A film about the love between two men or about the love affair between three women: they exist (

Call Me by Your Name

and

The Favorite

).

But in general, there are very few great movies with a main character who is not heterosexual and where orientation is not part of the storyline.

How did that happen?

Director Vincent Tilanus (photo), who made the short film

Marlon Brando

,

among other things

, thinks that money plays a major role, especially in Hollywood.

"You would ideally like Disney and Marvel to make these kinds of films, but they get their money from the world stage. I think studios are afraid to say their main character is gay, because then in countries like China and Russia you immediately become blocked."

Maud Wiemeijer (28), who wrote the screenplay for the

Anne+

series

and also for the film of the same name, suspects that there are other things at play besides money.

"Most great filmmakers are straight and make films from their own frame of reference. When they portray queer characters, they often don't feel authentic."

Striking: in recent years many lesbian costume dramas have appeared.

Examples include

The World to Come

,

Ammonite

and

Carol

.

"It's a format that works: white, well-known actresses who play lesbian women in a very dramatic setting," says Wiemeijer.

Incidentally, she does not mind if heterosexual women play a lesbian.

"Not at all, but there is an imbalance. There are a lot of queer actors and actresses who don't get certain roles."

From left to right: Maud Wiemeijer, Hanna van Vliet (lead actress Anne+) and Valerie Bisscheroux (director Anne+).

From left to right: Maud Wiemeijer, Hanna van Vliet (lead actress Anne+) and Valerie Bisscheroux (director Anne+).

Photo: BrunoPress

Freer as a filmmaker when profit is not the starting point

According to 27-year-old Tilanus, the representation of LGBTI characters in films cannot be compared with Hollywood in the Netherlands, which has only a small film industry. "In the Netherlands, films generally don't make a profit. But that's not the goal either. I hope that's why we can take more steps here. As a filmmaker, I think you're freer to try things when artistic expression and not profit is the starting point ."

Tilanus himself wanted

to make a film

with

Marlon Brando

with gay characters, in which he looked beyond their sexuality.

"It's about the friendship between queer people, but their love and friendship goes much further than that. I have some very special friendships myself and I wanted to focus on those, but it had to be that their 'gayness' could exist in the film."

According to Tilanus, the latter sometimes goes wrong.

"After transphobic expressions, JK Rowling (writer of the Harry Potter books, ed.) has tried to sell in retrospect that Dumbledore was also gay, but it is of course very easy to say something like that afterwards. It must therefore be allowed to exist in the story."

According to Wiemeijer,

Anne+

arose from the need for light-hearted and positive representation of the LGBTI community.

"I didn't just want drama and sadness and difficult coming outs, but to show that it can be a lot of fun in the Netherlands to be queer."

Dreaming of a blockbuster with queer characters

After his short film, Tilanus also wants to make his first feature film.

"I'm thinking about that now," says the director.

"I will certainly incorporate the way I grew up as a gay. Then you start thinking: what can you do with that? I want to tell something special about the experiences of my main character. I have to go to the writing desk, but that film will come ."

Wiemeijer dreams of a blockbuster with queer characters. "A kind of

heist

movie with queer people of all identities." But

Anne+ will

first appear

in cinemas and then worldwide on Netflix. "An exact date is not yet known, but it will be this year anyway."

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