Today we’d like to introduce you to A.C. Lamberty.
A.C., can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in the Midwest as the child of two medical professionals and the sister of a high school sports superstar. The feeling of being different was something that hung over me most of my young life, as neither a science whiz nor a particularly good athlete but rather as the “artsy one” in the family. As I grew up, I discovered two very integral parts of my identity: I wanted to be a filmmaker, and I knew I was a lesbian. I moved from Minnesota to Boston for college in 2014, where I studied film at Boston University. I developed my filmmaking style there: colorful, absurdist, explicit, and drawing from the deep well of LGBTQ+ history. I wrote and directed one of my first short films in Boston, HONEY AND JEROME FOREVER!, an exploitation film about a drag queen moonlighting as a contract killer, if that’s any indication of the subject matter I love to write and make films about.
Now, I live in Los Angeles, where I work at the Directors Guild of America and continue to write and make films. My most recent project A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO HANKY CODE is a parody of 1950s sex-ed videos about the gay tradition of flagging; it has screened at top LGBT film festivals NewFest and Roze FilmDagen. I am currently working on a mockumentary webseries about theatre performers, developing a feature screenplay about the AIDS epidemic, and constantly exploring new ways to bring the gay and the profane into my work.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being a filmmaker whose M.O. is highlighting the weird and wonderful parts of being gay has absolutely had its challenges. It can be hard to find the right audience, the right festivals, folks who enjoy explicit, raunchy humor, and even LGBTQ+ folks who have the same vision for queer liberation as I do when my work aims to paint gay and trans people as the funny, sexy, strange, mean, diverse people they can be – just like straight people have been portrayed in millions of ways over millions of different mediums. Coming from a relatively buttoned-up Midwestern family has also proven difficult when it comes to expressing myself and sharing my work. Many of my (very large) extended family members are conservative, my mom is famously quite Catholic, we never really talked about sex or relationships or the LGBT community when growing up. It’s been all about forging my own path and being unashamed about that, taking pride in my identity and how being a queer filmmaker is ultimately bringing a new voice to the art world.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am most known for an extremely stylized, colorful, grotesque/innuendo-heavy filmmaking style. I’m proud of developing this style within the context of queer filmmakers I consider my heroes (John Waters, Pedro Almodovar, Jamie Babbit), using hallmarks of queer cinema to put my own spin on storytelling. What sets me apart from others is my desire to show LGBTQ+ people as the extremely complicated and diverse people they are. Why can’t we have more gay villains, more gay sex, more gay slapstick, more gay futurism in our media? Why are we limited to historical dramas and sob stories? I am proud of my work in that way because it shows that queer folks can be as messy and interesting as the millions of straight people we see in film and TV every day – and that we deserve to be seen as such, not just chalked up to stereotypes.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In the near future, I have my sights set on directing branded content. I’m especially interested in fashion films and would love to direct a wacky, fun campaign for an indie brand with a similar sensibility to mine. I’m currently developing a few different projects, both short- and long-form, including several feature scripts, a webseries, and a short mockumentary that intersects with the adult entertainment industry. And, while we’re still in quarantine, I’m compiling a collection of lesbian quarantine erotica along with some digital art by yours truly, which will be made available online donation-based in the next month or so. That’ll be linked and promoted on my Instagram and website.
Brandon Goco, Liwen Cai