Jenna Laurenzo

Jenna Laurenzo by Shervin Lainez

Jenna Laurenzo has loved movies since she was a child because they have “the power to ignite the imagination and inspire dreams, action, and create change,” she tells GO. “Stories allow access to experience a vast spectrum of the human condition, while also entertaining and hopefully delivering a powerful message. There’s something magical about stories, and I wanted to get involved in that magic.” Her love of film may have led her to dive into the industry, but once there, she found that she wanted to see more stories that were reflective of her own experience. “Not being able to find them lit a fire to want to create them,” she says. Now, as a writer, actor, and director, Laurenzo has capitalized on the opportunity to generate content that reflects her experiences as a queer woman. She’s the award-winning director, writer, and star of the 2018 film “Lez Bomb,” a romantic comedy about a woman’s attempts to come out to her conservative family during Thanksgiving. She also directed the internet hit, “Girl Night Stand” — the inspiration behind “Lez Bomb” — and its sequel, “Girl Night Stand: Chapter 2,” which dropped on YouTube this year. But the most rewarding aspect of filmmaking “is when stories resonate with someone on a deep level, and they feel seen and understood and then reach out to share their own stories,” Laurenzo says. “I’m always so grateful to hear that one of my projects has encouraged someone to step into their own truth and authenticity.” She is currently developing her next feature film with Ben Stiller’s Red House Films and awaiting “the day we’re back in theaters, laughing and crying as an audience, all together again.” —RK

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