Interview with Winning Screenwriter Rachel van Geenhoven (I, Lolita)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Rachel van Geenhoven: Sexuality in cinema is so often centered around the experience of men. To the point that there’s a term for the was the camera looks at women. “I, Lolita” reclaims a story that completely erased the girl who was supposedly at its center, and then looks at one of the more complex and controversial ways that women assert their power over their own sexuality. It’s sort of rare that feminism and sex-positivity go hand-in-hand, and this film begins to bridge that gap.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romantic comedy, coming-of-age, dramedy

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

I’ve never seen anything quite like it on the screen! There are so few stories that center women’s sexuality, or sisterhood, and the overlap in particular is quite rare! That aside, it’s also just funny and weird and relatable and sexy.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Empowering, sex-positive

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Probably “Groundhog Day”! Haha

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I wrote a short version of it years ago, and it became something close to the current version in revisions, but i kept revising and revising until it was unrecognizable, and the resulting script held my attention for several years. When I found the draft that led to this script, it was very exciting. I had all but forgotten about this iteration and it was already almost complete.

7. How many stories have you written?

Begun, or finished? A million. And…hmmm. Dozens.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Most recently it’s “Masterpiece (acoustic version)” by Big Thief. Ever? Maybe “Sadie” by Joanna Newsom.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

I had a new infant! I did all of the revisions on my phone while he was sleeping on me.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Getting everyone in the world to a sustainable existence.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

It’s pretty easy to use!

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I realized that the major contests are still plagued by the same problems that have kept women out of the spotlight for so long. Whether judges realize it or not, their idea of good cinema is shaped and limited by what has come before. I wanted to find something specifically looking to fight those prejudices and elevate our voices and stories. I’m so pleased that this particular story landed! The voiceover reading was excellent and I have high hopes that this contest will connect me with people who would like to bring this kind of story to life!

Watch the Screenplay Reading:


The fantasy is reborn in a sixteen year old Mormon girl dying to “lose her innocence” to her older, risk-averse tutor. Fuck the Humbert Humberts of the world. This Lolita is telling her own story.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
SUSAN/MARIETTA: Victoria Urquart
COP 2/ROBERT: Shawn Devlin
COP: Sean Ballantyne

2 thoughts on “Interview with Winning Screenwriter Rachel van Geenhoven (I, Lolita)

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