Lust Life Love
Synopsis: Veronica Willow is a thirty-something bisexual blogger who writes about her polyamorous sex life in New York City. Independent, confident, sensual and free, Veronica seems to have it all: girlfriend Joanne, lover Pedro, an array of intriguing friends and strangers she enjoys at sex parties. Then she meets monogamous, unhappily married Daniel. Seduced by the challenge, Veronica pursues him, and they dive into an affair. After Veronica’s other relationships drop away and Daniel gets divorced, she attempts to cultivate a triad relationship with him and her friend Maya, but unexpected jealousy causes her heart and identity to turn inside out. Although Veronica and Daniel’s relationship splinters, they have both discovered what they truly need: Daniel immerses himself in his version of polyamory, while Veronica chooses to prioritize self-love. Although alone, she remains open to new connections.
Jake Choi (Daniel)
Makeda Declet (Maya)
Bill Irwin (Veronica's Dad)
Rolando Chusan (Pedro)
Where is the line between emotional attachment and sexual freedom? Lust Life Love is a narrative film about alternative sex and polyamorous love, with an unconventional female protagonist and an incredibly diverse cast. In the midst of the #metoo / #timesup movement, it’s time for filmgoers to see a sexually empowered female lead in an unapologetic story told through a female lens. The story started more than a decade ago as an autobiographical sex and relationship column Stephanie Sellars wrote for the alt-weekly newspaper New York Press. The column and this film explore topics that were then and are still considered taboo, including polyamory, sex parties, BDSM, gender and sex as self-expression. Lust Life Love is not only a sex-positive film based on the writer’s personal experiences – it’s a nuanced exploration of contemporary relationships. The story navigates the world of nonmonogamy through three main characters: Veronica, the Anaïs Nin of her circle, immersed in open love but controlling with her partners. Daniel, a newcomer who goes from being cautious and sensitive to behaving with excitement that borders on greed. And Maya, yoga entrepreneur by day, hedonist by night, who lives for pleasure and pushes boundaries. By placing these complex characters in a stylish, seductive world of hedonistic parties and negotiated intimacy, Lust Life Love not only shows people what it is like to be poly – for an hour and a half, the viewer is invited to inhabit the perspective of Veronica Willow, a woman who romanticizes her unconventional lifestyle. From script to screen our vision was to craft a narrative of real moments, through the talent and diversity of our cast, the raw energy of actual sex party locations and background performers from the sex-positive community. Throughout the process, Stephanie often revisited her experience, to ensure that every moment was rooted in truth. In Stephanie’s words, “It was my goal to make a movie that authentically presents polyamory and the highs and lows of a sexually adventurous lifestyle, not only because I find this subject fascinating, but because I have never seen it portrayed in narrative film in a way that’s specific, accurate, and honest.”
Although many people are unfamiliar with consensual non-monogamy, everyone has experienced lust, love, and boundary issues in relationships. Lust Life Love will affirm, inspire, awaken, provoke, destabilize, resonate, infuriate, illuminate. Somewhere along the line between emotional attachment and sexual freedom is our audience.
— Stephanie Sellars & Benjamin Feuer
STEPHANIE SELLARS has written, produced, directed, and acted in films that won awards and screened at festivals including Berlin Independent Film Festival, New Renaissance Film Festival, Outfest, Frameline, DC Shorts, Fort Lauderdale, Coney Island, and Mexico International, as well as broadcast on IFC. Education: La Femis in Paris, Columbia University MFA. Residencies: Yaddo and Vermont Studio Center. Quarter-finalist: Austin and BlueCat Screenplay Competitions. Web-series on YouTube: Lust Life. From 2006-2007 she wrote a weekly column of the same name for New York Press. www.stephaniesellars.com
BENJAMIN FEUER A Columbia MFA writer/director/producer, Ben’s films have screened at Clermont-Ferrand, Outfest, Frameline, DC Shorts and dozens of other festivals, and have been distributed worldwide through Shorts International, Ouat! Media, Mini Movie Channel and OML, as well as having been viewed over half a million times online. Film/TV writing: 2nd place in Scriptapalooza, Top 100 in Tracking Board, and his scripts have been developed at Madhouse and Maven Entertainment. Ben has worked as a freelance story editor on projects including Being Mary Jane and A Dog’s Purpose (2017) and has taught film at the undergraduate level. www.benfeuer.com