Nicole Conn
Nicole Conn

Nicole Conn has been a die-hard romantic, classical pianist and black and white film fan from the age of nine and an avid reader and writer since the age of six.

Her latest and seventh  film  as a writer/director, “More Beautiful… for Having Been Broken”  holds a very strong message  about children with special needs and the extraordinary relationship between mothers and daughters.

Devoted FBI Agent McKenzie “Max” De Ridder has recently lost her mother, who was her very best friend and greatest champion. In the wake of grief, McKenzie’s behavior has become erratic and she soon finds herself suspended.

McKenzie, frenzied, drinking and lost, escapes to the small town she used to visit on “Star Adventures” with her late mother.

Soon after McKenzie arrives in town she meets Freddie, a young special needs boy with Fanconi Anemia (a rare disease that comes with a short expiration date). He spends his wheelchair-bound days whizzing around the streets of the small town of Meriville. Freddie’s savant-like wisdom and perseverance penetrate McKenzie’s gruff walls of despair and pain. She is taken by how unaffected he is by the reality of his condition. McKenzie forms an undeniable bond with Freddie and an unexpected testy, then loving relationship with his mother.

The small town tangled relationships and mother-daughter dynamics reveal themselves, as each woman traverses the intricate minefields of love, pain and anguish. In the end, the extraordinary young “teacher” Freddie exhibits strength and courage, creating the unconditional love each needs to begin their journeys to becoming whole and finding love.

We sit down with Nicole:

Can you tell us when and where we can see your new film, More Beautiful for Having Been Broken (MBFHBB) ?

We just finished Phase One of our distribution with our April 7th release of the DVD via Wolfe Video. We are happy to report DVD preorders sold out. DVDs are available through Amazon and Wolfe.

We are in the process of launching our second phase with our World Wide Distributor Vision Films, along with LesFlicks in the UK, and Bounty Entertainment in Australia, on May 8, 2020.

The second phase is all about streaming and video-on-demand (VOD) and the various platforms where the film will be released by Vision Films: iTunes, Vimeo, Vudu, FandangoNow, as well as television providers: Dish, DirecTV, Comcast, Spectrum, Charter, Cox.

Though pandemic isolation prevents us from hosting a face-to-face Red Carpet Premiere in Los Angeles, Vision Films came up with a very cool International Interactive Live Stream Vimeo Event where the cast and crew will be able to chat with the audience as they watch the film. A Q&A after the film will include Cast Members: Zoe Ventoura, Kayla Radomski, Cale Ferrin, Harley Jane Kozak, and Gabrielle Baba-Conn, along with Producer, Lissa Forehan and myself. .
This live event will be a lot of fun and will begin at 11:00 PST on May 8th. You must Register first and prior to the event. Register at this link provided by CYA.Live, a cool platform for event sharing: https://www.cya.live/event/1148

Ongoing, please go to www.morebeautifulmovie.com to find the film’s start time in your country.

I’ve heard there are two versions of your film Blue Love Dance Scene, can you explain the importance of that?

Yes, absolutely.

It’s a story about the love of a boy, Freddie, who has Special Needs (played brilliantly by Cale Ferrin) and how his unique take on the world and his ability to love heals those around him.

The thing we most wanted for this film, even when it has an exquisite love story between two women, was to find a mainstream distribution company to take this feature out as wide as humanly possible.

Vision Films CEO/Founder Lise Romanoff and Director of Domestic Distribution and Marketing Kristen Bedno, concur, but there are platforms that don’t show love scenes between anyone (straight or LGBTQ).

So the Blue Love Dance Scene, which I had crafted for the film to remain PG-13, has been cut for those platforms. The Director’s Cut is available everywhere else and has the full uncut version of the “Blue Love Dance Scene” in it.

Your film has won numerous awards during it’s world wide film festival tour in 2019/20 that has created a global buzz about every element of the film, from the actors, to the cinematography, to the original score, to the provocative love scene and editing. What are your ultimate award aspirations?

Yes, we’re thrilled to have won 28 Bests Awards across multiple categories, for this film. We aspire to have our film recognized across all platforms and markets.

We’ve heard that it was your children, particularly your son with special needs that inspired your new film and that this film represents inclusion and conveys important messages. Can you share more about this?

I wanted for so long to put a character in my films that represented who my son, Nicholas, is. He’s very Special Needs and medically fragile. People just don’t look at our kids. They turn away. I don’t want them to turn away from human beings who have such remarkable and special abilities. So often their love and joy for being in the moment make them truly “special” indeed.

As corny as it sounds, Nicholas remains my greatest teacher. I want to be him when I grow up. I wanted people who aren’t connected to this world to understand it better and to rid them of the notion that having a child such as Nicholas or Freddie in the film, “More Beautiful…,” is a burden and woe is me. Having kids like Nicholas and Freddie is an absolute blessing, and this film wants to expose you to that!

As for my daughter, Gabrielle, this is her feature debut. She’s been doing serious theater since junior high, and she’s become very talented. I wanted to expose her to film acting, and she jumped right in. Also, much of what takes place in the film and around McKenzie’s character and mother is very much based on the relationship Gabrielle and I have. She’s my favorite traveling companion in life, and I’m so very proud of her!

You blazed a trail 30 years ago with the release of one of the most iconic films in lesbian history, Claire of the Moon, your new film MBFHBB, is considered a trail blazer in ways that set it apart from other films (lesbian and mainstream), can you explain?

“Claire of the Moon” has become a cult classic. It was the first film of its kind in 7 years after “Desert Hearts.” It’s been called the film that paved the way for lesbian-themed cinema, and it’s not “Citizen Kane” by any stretch. But it captured the lesbian zeitgeist and openly discussed lesbianism and coming out and what it meant to be a lesbian.

Now with “More Beautiful For Having Been Broken,” I believe this film captures a new zeitgeist. Lesbians have arrived in terms of media representation. It’s no longer necessary for us to have the coming out story. Our love stories need to be organically part of humanity, with no mention of characters coming out, or falling in love with a straight woman, etc. Love is love, and that’s the message in this film.

The film is cutting-edge as we have an actor with special needs playing a special needs role. Further, the film has my single favorite sequence I have ever created for film in over 30 years, and that is the “Blue Love Dance Scene.” No one has ever seen a love scene like this. It’s a love scene for men, women, and all people. In fact, I’m doing a special Behind-the-Scenes on that sequence because it was very complex and required many different components, and I can’t wait to share how it all came together.

Please describe the Nicole Conn Film Global (NCFG) website that will go live in the next few weeks and it’s mission.

Nicole Conn Films Global, Keeping Women’s Cinema Alive, is an international group dedicated to the funding and support of women’s narrative features in the 21st Century. We are committed to producing quality and entertaining Feature Films, Documentaries and TV/Web Series made By, For & About Women, and their complex lives.

Our mission is to keep Women’s Lesbian Cinema Alive and thriving, always building our library as well as inviting Membership Artists to be involved with films, and specialized events and funding screenings or exhibitions. With our unique funding model, we intend to do just that.

From 2006-2012 when I traveled the festival circuit for little man, 2006/07, Elena Undone 2010 and, A Perfect Ending in 2012, we consistently sold out The Castro at Frameline Film Festival (1400 seat theatre), Outfest’s DGA 1, and pretty much everywhere else we played. We got all of our incredible reviews from the festival circuit and jump-started the success of each of these films, which ends up finding distribution.

It was not only disappointing but very agonizing to see the change in the women’s programming at our Festivals for 9 months from 2019/20 when we traveled with More Beautiful For Having Been Broken. It had sadly become clear to me that the women’s programs are VERY POORLY attended and feel much like our bookstores, magazines, etc., in that they have become a thing of the past.

Now, in the new era of the COVID-19 pandemic isolation, our community is voracious for content. With this in mind, we are creating inventive partnerships with other women’s production companies and businesses. We have an ambitious goal to become an IMDB for Lesbians¬—a central spot for all the Lesbian TV shows, films, series, web-series so that women in the entertainment industry can reach out to promote and pitch themselves to be involved in a production that speaks to their hearts.

Because we have spoken to so many other indie filmmakers as well as filmmakers from our community, we realized we had to find a different way. Didn’t Benjamin Franklin say,“Necessity is the Mother of Invention?”? Well we take that challenge and offer our community a brand new way to be involved in their film library, so they can feel as if they have some ownership as well, as know they will be getting strong quality films BY, FOR & ABOUT WOMEN.

Please check out our sight in the next couple of weeks: www.NicoleConnFilmsGlobal.com

What other projects are you working on currently?

My next feature is called “Do We Not Bleed” and is a very dark piece about two women who meet at a specialized grief group as they both suffered from losing someone close to them in a tragic and/or violent end. They deal with grief in completely opposite ways, an Odd Couple in their Therapy Group, each devoted to staying in their pain. As their individual lives spiral out of control, they grudgingly discover that they are the only ones the other can heal with. It’s a beautiful and haunting love story that digs deep into what happens to a person in that kind of grief, but there are several characters that keep the film light and humorous as well —also playing around with a jazz score on this one!

We’re also looking to co-produce a very fun rom-com “Racing Hearts” about two formula one race car drivers, both women and how they navigate dealing with each other and how to stay relevant in the male-dominated industry of racing.

And in development, is a documentary on “Soul Mates.”

Nicole Conn Films Global is looking for other products to help women get set up and fund to help them connect with other co-production entities. We really want to look at sub-genres for our community; horror, action, thriller, political, sci-fi, you name it. We are dedicated to building this library of our real films made with love, care, and attention by all the filmmakers in our community!!

Why create the NCFG Coming Together, now?

We don’t subscribe to scarcity. Part of our Mission Statement is that we philosophically believe: We are always Better Together, Stronger Together, and Can Achieve Untold Success Together!

There is a universe of women to reach around the world, and there’s more than enough to go around. So come join us, and let’s keep our Cinema Library, strong, vibrant and growing!