Two brand new lesbian short dramas will air on DIVA Box Office this week


Take Me Back and Dancing Alone, both written and directed by queer filmmaker Jane Marlow who also stars as the lead role in each film, will air on DIVA Box Office this week. 

The two short films came about because Jane, who has written for Bad Girls, Hollyoaks and Coronation Street, wanted to hone her writing skills into directing. In order to realise this, she knew she had to fund and produce both films independently of a broadcaster or studio. 

Jane says: “To work within a tiny budget I wrote something that was contained in one location. My collaborator, Nick Swannell, has known me since I was an actress so he suggested I play the main part. Being onscreen and co-directing had its challenges but we won a couple of awards and were buoyed by that”.

Indeed, Dancing Alone won a prize that included a distribution deal with Channel 5, a very rare feat for a lesbian-centric drama, considering most queer television dramas are those written by and featuring gay men. Jane concurs, “As a writer I recognizs that there are less female writers, whatever their sexuality, at the top of the list. And as a gay woman I had a desire to see my experiences reflected on screen, wanted to see myself reflected in stories. 

Both short films take the viewer past the usual ‘coming out’ story and into the lesbian suspense genre as catastrophic events – bereavement in Dancing Alone and a mugging in Take Me Back – puts the central protagonist into a spiral of claustrophobia and mistrust.

The films are the first dramas from the fledgling Donut Films, a company that Jane set up with luxury brand consultant Virginia Orr.

Virginia, who transferred her operational skill set to producing, says the mission behind Donut Films is to create content that challenges stereotypes and cultural constructs around gender, identity ands sexuality. She adds, “We want to shine a spotlight on diverse characters and place them within mainstream stories”. 

Their mission is certainly working as this weekend the pilot episode of their web series They Them Us, which follows the journey of lesbian and transgender footballers, won the Best Webisode prize at the esteemed LA-based Femme Film Festival. The duo hope this award will facilitate further funding to complete the eight part series. 

Find both Dancing Alone and Take Me Back at DIVA Box Office now. 

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