And Then Came Lola star Ashleigh Sumner is featured in Bound magazine.
Ellen Seidler isn’t in the indie game for the money. But when the filmmaker and her directing partner, Megan Siler, put up $250,000 of their own cash to make “And Then Came Lola,” they expected to at least be able to break even, paying off the debts they incurred during production. Their hopes were dashed when they discovered how extensively “Lola” was being pirated on the Web, damaging the financial prospects of the movie’s DVD and video-on-demand release. Seidler became infuriated, though, when she noticed corporate ads for companies like Google and Netflix popping up all over the illegal sites that carried her film. Back Stage talks to Seidler, who is fighting back on her blog and speaking out against corporate-sponsored Web piracy.
NPR’s Laura Sydell talks to And Then Came Lola co-director Ellen Seidler about her fight against those who profit from online piracy.
Shortly after the release of And Then Came Lola,unauthorized copies of the film began to appear on web sites that specialize in pirated movies and TV. That was frustrating enough but Seidler’s blood temperature went up about ten degrees when she saw the ads surrounding the movie on the websites.
Seidler wrote on her blog PopUpPirates, “The ads were not limited to cheesy online gaming sites, etc. Rather they include a number of legit companies like Sony, Radio Shack, Porsche, AT&T, Chase, Auto-Zone and even Netflix.
Check out photographer Mollie McClure’s time-lapse video of Ashleigh Sumner painting in her LA studio. Ashleigh was the star of “And Then Came Lola” and Mollie’s photographs are featured in the film.
Published on Jul 1, 2012 by mcclureimages
L.A. based artist Ashleigh Sumner creates in her studio over a three hour time period. A time-lapse is set-up to capture the process…every 4 seconds a frame is captured, the shutter speed was reduced to 1/4th of a second so that her movement, which is such a strong aspect of her style, can really be felt.
If you haven’t already seen her work, go find it.
Here, I’ll help you out… www.sumnerstudio.com
Out Actress Ashleigh Sumner Arrives in “And Then Came Lola”: Autostraddle Interview
Ashleigh Sumner is the adorable, every-girl star of the sexy lesbian romantic comedy, And Then Came Lola. Jess chats with her about her first on-camera sex scenes, seeing herself on the big screen, LA vs. San Francisco, gays & superheroes, and her artwork.
Out lesbian actress Ashleigh Sumner is mega-hot and stars as the title character in the new free-wheelin’ lesbian romantic comedy And Then Came Lola alongside Jill Bennett & Cathy DeBuono. This isn’t just another coming out story, it’s a funny guilty pleasure indie flick set in the super gay-ed up streets of San Francisco. And this time, writer/directors of the film went out of their way to cast lead actresses who were all openly gay — amazing, right?
A colourful, dizzying mash-up of German cult classic Run
Lola Run made entirely by lesbians and starring lesbians.
And Then Came Lola is a low budget feature film from San
Francisco that has been winning accolades at LGBT (Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) festivals across the globe.
The film sees Lola on a desperate trio of bids to get some important
photographs to her girlfriend on time because if she doesn’t their
relationship will get the chop. There’s nothing really original about the
story and the filmmakers are fully aware of the movie’s source
material, even down to the animated sequences which they gleefully
ape. What’s refreshing is that everyone involved in the film wanted to
make an out and proud lesbian film, set in a city seemingly populated
only by gays and dykes.
The star of new lesbian rom-com And Then Came Lola is causing ripples of excitement through the queer film industry. 30-year old Ashleigh Sumner plays the titular character alongside an all-lesbian cast in a part writer-directors Ellen Seidler and Megan Siler say she was born to play.
Rachael Scott met with the multi-talented film, TV and theatre actress who is also a successful painter during the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival to chat about her breakthrough role.
What was it that attracted you to the part of Lola?
I was very interested in having the chance to play a comedic role because most of the parts I play are very hard drama. The CSI’s, Crossing Jordan – I’ve been on all of those and someone’s dead or something. The theatre that I’ve done is mostly drama, too, but I actually kind of think I’m pretty funny. [Laughs].
So, I was drawn to the opportunity to use those skills, but also the chance to be given the lead in a film. I’d never been given that opportunity before. I’d played leads in theatre all the time and, for a lot of the time as an actor, that’s really hard to do when you’re unknown. They took a chance and I wanted to see if I was up to the challenge.
Can you tell me where your character is in her life when the film starts?
I think my character is where a lot of people are in their late-20s and early-30s. I think that there’s a shift that starts to happen about that time of life for many people. Some people it’s earlier and some people it’s later, but I think you start to examine what a relationship is. What kind of stable relationship you would like, if you are ready for one.
I think part of that is when you become a real partner, when you are ready for that challenge. It’s showing up and what that is. Personally speaking, there are some growing pains involved in that and I think that’s where my character is. She’s figuring it out and I think when you meet the person who’s right for you, you realise that you want your best to be even better.
Jill Bennett’s acting career started with roles in Beverley Hills 90210 and she went on to star in beefcake supernatural soap opera Dante’s Cove. She’s since embraced internet TV with a vengeance producing We Have to Stop Now with her partner Cathy DeBuono and videoblog The Violet Underground for shewired.com, where she tackles a multitude of gay issues.
The sexy actress stars in lesbian romantic comedy And Then Came Lola and she told Rachael Scott about working on the film, what it’s like to be one of the few out actresses working in Hollywood and her thoughts on gay cinema today.
So how did you come to work on the film?
Ellen Seidler contacted me through MySpace actually! She sent me the script and explained that it was a low budget project, by and for the lesbian community. She expressed that they wanted to hire within the community, which was a big draw for me. The rest, as they say, is history.
What appealed to you about the script?
It was a lot of fun – no coming out story, no dying of cancer at the end. Just a fun, sexy story for women. We need more of those types of movies!
What was it like working with Ellen and Megan?
They were fantastic – they did their best to take care of us during the whole shoot.
Ashleigh Sumner stars as Lola, who has been something of a train wreck in her previous relationships but she wants to have something more serious with her girlfriend Casey (Jill Bennett). Casey calls her one day in a panic asking her to pick up some photos for a client presentation and to meet her in an hour at a bar across town. Lola is known for being unreliable and late for everything so she knows this is her chance to make things right. She goes on a wild crazy journey across San Francisco in a series of comical situations that she both causes and is a victim of. Lola’s former lover Jen (Jessica Graham) who runs the photo developing store where she is getting the photos, causes Lola think back to how things went wrong with Jen and how not to repeat the same mistakes with Casey. What adds to the tension is that Casey’s client is Danielle (Cathy DeBuono), a sexy Italian woman that Casey might have a past with. Once she arrives at the bar with the photos, it doesn’t go as Lola hoped and things are ruined between her and Casey. The next morning Lola wakes up again like it was a dream and it all happens again but Lola can try and make it right….and she then of course wakes up later again and to get a final third chance.
So what was it about Run Lola Run that inspired you to write and direct your own version?
Megan: I think we both thought it was a great film obviously, but it affords you a lot of freedom to play with the media. The structure’s like Groundhog Day and this idea of doing something over and over and trying to get it right seemed perfect for a lesbian romp.
Ellen: What you alluded to really opened up the narrative possibilities and when you’re dealing with a low budget film, the fact that you can have great animation and integrate stills and kind of play with it in that way, it allows you some creative opportunities that you might not normally have.
Obviously it’s a hat tip to Run Lola Run and we named our character Lola because we didn’t want to pretend that it wasn’t, but it’s a very different film in many, many ways. We definitely thought the structure would be fun. It’s about having a fun time. It’s a little more up than the original.
Megan: Also, as a romantic comedy or a romp, it sounds a little fantastical. I think the pastiche of media and the whole kind of mixing of it allows you to be playful.
How did you go about casting the film? Did you have specific actresses in mind?
Ellen: Not initially. We did some casting in San Francisco and we found one actress up there called Jenoa Harlow who’s an out lesbian and plays the girl in the park with the dog. She’s wonderful but there really isn’t the pool of acting talent in the Bay area of San Francisco.
Megan: Ellen and I really wanted to work local.
Ellen: So we went down to LA and had open castings. We were really determined after that to find some actors who were actually lesbians, so we did some targeted castings and that’s how we found most of the people in our cast. We thought it was important for the success of this film that we had actors who understood the lesbian vibe.
We had a number of actors come through who were talented enough but it just seemed as if it would have been somewhat of a stretch to embrace the role they were going to be asked to play. And the sexuality, there’s a lot of that in the film and for them to be comfortable with that is a hurdle. Plus, I think it’s just great that we can have talented out lesbians in our film and show off their talent.
Megan: It’s also great for us because they understood and felt very supportive of the project. It ended up being a very collaborative film. The more people who are onboard and want to support this kind of project really helps independent filmmakers.
Loosely based on Tom Tykwer’s 1998 hit Run Lola Run, Ellen Seidler and Megan Siler’s version tells the same story three times over with differing outcomes, just like its predecessor. The writer-director duo pay homage to the original whilst giving it their own style and a few twists.
Such as the fact that And Then Came Lola is written, directed, funded, produced and acted by out lesbians. No mean feat within an industry where most people would struggle to name more than a handful of gay actresses who aren’t in the closet and working in Hollywood. Go here to read full review.
The relationship-challenged Lola (Ashleigh Sumner, a dead ringer for Jodie Foster) sprints around San Francisco to prove her fealty to girlfriend Casey (Jill Bennett) before Casey can get seduced away by a new business partner. Although it preserves the frenetic tripartite set-up of Tom Tykwer’s 1998 film, with Lola embarking on her journey three times (each with a different outcome), the lesbian-ified version of Run Lola Run replaces the crime and money with intense discussions about commitment. (Is that a rib nudge?)Read more: http://thephoenix.com
Deja vu takes on a whole new meaning in the romantic comedyThen Came Lola. Filled with wall to wall pop music as well as vibrant performances, “Lola” is a lesbian romp done right.
The film is buoyed by a charming performance in Ashleigh Sumner, who plays Lola. She literally flails across the screen, running and panting up and down the hills of San Francisco, exuding a knack for physical comedy. She’s not exactly a likable character, but Sumner engages us thoroughly in her plight… guaranteed worthwhile entertainment for a couple of hours.
And Then Came Lola is a sugar rush of a lesbian movie.
Lola (Sumner) is a laid back photographer who’s on the verge of a romantic breakthrough with her new girlfriend, Casey (Bennett), who is the straitlaced Bert to Lola’s Ernie. As the film begins, we witness a fantastic sex scene between the two dissolve into a dream, as Lola’s phone interrupts her reverie. It’s Casey, and she needs Lola to pick up a set of all-important prints for a crucial business meeting with Danielle (DeBuono), who also happens to be Casey’s ex-girlfriend.
Lola runs out the door — quite literally — and encounters a tragic-comedy of obstacles keeping her from being punctual the one time she needs to be.
What follows is part Run Lola Run and part Groundhog Day. Lola encounters everything from her ex, to a feisty meter maid, an angry dog, a runaway subway car and the very possessive Danielle on her way to Casey’s aid. If this doesn’t sound frantic enough, keep in mind that the events have a way of occurring multiple times, with several outcomes — and that the filmmakers use a wild variety of cinematic techniques to keep things moving and shaking.
Lola breaks into animated sequences every so often, depicting an exaggerated version of the live action Lola’s hilariously bad luck. These little flights of whimsy are charming and cute, if a little jarring. There is also plenty of “from the couch” footage taken of the various characters talking about their feelings, their sex lives and their relationships, all under the guise of being in therapy.
Finally, Lola’s inner thoughts are presented via photographic montages (she is a photographer, after all), with great comic effect. In one scene, after being shunned by a saucy meter maid, she imagines a series of pictures showing Lola as a dominatrix, getting her revenge on the suddenly submissive meter maid.
These sequences are among the very best in the film — they’re funny, campy and wildly imaginative.
What Go Fish did for lesbian independent cinema in the 90s — with its edgy style and sharp dialogue — And Then Came Lola will do for it now, ushering in a new era of lesbian filmmaking. This groundbreaking feature takes the classic Sapphic romantic comedy and flips it on its ear with stylistic storytelling, quick wit and perfect casting. Inspired by the modern German classic Run, Lola, Run, this brilliant story is told in three different scenarios where sexy, commitment-phobic photographer Lola (Ashleigh Sumner) bounces around like a pinball through San Francisco transporting important designs for her drop-dead gorgeous lover Casey (Jill Bennett, Dante’s Cove) who is a marketing executive on the verge of landing a big advertising campaign through her seductive ex-girlfriend Danielle (Cathy DeBuono, Out at the Wedding). But relying on Lola — who is easily distracted — is increasingly difficult: Lola not only has a hard time arriving to appointments on time she has also had difficulty committing to a woman. There’s something about Casey, though, that drives this artist crazy, and this job is vital to the future of the relationship. Off and running, Lola dodges (multiple times) a meter maid, an unstable woman with a big dog, and her own ex (Philly’s own Jessica Graham.) Directors Megan Siler and Ellen Seidler have brilliantly crafted a engrossing feature complete with beautiful cinematography, animation, still photography, and high-energy soundtrack — all while highlighting the fun yet volatility of dyke culture. Tick tock, don’t be late or you’ll miss one hell of a ride. — Kelly Burkhardt
Déjà vu takes on a whole new meaning in the romantic comedy “Then Came Lola.” Filled with wall-to-wall pop music as well as vibrant performances, “Lola” is a lesbian romp done right.
The plot essentially resembles that of the hit film “Run, Lola, Run.” Lola, a forgetful and aloof individual has had some very tough times with relationships in the past. Often accused of “checking out” emotionally, she certainly can’t keep a woman to save her life. When a new love interest, Casey (Jill Bennett), asks Lola to rush photographs for a very important client, the pressure’s on as to whether Lola will pull through.
Things get tricky when the film reveals the central plot structure as a dream sequence Lola must relive over and over. She wakes up and gets the same call from Casey asking her to rush photos for a client. Then along the way, everything but the kitchen sink gets thrown at her. Dog attacks, car troubles, ex-drama, crazy tourists, etc. On the first attempt, she fails miserably and loses her girlfriend to another woman. However, fate is determined to give Lola chance after chance until she learns how to get it right.
“And Then Came Lola” is fast paced, energetic and fun. The plot is hardly original, but the whole thing is pulled off in a fresh, sharp manner. Ashleigh Sumner is charming as Lola — she literally flails across the screen, running and panting up and down the hills of San Francisco — exuding a knack for physical comedy.
“And Then Came Lola” is highly recommended.
Ashleigh Sumner’s lead breakthrough role occurs in the new indie lesbian romantic comedy “And Then Came Lola,” which is loosely inspired by German arthouse classic “Run Lola Run.” Her performance in the independent film has received much attention including Advocate Magazine’s “One to Watch” honor at the 2009 OutFest Film Festival.
Ashleigh’s film work includes a lead role in the AFI short, “Mother,” which received awards at the Cannes Film Festival, Seattle International, and Florida Film Festival, along with being an official selection at AFI Fest, and receiving a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Her performance earned a Best Actress Nomination at LA’s Method Fest. Additional work includes appearances in the indie film, “The Hammer” and a lead role in Film Independents Directors Lab project, “Directed by Dorothy Arzner.” Ashleigh’s television credits include appearances on “Criminal Minds,” “CSI,” “Crossing Jordan” and a supporting role in the CBS television movie “The Locket” starring Vanessa Redgrave.
IFQ recently spoke with Ashleigh as she wrapped the 2009 film festival circuit with her indie gem “And Then Came Lola,” which recently inked a distribution deal and will be released by Wolfe Video in Spring 2010.
Women are also behind the camera for And Then Came Lola. The film opens promisingly, with a pair of gorgeous young dykes making out in a stairwell, and it just gets better from there. Directed by Ellen Seidler and Megan Siler, this 70-minute feature transforms cult fave Run, Lola, Runinto a lesbian romp through San Francisco. Who doesn’t love the idea of a story having three different endings from which to choose? That’s the premise of the film, with photographer Lola in a desperate race across town to deliver a critical set of photographs to her designer girlfriend, Casey.
Each of the three scenarios has its own set of vignettes with characters like a butch meter maid, who appears by turns cruel, simpatico, and turned-on by Lola. Interspersed throughout are witty cartoon segments a la Run, Lola, Run, comical postcard images of the characters, and psychiatric sessions in which the girls and their friends and lovers act up and rage on.
The dialogue from these sophisticated women crackles, as when Lola’s ex laments their lousy sex life: “When we met, she said she was immune to lesbian bed death.” And Then Came Lola has something so many gay indies lack—skillful acting. Underneath the clever comedy is a sexy, affecting romance that deserves play outside the gay festival circuit.