I would never want a film to be a tree falling in an empty forest.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I’m hoping that as many people as possible will find this film and be happy to see this particular rite of passage being shown on screen. everyone who worked on this film poured their heart into it. I’d like it to be seen.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
It will be interesting to watch how the menstruation taboo gets lifted over time. When i started writing the script, very few people would talk openly about it. Now menstruation is in the news all the time, new products are being marketed in brand news ways, and it’s much more out in the open. a pop-up “period shop” happened in Manhattan a little while back.
I’d love Girl Flu. to be part of people being more open with each to help girls who are getting their first periods feel more “normal” and supported. While the film mainly focuses on women, I also show men really making an effort to be a helpful part of a girl’s transition into this phase of her life. we all need to work on accepting that this is just part of life and nothing to be embarrassed about. We could all use a little more understanding.
What are you developing or working on now?
I’m always working on something. right now it’s the screenplay for my next film to make with the same producers.
Interview: June 2016
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Girl Flu Length: 93 mins.
Director: Dorie Barton
Producer: Richard Hull and Paul Schiff (EPs) Jay Lowi and David K. Wilson (producers)
Writer: Dorie Barton
About the writer, director and producer:
Dorie Barton (writer-director) studied acting at the California Institute of the Arts, and has been working as an actor ever since on television, film, and stage. She’s also a script consultant and a voice-over artist. “Girl Flu” is the first film she’s written and directed.
Producers Jay Lowi and David K. Wilson are both graduates of the USC film school. Lowi is also a director, known for his short, "12 Stops on the Road to Nowhere". Wilson has produced work for multiple platforms, including the films Helicopter Mom and Jake Squared.
Key cast: Katee Sackhoff, Jade Pettyjohn, Jeremy Sisto, Heather Matarazzo, Judy Reyes, Diego Joseph.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Made by Free Chicken Films