Make Out Party: A New Queer, Campy, Sex Positive Film Is Crowdfunding

What’s not to love about camp, queerness, and positive representations of sexuality (and some seriously INSANE makeup and costume talent)? Make Out Party looks like everything I love about John Waters and 60s sexploitation, but with a warmth and familiarity that’s evocative of a night out with friends at a DIY warehouse party.

Filmmaker Emily Esperanza captures what it’s like to be a queer young adult in a way that other filmmakers have yet to grasp. Her debut featurette (which is currently crowd funding) is a love letter to the underground communities of Chicago, non-traditional romanticism, and sexuality and other worldly (but totally relatable) aesthetics which showcases the great and diverse talents of Chicago’s artistic community. This story follows three unique characters in a comedy of errors as they try to get to get to their friend’s makeout party; sounds super fun, right?

“From meanie alien greaser gangs, to a pair of tough roller-skaters, a conniving librarian and a disgruntled waitress, our heroes sure have their work cut out for them. In the end, Make Out Party reminds us that we are all wild wonderful wackos who deserve a French kiss,” states Esperanza. Yes please.

The Kid (Julia Zinn) and Madame X (Samantha Hollice)

As we know, representation of queer, trans and othered people in film is hard to find; especially in fun, light-hearted genres. Often times these representations are denigrated to tokenizations, or reserved for controversial and depressive subject matters. Esperanza’s portrayals are authentic, funny, and compassionate — because they come from real people.

Esperanza relates, “In a society that values violence and brutality, sexuality in cinema is often demonized and censored, while the former is held in high regard or worse, normalized. If sexuality is celebrated in media, more often than not it is a sexuality that caters to a cis white male audience or fantasy. Make Out Party challenges these cinematic sexual taboos, by featuring queer, femme, and gender non-conforming people as the main characters, and glorifying the act of making out, an activity generally regarded as juvenile, impolite, or adolescent. However, this tension is ultimately turned into a joyous act by inviting all to participate, free from judgement or danger.”

Mary Woah (Molly Hewitt)

So we already know Make Out Party is going to be amazing and important but how can we bring it to life?

According to Esperanza: “Make Out Party wrapped filming in January of this year and we have since been devoted to the post-production process. Full Spectrum Features (Signature MoveChicagoland Shorts), has recently come on to co-produce MOP. FSF is a 501c3 nonprofit that focuses on diversity and inclusivity in cinema and highlights work made by POC, queer, and female filmmakers. Their recent production, Signature Move, world premiered at SXSW and went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest in Los Angeles. FSF is the fiscal sponsor for the Make Out Party Seed & Spark crowdfunding campaign. The funds we raise will help pay for editing, sound design, color correction, festival fees, and distribution costs.” 

Let’s make this party real!

If you can’t afford to throw some dollars at this project, like and follow on Facebook!

Photo Credit: Michael Zarowny

Emily Esperanza is a filmmaker, artist, and curator whose passions lie in discarded aesthetics, liminal spaces, guerrilla approaches, and unconventional narrative. Her recent videos, collected under the title, WRETCHED WOMAN, investigate duration, ritual, sensuality, and archetype, specifically relating to representations of femininity. She is the founder of WRETCHED NOBLES, an immersive monthly film/video series & shorts program. Emily currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.