Directed by Jen Rainin, AHEAD OF THE CURVE tells the rollercoaster story of Franco Stevens, who founded Curve magazine in the 90s and seeded critical lesbian visibility work that continues today.
Oakland, CA | April 29, 2019 一 Oakland-based film company Frankly Speaking Films, LLC is in post-production on its documentary, AHEAD OF THE CURVE, directed by Jen Rainin, produced by award-winning filmmaker Rivkah Beth Medow, and created by an all female-identified crew.
AHEAD OF THE CURVE is about Franco Stevens, who founded the most successful, longest running glossy lesbian magazine in the world, and the impact of her mission to raise lesbian visibility. When Franco realized she was a lesbian in 1989, she left her husband and her parents turned their backs on her. She was 20 years old, homeless, and furious that all the gay publications seemed to be aimed at men. She founded Curve magazine to guide her new life and create community, raising the money by cashing out 12 credit cards in one day and betting it all at the horse track.
Melissa Etheridge recalls of Curve, “There wasn’t a glossy, actual magazine for lesbians anywhere – this is amazing!” AHEAD OF THE CURVE director Jen Rainin recounts, “Franco’s magazine had incredible impact on society by building lesbian community, creating the lesbian market for mainstream advertisers, and lifting the profile of queer women in a positive way to the straight world.” Stevens adds, “I didn’t do this by myself, and I hope it changes generations to come.”
Although we’ve come a long way since the 90s, LGBTQ rights remain under attack. Fortunately, women like Franco are still doing lesbian visibility work today. The AHEAD OF THE CURVE team has interviewed dozens of women fighting for LGBTQ rights, specifically featuring YouTube star Arielle Scarcella, activist Kim Katrin Milan, and poet Denice Frohman. The film draws a throughline from the intersectional visibility that Franco fought for 30 years ago to the creative visibility work happening today.
As part of their Kickstarter campaign now through May 29th, the AHEAD OF THE CURVE team will release videos that explore the power of lesbian and queer representation. The videos highlight visibility as a principal of social change, the highly original way Franco raised the money to start the magazine, the inside scoop on the original name of the magazine, and a case for passing the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ rights.
First published in 1990, Curve is the nation’s best-selling lesbian magazine. It spotlights all that is fresh, funny, exciting, controversial and cutting-edge in the lesbian community. Curve produces four issues per year and is still shipped in an opaque wrapper, because it remains crucial to protect queer women’s anonymity and safety.
Frankly Speaking Films is the Oakland-based company of filmmaker Jen Rainin. Produced and filmed by a mighty all female/non-binary crew, AHEAD OF THE CURVE wraps production this summer with plans to release in festivals and SVOD/VOD in 2020. Visit the AHEAD OF THE CURVE Kickstarter campaign to learn more and become a backer.
All donations are tax deductible.
For More Information
Rivkah Beth Medow, Producer
Frankly Speaking Films
Jen Rainin, Director
Frankly Speaking Films