Blind Date Rules has come to the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival and even better—the film was nominated for six awards for Cinematography, Best Original Music (by Nick Longoria), Best Director (Christine Chen), Best Actress (Brie Eley), Ensemble Cast and Best Short!
The short film seemed poised for greatness from the trailer that was originally released and from what Eley, Christine Chen, and co-writer Angela Bennett told me a few months ago.
Angela Bennett: The idea for Blind Date Rules came from my personal dating experiences. Over the years I have been on numerous blind dates. The beginning of the writing process was easy, once I got the story out of my head, and put the words on paper I could actually see the story unfold. The lead actress had to be a non-white actress. I wanted someone that looked like me to tell my story. The rest of the characters were created based off what needed to happen to tell the story, and their relationship to the lead character.
Christine Chen: You know, I’m super excited that there are more films like this coming out. I’m glad that part of Hollywood is moving towards including more ethnic [actors], more culture and more women in general. It’s nice that you’re seeing it, specifically in indie filmmaking, that you’re seeing it branch out. I myself am Asian-American, and you don’t find many Asian-American female directors, either. It’s great that this film has such a strong female character and that so many characters in [the film] are played by a diverse cast[.]
I knew what Brie’s vision was and we worked well together. It was neat to see that there was a team that wanted to push the boundaries. I think you really see it in indie filmmaking. Maybe less so in big, corporate Hollywood because they have several layers of red tape, but in indie filmmaking, people really want to stand out and make a difference.
Brie Eley: I think it’s fun. …Love just doesn’t have to be one race, and it was a chance for me to show my abilities as a comedian and an actress. …I think the biggest thing is that the story can be anyone’s story. You don’t have to be white to fall in love, you don’t have to be black to fall in love, you don’t just have to find love with other black people, which I think is something that happens [in films] sometimes, like…we’re just going to sleep with each other. No; we try different things along the way, so why not [show] that in the film?
…I hope that [the film] gives someone else the idea of “I could put this put this person in this kind of world some day in the future, in my own stuff.” Sometimes, people need to see [a story] one way, before they can figure out that [stories] can be something else…like you had to have Jackie Robinson before [people] could be like, “Oh, we could have people like Jackie Robinson on the national scene.” Or like Halle Berry, who can play [diverse characters]. Until you have seen that, I don’t think other people have creatively thought of it that way.
Congrats to the cast and crew of Blind Date Rules!