Made on a shoestring budget back in 1994, the film Go Fish turned Rose Troche into the indie darling of lesbian moviegoers everywhere. Not only did the black-and-white flick help jump start the New Queer Cinema movement, but it cemented the Midwestern-born Troche as an influential player in Hollywood.
Over the years, she’s gone on to work on many notable projects – everything from The Safety of Objects starring Glenn Close to Six Feet Under and The L Word. As she gets ready to be honored by QFest this year (July 21, 4:45 p.m. at the Ritz East, Theatre 2), she tells us what inspires her to tell stories, what it was really like working with the women of The L Word and what she’s planning next. The festival will even show a few sneak peek clips from her newest project Concussion as part of a very special tribute.
Your film Go Fish is considered to be a landmark in the lesbian community. Did you ever expect it to become so beloved?
No. I don’t think any of us thought it would hit like it did. It is honestly so much about timing. There seemed to be a void at that particular time and we were there to fill it.
At the time, what was your inspiration for making the movie?
I was involved in ACT Up and Queer Nation and Go Fish was sort of born out of that activism. It was about lesbian visibility and the desire to present ourselves in a way that we felt was authentic.
I think in many ways my motivation is similar to what it was when I started. I am still interested in honest images and creating work that is socially relevant.
Who in this business have you loved working with?
I really loved working with the women from The L Word. It’s wonderful to be able to work with actors for a long period of time. You get to know and trust each other in a way that is nearly impossible when you are making indie film where budget and time are almost always restricted.
Anyone you’d like to work with in the future?
As far as who I would like to work with, I don’t really keep a wish list. There are times when I’m watching a film and I’m like, that person is brilliant, but then I’m so in the moment that I forget to write it down. I guess that’s what I want – to work with actors that make me not want to turn away from them for a minute.
I have produced a feature by first time writer/director Stacie Passon called Concussion. We are just locking picture now and look forward to a 2013 release. It was great to do the project, it reminded me of the tenacious approach we took when making Go Fish. It’s been a very inspiring process and the next feature we tackle will be one that I have written and will direct.
In the immediate future I am directing a feature written by Annie Howell called Black Kid. And I’m also directing a short for ITVS called Elliot Kensington is 3rd. As far as Go Fish 2.0 is concerned, the rights are going to revert back to us soon and I really want to do something with it. Update it for a new generation. I would love to find a way to create a cross platform event on the eve of the 2o-year (yikes!) anniversary.
As you get ready to accept the QFest award, what are you most proud of about your career and work?
I think that I’ve continued to work and make a living in film and television. It’s an amazing thing to get to do with my life. It is a constantly changing, challenging craft and I never tire of it. That’s a pretty awesome thing. I’m also proud that at least some of my work has managed to reach and move an audience. It’s not always the case but it’s always the goal.