My utter disdain for the trajectory of the Showtime series The L Word is long gone and Goodnight My Love is a 10 minute horror film I am boldly placing above that entire six season cluster. Goodnight focuses on Aimee (Flavia Borges) and Cynthia (Kristin Anderson), a Black lesbian couple using a moment away from evading zombies to deal with issues with homophobia, heteronormative impulses and its opposition that have plagued their seven year relationship. Immediately pleased with its narratively fresh gumbo, Goodnight still manages to ground the experience in real human emotions we all experience, regardless of orientation.
BET online, Colorlines, Al Jazeera, The Root, Huffington Post, and more. With all acclaimed freelancing, Terrell finds time to work on her MFA in the Cinematic Directing Program at Colombia College of Chicago.
Her current project Blame, "tells the story of Jason, a young working class African-American father, who discovers that his recently MIT admitted son Junior and three of his friends gang raped Lala, his teenage neighbor." There is much more to this story in how the aftermath is handled and even adds a taste of the supernatural that blends with the dramatic effect."
A big, huge thank you to Christina Manch (@CongoMuse) who pointed me in Kellee's direction in order to see her work and get to know her better. #Blackwomeninhorror are becoming a fabulous network of support, depth, and content creation that help our mission propser!
As kid and a teenager, I liked all kinds of horror films—except vampires. Didn’t really get into that until True Blood. I was more into serial killers, monsters, ghosts or just weird ass people. So movies like Halloween (all of them, even the really bad ones), Sleepaway Camp, Friday the 13th, Motel Hell, Silence of the Lambs, The People Under The Stairs, and Night of the Living Dead to name a few were always my go to films.
And so being in film school at the Columbia College of Chicago at the time the film was made, I told myself, “You’d be a damn fool if you graduate without making a zombie flick!” So the first step was figuring out what kind of zombie story I wanted to tell. I knew I wanted it to be in similar tradition of The Walking Dead. That balance between the flesh eating monsters, the personal relationships and how characters evolve over time.
|From Goodnight My Love|
Second, I wanted for my film to be different and to have something to say. I had never seen a Black lesbian zombie love story. Until this season of The Walking Dead, there were no out LGBT characters. I was like, “Um, did they all die first?” And if they did, what is that really saying? So from there I worked on making Aimee and Cynthia’s dysfunctional relationship, Aimee’s internalized homophobia and her past with her uber-Christian parents fit into this zombie world.
I have to say that developing and making this film was so incredibly exciting because we were filling in the gaps that mainstream media leaves behind by creating images for folks who are often overlooked, ignored or underdeveloped. In doing something like this, there is a risk that no one will care, no one will think it’s special but me and my parents. Thankfully, that’s not what happened. The response Goodnight My Love has received over the past year has been incredible and humbling. We’ve been official selections in 16 film festivals around the world including the Pan African Film Festival, the International Black Women’s Film Festival, the Toronto LGBT Film Festival and the Rio Gay Film Festival. We only hope there is more festivals in our future so that we reach more people who are yearning for this type of film and representation.
Will I make more horror films? I sure hope so. But I also tend to work on what speaks to me and not everything I am working on or thinking about is horror-related. But there is one project that is that I am excited about. It’s supernatural-related. A Black straight woman who sees dead people seeks help by her gay best friend who is dead. It’s in the very early stages, may or may not go anywhere, time will only tell.
Luckily, I am seeing so many Black filmmakers, regardless of gender—doing so many different things and it’s really encouraging for me because it gives me validation that we can do more and think outside the box.
With that being said, would it be awesome to see more of us doing science fiction, horror, thrillers and fantasy and creating work like The Conjuring and Orphan Black? Hell yes. But I don't believe that gap exists because Black people are not trying hard enough or are completely disinterested in the genre. That speaks to something else way larger about whether or not we are encouraged to make these films and whose green lighting and funding these projects at the end of the day.