[Photos provided by Anike Bay]
Khaos Da Rapper mentioned Girls Like Us! in a past article and YLR was finally able to catch up to Anike Bay, the producer & director of the film. YLR fully supports fam who works their a** off to create real images of us out there. We asked some questions to delve into the body of work and work still in progress with Anike and here’s the answers we got! Don’t forget to watch the movie and support. Watch vid below!
How did the film, “Girls Like Us” come about?
I was inspired by Tyler Perry! Well, I was working on “GIRLS LIKE US! Season 1,” the book when I read somewhere in a magazine that he had written 100 episodes for “Meet the Browns.” Well, I thought to myself,” Hey, that’s pretty cool what he did and all, but I can do that too!” So, I started writing “GIRLS LIKE US!” as if it was a drama series and here we are 32 episodes and 3 seasons later…Now,I’m currently working on ‘Girls Like Us! Season 4 and 5, The Books!
Then, I decided to produce the film after writing the book because of requests from my Fans and supporters,but also because, I’d realized that there wasn’t any LGBT movies or drama series on TV or cable that depicted African American women in any setting and with me being a big fan of Queer as Folks, The L-Word, and Noah’s Ark. . . . I knew that something needed to be done!
That’s why I always say,”Don’t Talk About! Be About It!” Do one thing each day to get you closer to realizing your dreams and remember that It doesn’t have to be complicated! It could be as simple as making a phone call . . . Make that phone call!
What were some of the difficulties in producing it?
Financing was the only difficulty that I faced in producing the film, but everything else was on point! Shoot, as quiet as it was kept, I had to take every check from my job and fund the project and pay my cast and crew! In-fact,on a few occasions,I almost found myself homeless, because my landlord was threatening to throw me out on my butt for non-payment of rent. My refrigerator was empty but I was able to go to my parents home to comp a meal. The Repo man was looking for my vehicle because I didn’t pay my car note on time or at all!
Any-who, out of everything I went through,I still wouldn’t change a thing! God blessed my team with an “Out music Awards 2012” nomination for “Best Song,” on a soundtrack. He also blessed me to attend the “Florida Media Market 2013 “Ready for Distribution,” competition . . . I was able to Pitch the movie which earned a movie distribution deal with “Maverick Entertainment Group.” We were nominated for The “St. Tropez International Film Festival in Nice, France where we won for “Best Cinematography.” We were nominated for the “Hollywood Black Film Festival,” in LA, where I met many amazing friends for life . . . It was absolutely amazing!
Lastly, Girls Like Us,” just came out all over North America , Canada, and Mexico and is for sale at bestbuy.com, barnesandnoble.com,cduniverse.com, blockbuster, Netflix, Hulu,and will be at Walmart in February 2014. So with that being said,even-though 2012 was very difficult for me financially to get Girls Like Us! Part 1,” funded . . . I still stand here and say,”God Is Good!” 🙂
How was the film received during 2013’s Hollywood Black Film Festival?
I think the movie was received very well . . . A lot of people who viewed the film felt that the movie “Girls Like Us,” was bold,straight in your face,hilarious,and the unspoken truth that African American people just don’t talk about!
What’s the next step for “Girls Like Us”
Girls Like Us,” is the beginning of 1 out of 10 movie series about LGBT women of color. My goal is to awaken Hollywood that there’s a need for them to fund and film more upscale quality LGBT films for Us and about Us . . . We Love Women Too!
What are some upcoming projects you are working on, lgbtq entertainment or not?
Well, I’m working on Girls Like Us! Part 2 and She had Me At Hello,” which are both LGBT related flics. Also,I’ve got over 22 films in my head that I’m itching to bring to life,so I’ll be producing other films in the near future but they are not all of LGBT Genre. I have a few Gospel movies that I’m dying too film as well as a few Action films! It’s going 2 be nice . . .
How can folks watch the movie?
The movie is available at:
Red box, Netflix, and Hulu. And it’s coming to Walmart in February just in time for Valentines Day.
Connect with Anike Bay: