Virtual Q&A for the Avant-garde, Bold & Cute! program: 9/22 (Thu) 8PM EDT
Virtual streaming available in the U.S. from 9/16 12:00 AM EDT - 9/29 11:59 PM EDT.
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Dir. by Lovell Holder
USA | 2021 | Drama | 11 min
Based on their play "Lavender Men," playwright-performer Roger Q. Mason explores questions of identity and vicious cycles of addiction in their short film "Taffeta." As a toxic phone sex relationship spirals out of control, the titular Taffeta must confront whether they will be able to break out of the destructive habits and crippling loneliness that have haunted their life.
Lovell Holder (he/him) graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University. He then received his MFA from Brown University.
Feature Film: Ian MacAllister-McDonald’s Some Freaks (producer; starring Thomas Mann, Lily Mae Harrington, and Tony nominee Marin Ireland); Loserville (director/producer/co-writer; produced with Tony winner Sara Ramirez, starring Darby Stanchfield, Matt McGorry, Natalie Hall, and Jonathan Lipnicki); Robert Jury’s Working Man (producer; starring Peter Gerety, Billy Brown, and two-time Oscar nominee Talia Shire); Henry Loevner & Steven Kanter's The End of Us (producer; SXSW 2021); Samantha Soule & Daniel Talbott's Midday Black Midnight Blue (producer; starring two-time Emmy winner Merritt Wever).
Short Film: Samantha Soule's Birdwatching (producer; starring Oscar nominee Amanda Seyfried); Roger Q. Mason's Taffeta (director/producer); Olivia Hamilton’s Surrogate (producer, with Oscar winner Damien Chazelle); Daniel Talbott’s You Say Hello (director/producer); Roger Q. Mason's Softer (director/producer, produced with Emmy winner Robert J. Ulrich); Anna Chazelle's Narrow (producer); Julia Max's Pieces of Me (producer).
Lovell's film work has screened and garnered prizes at more than 100 American and international film festivals, including SXSW, BFI Flare, Outfest, SCAD Savannah, Santa Barbara, Fantasia, Shanghai, Seattle, Bentonville, and HollyShorts.
" We're incredibly honored to introduce you to our Taffeta. She's a queen, she's a soldier, she's a lover, she's a person striving to conquer their own loneliness and suffering. In some ways, she could be considered an alter ego of our film's writer-performer, Roger Q. Mason, and on paper they do share much in common: they are both African-American, Filipinx, queer, genderfluid, plus-size people striving through each day in America.
Taffeta first exploded into our own lives when Roger began writing their play, LAVENDER MEN. Roger was eager to investigate the queer history of Abraham Lincoln, and they decided to do so by providing a contemporary surrogate onstage who was everything Lincoln was not. And Taffeta was born. Roger soon invited Lovell into the development process as a director, together discovering how crucial Roger's own personal experiences were to the conversations Taffeta was fighting to provoke. The play went on to have a public reading on Broadway at Circle in the Square as part of the Circle Reading development series in 2019, and the world premiere of the play was scheduled for... April 2020. One week into rehearsals for LAVENDER MEN's debut, the coronavirus pandemic brought a halt to Taffeta's journey. But Taffeta is not one to go silently into the night...
As the pandemic raged on, the play was featured and spotlighted in the Los Angeles Times, Playbill, and BroadwayWorld as one of the new works stalled by the coronavirus, and in July 2020, the play was named to the theater world's prestigious Kilroy List of the year's most promising unproduced new plays. And without fail Taffeta was the center of every conversation about this show. We knew we had to bring her to audiences sooner rather than later, some way, somehow. We could not wait.
In the fall of 2020, we gathered a skeleton crew to bring a small slice of Taffeta's world to life through a short film. We then spent several months in remote post-production, scattered across the country, and now after Taffeta was supposed to greet audiences onstage, she's come instead to invade their screens. And she is ready to start a fire. She wants to inspire a discussion about loneliness, body image, and the alienation and abuse of BIPOC people within the LGBT community. She has so much she wants to say. And we hope you'll give her the chance to show you a window into her world."
- Roger Q. Mason & Lovell Holder