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Whirlpool is a female-driven, LGBTQ+ feature film written and directed by Emory Parker, produced by Rabia Sultana and Blue Slate Films.
About the Film
This unconventional coming-of-age story follows a woman grappling with her daughter’s transition from male to female, while realizing her own transformation from a repressed housewife to a self-assured individual. With her daughter, Evan, at college and husband absent as always, Emeline finds an unexpected companion in Evan’s new friend, Sofia. In getting to know Sofia, Emeline begins to rediscover herself, consequently drifting further away from her family and the woman she was before. As Emeline falls for Sofia, she must decide whether to embrace this newfound identity or mend her broken home.
About the Filmmakers
EMORY PARKER - Writer/Director
Emory is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts and co-founder of Blue Slate Films, a female-run production company that aims to bring queer and female-driven stories to the forefront. In 2018, Emory worked as a Production Associate on NBC’s Winter Olympic Games, producing and editing six of her own pieces. The team earned a coveted Olympic Golden Rings Award and was nominated for a Sports Emmy®. Emory’s narrative short, “The Perfect Fit,” has been named an Official Selection of ITVFest, Golden Door Film Festival, SOHO International Film Festival, and NY Shorts Fest. The film won “Best Musical” and “Best Production” at Revolution Me Film Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at the First Annual Astoria Film Festival. “The Perfect Fit” is now streaming on Amazon. Emory is also a recipient of the Horizon Award founded by Cassian Elwes (Mudbound, The Butler), Christine Vachon (Carol, Boys Don’t Cry), and Lynette Howell Taylor (A Star is Born, Blue Valentine).
RABIA SULTANA - Producer
Rabia is a British-Pakistani Archaeologist turned Filmmaker. Rabia's first independent project as writer, producer, and director was "Rosetta's Blues" which screened at the Cannes Court Metrage, Long Island Film Festival and LA Femme International Film Festival, amongst others. She produced the award-winning feature film "Extra Innings" starring Aiden P. Brennan (The Punisher, The Secret), Mara Kassin (Curfew, Cul-de-Sac) and Geraldine Singer (Greenbook, Mudbound). She recently wrapped “Just Chicken”, starring Josh Ruben, Catherine Curtin and Danny Johnson. Rabia has also worked as both producer and assistant director on several projects including feature films "The Truth about Santa Claus" (Gilbert Gottfried) and "Angelfish" (Princess Nokia) available on VOD. Rabia's short film “Interference” (NBC/Universal Film Festival, BAM Cinematek’s New Voices in Black Cinema) is available on Amazon. “Ladies Lounge” (Mara Kassin, Lynn Cohen) and “Friendly Neighborhood Coven”, starring Tonye Patano (Weeds) and Sally Struthers (All in the Family, Gilmore Girls) are circulating festivals.
JEN RUDIN, CSA - Casting Director
Jen Rudin is an Award-Winning Casting Director and author of "Confessions of a Casting Director: Help Actors Land any Role with Secrets from Inside the Audition Room" published by Harper Collins. She also writes a monthly column on voice over casting for Backstage called "Speak Easy." At Disney, Jen was Director of Casting for Walt Disney Animation Studios from 2002 until 2007 and cast The Incredibles, Chicken Little (2006 Artios Award), Meet the Robinsons, and The Princess and the Frog (2010 Artios Award.) From 2007 until 2009, Jen was Director of Casting and Talent Development for Disney Theatrical Productions in New York. As owner of Jen Rudin Casting LLC, she continues to work in animated features, VO, feature films and television.
NATALIA BOUGADELLIS - Producer/Director of Photography
Natalia is a director and cinematographer from Athens, Greece. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she studied Film and TV Production. Natalia’s critically acclaimed directorial debut, “The Owls” (available on Amazon), has played in eleven countries and over thirty film festivals, winning the Zoe Award at LifeArt Festival, “Best Student Film” at Miami Independent Film Festival, and “Best Student Filmmaker” at HBO’s America’s Rainbow Film Festival. “The Owls” also screened at Soho International Film Festival, Cannes Short Film Corner, and North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. As Executive Director of The Great Griffon, a non-profit founded in response to the lack of LGBTQ+ characters in mainstream entertainment, Natalia advocates for gender equality and queer narratives. She has served as co-director of the Fusion Film Festival, celebrating women in film and is part of the Sundance Initiative for Women. In 2017, Natalia started her own production company, working with countless high-profile clients and brands.
DENITIA - Composer/Music Supervisor
Denitia is an indie-pop artist based in Brooklyn. Hailed as “the epitome of soulful,” by The Fader, the singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist is known for her dreamy genre-melding solo project that expands upon her past work in indie R&B duo Denitia and Sene. Denitia released the Ceilings EP attracting acclaim from The Guardian, Village Voice, Pitchfork, Stereogum, and Afropunk for its bold, genre-melding sounds. She followed this by releasing a series of singles exploring the far reaches of her ethereal pop sound, culminating in the release of her EP Be There. This year has seen Denitia collaborating with multi-instrumentalist and DJ, Quantic on the lead single from his latest album. “You Used to Love Me” was featured on Apple Music’s Best of the Week and was on rotation for several weeks on BBC6 playlists. Denitia’s newest album, Touch of the Sky is a cinematic ode to nostalgia and the alchemy of love.
JOLIE CURTSINGER - Emeline
Jolie Curtsinger (After, Bastion, The Perfect Fit) is an American theater, film, television actor, and producer. Jolie Curtsinger is the Artistic Director of InProximity Theatre Company, and founding producer of Project W Theater Festival, an annual reading festival highlighting female playwrights, directors and theater professionals.
LORI LAING - Sofia
Lori Laing is an American actress based in New York City. Her resume includes various web series, film, television and commercial projects. She is known for her roles in the second season of Marvel’s Iron Fist as one of the Crane Sisters, the recently released She's Gotta Have It Too, as well as the Broadway Video scripted series The Other Two from the award-winning former co-head writers of Saturday Night Live. She also appears in the BET remake of First Wives Club and Law & Order: SVU. Lori first learned the art of storytelling by paying attention to the rhythms of the people around her in Queens, New York, the most ethnically diverse borough in the city. After earning a Bachelors degree in Government from Georgetown University, she went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University in 2017.