Career photographer Marina Rice Bader was 52 and had never thought about kissing a girl.
And then she did.
That moment became a life changing catalyst that led Bader to look at the world through a different lens and follow her passion for making movies.
“Of course, ‘the kiss’ is one of the reasons I knew I was going to make movies for the rest of my life,” Bader says. “I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to spend the last third of my life doing something I was excited about. I always loved the movies. They have always been my thing. I knew I wanted to make movies and be involved in the magic and I thought, ‘If I don’t do it now, when will I do it?’”
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Marina Rice Bader: “Women and lesbians, in particular, are so underrepresented on screen…I want to change that.”
Bader is now set upon making history. Her film production company, Soul Kiss Films, focuses on lesbian niche content by bringing such films as A Perfect Ending and Elena Undone to the screen. She is also the first lesbian filmmaker to offer her film, Anatomy of a Love Seen, to the worldwide LGBT community through direct distribution the same day as its premiere in Los Angeles.
“I make movies for the lesbian niché,” she says. “That is my world. Women and lesbians, in particular, are so underrepresented on screen. In 100 years from now, if we maintain the status quo, we will be a blip in cinema history. I want to change that. I want to represent with truth and help give us the place in film that we deserve.”
Bader’s latest film, Raven’s Touch, screens Sept. 18 during Cinema Diverse, The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival, which runs Sept. 17-20, at the Camelot Theatres.
Actress Dreya Weber toured with Cher during her Living Proof farewell tour and choreographed all of the aerial routines.
The film tells the story of a woman who escapes to nature to deal with extreme grief where she encounters a single mom taking her teens camping in the woods to unplug. As the two women’s touching relationship unfolds, they find that they can heal each other.
“I think it has to do with the human connection,” Bader says. “So many people when they are in a painful or sad place, they recoil from family and friends and it’s the worst thing you can possibly do. I hope one of the things this film inspires is for people to think about letting someone help them when they are in their darkest place. Let your heart and mind stay open for another human being to touch you and heal you.”
Bader worked with Dreya Weber to bring her idea to life in what she describes as a “beautiful collaborative effort.” Bader produced while Weber wrote the script. They took it one step further by directing together. Weber also stars alongside cast member Traci Dinwiddie in the drama.
Cinema Diverse, The Palm Springs LBGTQ Film Festival, Sept. 17-20, Camelot Theatres, 2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs, 760-325-6565; www.cinemadiverse.org
VIDEO: See the trailer for Raven's Touch