This past weekend was the 10th annual of Outfest Fusion LGBT People Of Color Film Festival, the only multicultural LGBT film festival of its kind. This year, True Blood’s out writer/director/producer Angela Robinson, who is also the first out lesbian to direct a Disney family comedy, was featured at the event and received the Fusion Achievement Award.
The award was presented to Angela by True Blood actors Rutina Wesley and Kristin Bauer.
Here’s part of an interview with Angela Robinson about her award and her new role on True Blood from AfterEllen:
AfterEllen: How does it feel getting the Fusion Achievement Award at Outfest?
Angela Robinson: It’s really exciting, actually. Kirsten Schaffer (Executive Director of Outfest) called me a few weeks ago and asked if I would accept the award and I was really honored.
AE: Why do you think it’s important that we have the Outfest Fusion festival? It’s been around for 10 years already!
AR: It’s amazing. I was thinking back to my short films which I had submitted to the Festival and I feel like I’ve been doing this for awhile now and I feel like there’s more and more opportunities for people of color, LGBT voices — I wish I could say “It’s all great now and we’re represented all the time,” but that’s not the case. I feel like there’s so much more ground to gain and it’s great to come together and acknowledge and share our experiences and I think that it’s amazing to have the ability to do that.
AE: How do you advise young filmmakers who want to include queer elements in their work and some of the challenges they may face?
AR: It’s definitely a cliché but some clichés are clichés because they’re true but I feel like you have to be yourself. I’ve tried a lot of different things and I’ve tried to do other things like what I thought Hollywood wanted from me and whenever I threw all that out the window and was just honest about who I was and what I wanted to see represented in the world…that has been the most successful path for me and actually what people have most responded to.
AE: When you’re working for a TV series, like True Blood or Hung, granted they’re on cable, but have you found challenges when you’re hired to do a show that isn’t yours? How do you make sure YOU stay a part of your work?
AR: I’ve taken a long and winding road in my career in Hollywood but I’ve sought out places where I could most be myself…True Blood is an amazing show because it very much jives with my core beliefs and I’m able to explore all sorts of crazy shit like race and sexuality and it’s all a mishmash and one that I’m always pushing to put those themes and what makes me me into different television shows, be it The L Word or Hung or True Blood. You have to make it part of your show or else it’s not interesting.
Sometimes, like as a default, I’ll try to cast a black actress. Last year with a character on True Blood I thought, “Why don’t I make her a black woman?” instead of it being a white man. I feel like there are ways you can handle it and then there are the themes and ideas you put forth in your writers’ room or as the director that make its way onto the television screen.
AE: Will there be any new lesbian or bi characters on True Blood this season?
AR: I don’t want to over tease anything but I’ll just say that I always try when I’m able to push lesbian themes in the episodes that I write so you can watch the episodes that I write and see if you can find them. It’s really nice because Kristin Bauer, who plays Pam, and Rutina Wesley, who plays Tara, they’ll be there when I get my [Outfest Fusion] award on Saturday night so they’re coming out to support, which is really cool. It will be fun. I’m a little scared to see my clip reel.
To read the rest of this interview, go to: afterellen.com.