How I Create:
My name is Kelley Van Dilla. I am a transgender writer and director of film, theatre, and TV. The core of my creativity comes from my lived experience as a transgender person as well as being the child of a mother with bipolar disorder.
I’ve been burnt out by the film and TV industry and have left it multiple times over the last decade. It is grueling and inaccessible for many. Its structures, traditions, and capitalist core often sideline access needs, human well-being, and ethical consideration of all involved, especially historically marginalized and oppressed people. It is an incredibly extractive and harmful industry.
And yet I cannot help but return again and again. I love film. I love this art form. I have so many stories I want to experience and so many that I want to tell.
In the last year and a half, I’ve begun to understand my purpose is. I want to create a world where we can make films that are process oriented, healthy, and healing.
Working within an industry that is both historically and habitually extractive, I'm investing in new modalities of film making that center our human needs, in body, spirit, and emotion.
Without being exclusionary, I'm prioritizing creating communities of storytellers with lived experiences that empower us to tell truthful and resonant stories about historically underrepresented lives.
With my collaborators, we are asking and answering the following questions:
How do we tell positive, sexy, trans and queer-centered stories in ways that share an individual's lived experience, honor the actors and filmmakers present, and also provide something that is relatable, non-fetishizing, and non-objectifying?
How can our films be a healing process for everyone involved?
We will build our film making foundations through working with a LGBTQIA+ intimacy coordinators, rehearsals, and fostering humane filming environments that center and prioritize the mental health, capacity, and access needs of our cast and crew.
Practically this will impact how we build our teams, production schedules, the length of shooting days, and how we consistently check in with everyone involved, ensuring that we've laid the groundwork necessary to empower healthy communication practices.
We're dedicated to prioritizing production processes that are healthy and safe for everyone.