Experiencing Interruptions?

The First Date

This is the 9th episode in "The Pandemic in Pollyville" web series that chronicles stories from the pandemic in silent film style, featuring vintage Polly Pocket toys. "The First Date" follows Lauren from episode 6: "The Wedding" and episode 8: "The Divorce" into her post-married life of faith deconstruction and exploring her attraction to women.

  • Amanda E.K.
    Second Surface
  • Amanda E.K.
    Second Surface
  • Amanda E.K.
  • Glass Cactus
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Romance, Pandemic, LGBTQ
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    iPhone 11
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Amanda E.K.

Amanda is a queer writer, filmmaker and creative coach, and the former editor-in-chief of Denver, Colorado’s Suspect Press—an art & literature magazine and indie book publisher. She writes about sex and relationships for Playlove and OFM, and she’s pitching a memoir about growing up in fundamentalist purity culture & the impact of religious trauma. Her production team—Glass Cactus—has won awards for their first TV pilot and their first short film, Second Surface, which is available on Youtube and Vimeo. Amanda’s work has been featured multiple times on the Low Orbit podcast and on Mortified Live. She’s spoken at Lighthouse Writers Workshop as a queer creative, and she’s been published in Jersey Devil Press, Monologging, Green Briar Review, South Broadway Ghost Society, Suspect Press, and others.

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Director Statement

I made this film, The First Date, as part of a pandemic film series idea I had after digging up my childhood Polly Pocket toys during a visit to my parents’ house in Fall 2020. After making a film about a couple's off-kilter wedding, and another about their divorce, I wanted to continue the narrative of the wife character into her post-married life of faith deconstruction and exploring her attraction to women.

With this project, I’ve blended childhood nostalgia with real world issues, flattening the dynamic Polly Pocket colors to black & white in order to mimic the flattening of our vibrant pre-pandemic lives. Since I needed to find a way to convey dialogue, I decided to tell the stories with intertitles in silent film style - an era of film that I adore, especially Buster Keaton films.

As a former evangelical Christian who got married young and later came out as queer, I chose to focus on the recurring character of Lauren, an Ex-evangelical who’s tired of living her life by the Church's patriarchal standards and wants to learn to trust her own decisions.

The original score by Jack Oberkirsch is inspired by 90s television theme songs such as Friends and Full House to portray an energy of new beginnings.

This series is my first solo film project, and I'm grateful to have had the time during the pandemic to teach myself the software and other elements that went into this. This project has helped keep me sane, focused, and purposeful during The Unknown, and it’s been a way to help me process, in real time, the collective trauma shared throughout the globe.