This week I talked with filmmaker Nicole Conn about her new production Nesting Doll a story about four broken women whose lives intersect at a lakeside community and whose lives are forever changed through their shared love of a boy with special needs. The film pays homage to Conn’s daughter and in particular her son who has special needs and is medically fragile. He was the focus of her 2005 film little man which earned Conn 12 Best Documentary Awards along with the prestigious Cedar Sinai’s Courageous Beginnings Award. Nesting Doll is the breakout debut for 11 year-old Cale Ferrin who was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia, a rare genetic disease that can lead to bone marrow failure and cancer and is often marked by congenital defects and short stature. Celebrated and beloved Australian actress, Zoe Ventoura (Packed to the Rafters) has signed on for the lead, McKenzie De Ridder and Kayla Radomski of So You Think You Can Dance fame will co-star. Also joining the stellar cast are Harley Jane Kozak as the mother and Bruce Davison as the head of his clan and supporting cast includes French Stewart (3rd Rock From the Sun), Brooke Elliott (Drop Dead Diva), Lesley Nicol, Kay Lenz, Wally Kurth and Gaby Christian. Gabrielle Baba-Conn, Conn’s real life daughter is also making her feature debut. A group known as the Silver Tribe who are Conn’s dear friends and loyalists are teaming up with the multiple award-winning filmmaker behind the scenes to bring this film to the international audience that it deserves. I talked to Nicole about her inspiration for making Nesting Doll and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.
When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Conn stated:
Well not just our community but any community that is marginalized in any way has to move very carefully and also very vocally. I mean we all need to really be paying attention, do some heavy lifting for the next few years to try to get an entirely different look and face in Congress, flip the Senate certainly and maybe get the House equalized. I don’t see any other way moving forward with this insanity other than trying to flip the lever of power and the only way we can do that is by voting and making our voices heard. I can even tell you, I spent three months in utter depression after he won. I feel like things were rolled back. I think that you know, we move carefully, we move vocally and we use our dollars and we use our voices and voting.
Veteran filmmaker Nicole Conn paved the way for lesbian themed cinema with her cult classic, Claire of the Moon that will be celebrating its milestone 25th Anniversary in 2018 and also for her acclaimed features Elena Undone which boasts the longest screen kiss in cinema history and A Perfect Ending. Nicole understands the need for using her talent to change hearts and minds especially during our LGBTQ community’s fight for marriage equality. Conn conceptualized and directed Jen Fosters, She into a national anthem by directing a seven-minute short PSA entitled SHE4ME which was sponsored and endorsed by Marriage for Equality, USA and won The Community Award 2015, as well as OutMusic’s Music Video of the Year. Nesting Doll is her seventh film and she hopes it will deliver a much need message about our special needs community as well as our LGBTQ community.