TYPE: Narrative Feature
A forbidden crush forces thirteen year old Lucinda and her mountain man father to confront her developing sexuality in a small town in Northern New Mexico.
With bullying, gay rights, and gun control at the forefront of American politics, Baby Lu is a beautiful, timely story set in rural New Mexico told through the lives of a father and daughter. Lucinda, a 13 year old girl, is growing up under her mountain man father, Zeus, and being raised the only way he knows how: hunting, fishing and living off the land. When Zeus begins a relationship with the alluring newcomer Sally, he must suddenly deal with the unexpected sexual awakening of his daughter who also falls for Sally, clashing with the traditions of their tiny rural town.
Baby Lu is a coming-of-age story that bravely tackles current social issues with both heart and subtlety in one of the most spectacular and rarely seen regions of the United States.
From Emily Ray Reese:
The story of Baby Lu developed from my own childhood experiences. I was raised in a ghost town tucked away in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. My father raised me the only way he knew how: hunting, fishing, and farming as a means to survive. By the time I was ten I owned my first shotgun. Growing older it became clear that raising a woman, much less a queer woman, was far from my father’s capabilities and we never openly discussed my sexuality.
Baby Lu follows, Zeus and Lucinda, a father and daughter who are confronted with Lucinda's homosexual feelings towards Zeus’s girlfriend. I hope that by seeing the world through the main character, Lucinda's eyes, I may be able to cultivate dialogue about the pertinent issues of queerness, gun control, and off the grid living.
The setting and the characters of New Mexico provide the inspiration and guide for my creative vision for this film. Using thoughtful hand held camera work and compelling developing shots I hope to draw out the raw and natural beauty of the open blue skies, intense natural light, expansive sagebrush mesas, and snow peaked mountains of Northern New Mexico. Most importantly the direction of the camera and actors must be authentic and truthful to the the story.
Emily Ray Reese - Writer / Director
Emily Ray Reese was born and raised in a ghost town of six inhabitants in rural New Mexico. Reese has traveled around the world with a particular interest in investigating the struggle of developing countries and cultures and the universal questions we all face as part of society.
Prior to becoming a filmmaker, her humanitarian work spanned globally, including time spent in Nepal and as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador. Reese has found incredible success in using her storytelling abilities and interest in theatre within developing nations to strengthen her connection to the community.
In 2007, Emily was accepted into the highly acclaimed New York University Graduate Film Program. Her first short film produced out of NYU called ‘Cecilia’, traveled around the world in the festival circuit, playing at Palm Springs Shorts Fest, Outfest, HBO presents New York International Latino Film Festival and many others. Emily is currently in pre-production on her first feature film, Baby Lu, a coming of age story set in mountains of northern New Mexico.
Tati Barrantes - Producer
Tati Barrantes was born in Lima, Peru, in the early 1980’s, during the rebel uprising of the Shining Path. As tensions in Peru escalated, her family relocated to Los Angeles. This multicultural heritage has inspired in her a strong interest in films that challenge our current perspectives and worldviews.
Prior to beginning the MFA program at New York University’s Graduate Film Program, where she was a departmental fellow, Tati worked in development at the Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco, California. There she helped independent filmmakers get their projects, primarily documentaries, off the ground. Simultaneously, Tati created, programmed and hosted a monthly film screening series that invited independent and beginning filmmakers to screen their work.
For the past five years, she has produced multiple award winning films and strongly believes that creativity is at its best when met with a challenge. She most recently completed the feature film "Tar", starring James Franco, Jessica Chastain and Mila Kunis, amongst others. She also completed two short films “Ana et Jerome” and “Mobile Homes” both of which were international co-productions, partially produced by Canal+, starring Elodie Bouchez, Allison Folland and David Call respectively.
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