WEEK IN WOMEN: Sonía Sebastian directs THE KISS LIST – Brandy McDonnell reports

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Award-winning The Virgin of Highland Park helmer Sonía Sebastian is directing the LGBTQ+ coming-of-age story The Kiss List.

Screenwriter Ximena García Lecuona adapted Sara Jo Cluff’s young-adult book of the same name. The movie wrapped filming earlier this month in and around Louisville, Kentucky.

“What attracted me about this project was the simple, punchy premise – a girl makes a list of the guys she wants to kiss,” said García Lecuona in a statement. “I took this idea and decided to make the protagonist bisexual instead, and have the list include more genders. Once you remove gender roles from the equation, what else changes? For example, it felt truer to my experience to write Camille as awkward and ingenious; she never gets the whole ‘love’ thing figured out. After all, in high school, who does?”

The film follows high-school student Camille Collins, who finds herself in a social media spin-out after her crush, Dylan, spreads rumors that she’s a bad kisser. So, Camille creates a “kiss list” to prove Dylan wrong and find her one true love. Her plan derails early and often, with social media meltdowns and backlash from classmates, her best friend, Liam, and her single mom, who struggles with her daughter’s bisexuality.

MarVista Entertainment developed the feature film under the direction of the company’s Head of Creative Affairs Hannah Pillemer from Cluff’s 2019 book from Monster Ivy Publishing. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell writes features and reviews movies, music, events and the arts for The Oklahoman, Oklahoma's statewide newspaper, and NewsOK.com, the state's largest news Web site. Raised on a farm near Lindsay, Okla., she started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school's 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News, and worked for the local weekly through high school. She attended Oklahoma State University, where she worked for The Daily O'Collegian and earned her journalism degree with honors. She worked for three years at small Oklahoma dailies The Edmond Sun and Shawnee News-Star. In 2002, she joined The Oklahoman as a features reporter, writing about movies, the arts, events, families and nonprofits. She moved to The Oklahoman's entertainment desk in 2007. In 2004, she won a prestigious Journalism Fellowship in Child & Family Policy from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Along with her membership in AWFJ, she also is a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. Brandy writes The Week In Women blog for AWFJ.org.