Interview with Filmmaker Juel D. Lane (TOUCH & AGREE)

TOUCH & AGREE was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the November 2020 LGBT Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

It was important because I needed to add to the global conversation of representation of BLACK LGBTQIA films. My first visible black gay male figure was Leroy ( gene Anthony ray) from Fame in the 80s. I could relate to him. Then in the 90s, shifting to Marlon Riggs tongues untied film. From the opening sonically spell, “brother to brother to brother” I knew he was making a call to action with this representation of defining and showcasing black men loving each other. Next, in the early 2000’s Patrick Ian Polk, “Noah Arc” was a self reflection of more visible gay men navigating and it was so what me and my friends were dealing with. And then you have moonlight by Barry Jenkins that came busting in with more visibility to be seen worldwide. Every film, web series, have a lot of representation ( whether it’s seen or not ) but folks are staying consistent with it .

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took about 3 months

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Melanin intimacy

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

My goal was to film in the summer, but my gut said do it early. Glad I did, because it was right before the pandemic.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

My heart was filled with a million smiles. Love that they got some of the conceptual aspects of the film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

It actually started form a body of work I created for the concert dance world. It was later performed by the second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The five Heartbeats. My favorite!!!!

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s a great platform for every type of film and its at the palm of your hand.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Like this and Like that by Monica!

10. What is next for you? A new film?

2020 has been a curse & blessing at the same time. It allowed us to dive deeper into or creativity but also gives permission to breathe and stay patient. So my answer is something creative!!!


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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