22 Feb Guest Interview: Jason Karman
To celebrate our 30th Mardi Gras Film Festival we sit down with Jason Karman to discuss their film Golden Delicious , which screened in MGFF23. Hear what they have to say about their film, their favourite on-screen LGBTIQ+ kiss and the importance of queer films in cinema and LGBTIQ+ storytelling.
Queer Screen: Tell us why everyone needs to buy a ticket to see your film.
Jason Karman: Golden Delicious is an independent film, meaning I retained creative control, and no studio oversaw me. As a result, films like mine often have no distributor and are discovered in film festivals like the Mardi Gras Film Festival. Golden has exceeded expectations for many people, and everyone needs to see this film.
What was the appeal of your film as a project? Why this film?
The struggles of each character resonated strongly with me, especially the main character; as an Asian person, I could put myself in his shoes. Gorrman Lee wrote a great script! The theme and topics touched on were things I could elaborate on and continue exploring over the lengthy filmmaking process, which is important.
What do you hope audiences take from your film?
I hope older audiences empathize better with the younger generation and their search for identity and happiness in the digital age. For younger audiences, I hope that the film makes them feel seen and understood.
There are more channels for LGBTIQ+ films than ever before, why are queer film festivals like ours still important?
Queer film festivals are curated spaces for queer people to come together, connect and commiserate. Seeing a movie in theatres can be powerful because it is a group experience. How a crowd reacts and behaves can be unexpected, exciting, and enlightening. You don’t get that when you watch a film alone.
Why is it important to keep telling LGBTIQ+ stories?
It’s important to keep telling LGBTIQ+ stories because we evolve as a group, and how we change and cope helps us better understand ourselves.
What was the first film you saw yourself represented in?
Beautiful Thing. Directed by Hettie Macdonald.
What’s one of your favourite LGBTIQ+ films and why do you love it?
Lilies. Directed by John Greyson. I love it because it was the first time I’ve seen males inhabiting female roles while still being themselves. As a young queer person searching to be themself, this was an incredibly powerful film, and it was the first time I saw gender as a construct.
What on-screen LGBTIQ+ kiss still makes you swoon?
When Nick Robinson kisses Kelynan Lonsdale at the top of the ferris wheel in Love, Simon.
Which film would you like to remake with an LGBTIQ+ twist?
Solo: A Star Wars Story. Han Solo is bisexual and has a secret crush on Lando Calrissian.
What is one piece of career advice that you would give your younger self when it comes to filmmaking?
Permit yourself to fail. Trust your instincts.