"Trumped" by Lara Everly
written by director, writer, actor Lara Everly
T-minus 24 hours to one of the most important presidential elections in history. The air is charged right now. I can feel it wherever I go, like I might burst into a heated debate with someone on Facebook or a stranger on the street. This presidential campaign has fueled my girl power ride to the next level. All the sexism and inequality about the film industry are getting under my skin in unpalatable ways. I'm speaking up about these differences louder and louder, and sometimes I'm supported, and sometimes I'm burned.
It's out of this passion to protect women's rights and voices that I decided to write and direct "Trumped" - which was released this week on Refinery29's comedy channel Riot. "Trumped" is about women's reproductive rights, where conservative politicians have taken hostage of a women’s reproductive system. Sarah Palin hunts her eggs, Mike Pence golfs in her cervix and Donald Trump builds a wall around her uterus. The surrealist comedy is set in a future where Trump is elected President starring the politically passionate and brilliant actress, Mimi Kennedy (Midnight in Paris, Mom).
We shot this before the locker room talk leak, but I'm calling this my pussy grabs back response as it literally explores what would happen if Trump grabbed your pussy and wound up all the way inside your uterus. The video is my feminist fight club call to arms to vote and protect the freedom of our lady parts. "Trumped" was a collaborative labor of love with women in all key creative positions. The project not only supports women's rights in the gynecological chair, but women behind the camera as well.
I became a mom this year and while my son is hands down the best thing I've produced and I'm more inspired than ever, the entertainment industry feels increasingly uphill. Finding the balancing act between a career in film and being a mom is no small feat. Ageism is legitimately real for us actresses and I witness daily the walls women directors encounter that men don't. My best weapon to is gender disparity is to write and keep sharing the female perspective. And what's more female than a transvaginal ultrasound?!
There is a systemic lack of trust of women in the film industry. Only 8% of directors are female. I didn't choose this career because I get a high off the gender imbalance, I chose it for the love of the craft. That said, because female directors are such steep minority and we don't get equal pay, my job inherently makes me political. As women in film, we have a responsibility to not only hire other talented women but to tell our stories.
So much of mainstream media is created under the male gaze. Film and comedy are powerful tools, and with it we can disrupt the way women are seen. Let's help Hilary Clinton disrupt the definition of President of the United States of America by becoming the first female President. Let's help her be the 2%.
Lara Everly is director, writer and actress in Los Angeles focusing on female-centric comedy. She's currently playing the film fest circuit and touring with Lunafest with her short doc Free to Laugh about the power of comedy post prison. Keep an eye out for more of work being released this month on Refinery29's comedy channel RIOT.