Private Project

Mz. Movies

In the summer of 2001, Ami, an awkward preteen, spends her summer trying to catalog every film available at her local video rental store. Little does she know, this queer owned business is a gathering place for the local riot grrrl community, where Ami is able to discover herself and find a chosen family.

  • Lulenoxx
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Queer, Coming of Age
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Finish Line Script Competition

    Honorable Mention
  • The Macoproject Film Festival
    Brooklyn, New York
    Official Selection
  • Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition

    February 3, 2022
  • Athena Film Festival
    New York, NY
    March 14, 2022
    Writer's Lab
Writer Biography - Lulenoxx

Lulenoxx (they/she) is a queer filmmaker based in New York City. Their work focuses mainly on the liberation of queer characters and the celebration of all things strange, while spanning the genres of horror, comedy and drama. Their short screenplay Mermaids Have No Tears was featured on the Top 10 Unproduced Shorts List at FilmQuest Film Festival Awards and nominated for Best Short Screenplay. Their television pilot Ethical Non-Monogamy was an Official Selection at The Diversity Showcase and at the New York International Film Awards and their feature film Mz. Movies was an Official Selection at the Macoproject Film Festival and a Honorable Mention at the Finish Line Script Competition. They are alumni of Director's Lab Lincoln Center, Sundance CoLab’s Directing Class, and is a practitioner of Theater of the Oppressed.

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Writer Statement

This film is a love letter to cinema and the short lived magic of video stores. This story also explores what place film has had for the queer community and how representation has shifted throughout the years. The main themes I am interested in exploring are the concepts of found family, art as a way of exploring identity, and the dark sides of childhood. I hope that the audience will be reminded of the complexities of growing up and how the media plays such a crucial role in self discovery and self actualization. The audience for this film are people who grew up in the early 2000’s, particularly queer folks who came of age in this time where community was vital and just a little harder to find.
It is important that we tell this story now in order to confront a quickly disappearing history of queer folks who don’t live on coasts. Queer folks that live in the middle of the country live full lives, have communities and have unique struggles that deserve the screen time. This film is for them and those nostalgic for a time where connection felt just a little more organic.

Personal Connection:
Between the ages of 10 and 13, I spent hours at a video rental store. For some reason, the people who worked there seemed to take pity on me and allowed me to do two things. The first was to read the back of every VHS tape and write down the ratings in a notebook. I don’t really know where the initial idea came from, but I’ve always liked lists and collecting knowledge. I also had a strange dichotomy, I was being raised in a repressive environment in the middle of Minnesota, but exposed to a lot of content at a young age, due to a lack of parental supervision. This led to an obsession with respectability politics that I think impacts my work to this day. I researched the rating system and became fascinated by the connection between the cover of a film’s VHS tape, the rating and the content itself, which was often at odds. The other thing the staff at the video store let me do is watch movies for hours. All I wanted to do was explore the world of film, and this setting gave me the opportunity to explore a diverse catalogue. The staff got to a point where they would carefully curate lists for me that exposed me to a wide variety of well known films, especially horror and foreign films. I have those kind employees to thank for cultivating my decidedly pretentious film taste and helping me expand my mind past blockbusters, to appreciate cinema as an artform.
The other major connection I have to this story is the connection between biological family and found family. The family relationships within this script very much mirror my own. They are examples of the narcissistic abuse I lived through, making my identity very unstable within my home. The adults who showed me the true meaning of love and family were my queer mentors. These mentors gave me space to be myself unapologetically and to be messy when I had to be perfect at home. They were the ones who shaped my world views and helped me make the connection between politics and art. These relationships also gave me the power to set boundaries with my biological family, to seek out a community that I could belong in and be held accountable to while giving me a roadmap to find them anywhere I went. I have continued this tradition, by mentoring queer youth, holding space and creating content for their own unique discoveries. My childhood was strange and uncomfortable in many ways. My body matured before my mind, I was often treated like an object rather than a child and I was queer in a world that tried it’s best to convince me I wasn’t. These complexities are both unique to me and universal to girls growing up all over the globe. Ami, the 13 year old lead character of the movie, proves to these children that their experience is real and survival is possible.