Butch Jamie
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Butch Jamie

USA, 2007, 84 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Gender, Lesbian
Program: U.S. Features
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Michelle Ehlen

Rejection and prejudice are ubiquitous in the life of any actor. For Jamie Klein (Michelle Ehlen, who also directs), a butch lesbian thespian determined to make it in Hollywood, getting cast in a role turns into a comic quest for gendered enlightenment.
“Butch Jamie” dresses up as “Femme Jamie” for auditions but, after a series of rejections and taunting from her archrival Harold (a svelte black cat with a budding acting career), she decides to show up to an audition as herself — sans presson nails or feminine mystique mantra audio CDs. When she gets an unexpected call-back, she’s offered the leading role in a low-budget movie — as Steve. Despite initial indignation, she accepts the male lead and embarks on a delightful caper, dredging the murky depths of truth, gender identity and sexual roles. Along the way, she gets men’s bathroom etiquette tips from her best friend, deflects with aplomb a German dyke’s jealous slurs, seeks Delphic counsel from her naively astute bisexual housemate and is seduced by a recovering lesbian who believes Jamie is a man. With original songs by Harold Squire and Ehlen, the soundtrack also provides an intermittently raucous and comedic voice-of-God narrative to Jamie’s predicaments.
Winner of the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film at OUTFEST 2007, Michelle Ehlen’s first feature showcases her myriad talents as a writer, actor, comic, producer, director and lyricist. — STEFANI CHARREN



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