Christina Hulen

Connie Kurtew


Photo by Connie Kurtew

I’ve always been a storyteller,” says Christina Hulen. Before moving into filmmaking, the award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer worked in theatrical design, then in the art department for several films and TV shows. However, she was drawn to the collaborative process of film. “I believe in surrounding myself with talented, passionate people and creating a safe space for the free exchange of ideas,” she says. “Often, I may think I have a tight script, but then someone looking at it from another perspective gives a really great suggestion that elevates the whole project. The magic comes in those happy surprises.” As a gay woman, Hulen also relishes the opportunity to tell femaledriven LGBTQ+ stories without the stereotypes and tropes that remain all too common. “Even now, a woman-loving-woman storyline more often than not ends with the love interest dying in the end,” she says. “And far too often, if there’s an LGBTQ+ character in a film or TV show, the plot revolves around their queerness rather than who they are as people.” Not so in Hulen’s latest film, Everything’s Fine, now screening at festivals worldwide. “The two lead characters are a lesbian couple, [but] the story has nothing to do with their gayness,” Hulen says. “They are simply a couple trying to hold their marriage together while dealing with the longterm effects of PTSD after a mass trauma event.” Though Hulen’s characters are often LGBTQ+ and female, their stories are rich, complex, and utterly human—which she hopes achieves a higher purpose. “My characters just are,” Hulen says. “I want to normalize their presence in a myriad of circumstances and situations. The more people see, the more they understand and accept.”

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