Program 08: Signature Move
Directed by Jennifer Reeder
Giving a fresh spin on the usual romantic love story, Signature Move follows Zaynab (co-writer Fawzia Mirza), a Pakistani lesbian lawyer (say that three times fast!) living in Chicago with her aging mother, Parveen (Shabana Azmi). Their relationship is very superficial. They talk and cohabitate, but Zaynab doesn’t talk about who she really is with her mother, mostly because her mother is a traditional Pakistani woman who still expects her to marry a man, going so far as to scan the street for potential suitors…with binoculars while sitting in her living room.
When Zaynab meets Alma (Sari Sanchez, Empire), a gorgeous Mexican-American lesbian, in a bar, the attraction is instant and it doesn’t take them long to fall into bed. That’s when the complications begin. To help with her self-confidence, Zaynab has begun taking wrestling lessons from a retired, successful female wrestler, trying to find her signature move – the one action that will bolster her bravado and make her finally feel comfortable in her own skin. Because the truth is, standing up to her mother and being honest about who she is terrifies Zaynab. But Alma is much more of a free spirit, and starting a relationship with somebody who’s still in the closet isn’t high on her list of “fun things to do.” So Zaynab has some decisions to make.
While the love story isn’t anything shiny and new, it’s the relationship between Zaynab and her mother that lifts Signature Move up several notches. Falling into caricature is always a danger for the parental figures in romantic comedies, but veteran Indian actress Azmi doesn’t allow that to happen to this mother, even when she’s serving as the comic relief. In her portrayal, we are always sure of her love for her daughter, even in the most difficult of situations, and the ultimate message here is love. Just as it should be in a romance.
— Georgia Beers
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- JURY AWARD, Outstanding US Narrative Feature – Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival
- JURY AWARD, Best Feature – Columbus International Film & Video Festival
- JURY AWARD, Best Direction: Jennifer Reeder – FilmOut San Diego
- AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Feature Film – Out Film CT LGBT Film Festival
- AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Actress: Fawzia Mirza – FilmOut San Diego
- WOMEN’S CENTERPIECE – North Carolina LGBT Film Festival
- OPENING NIGHT – Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
- OPENING NIGHT – Freiburger Lesbenfilmtage (Germany)
- OPENING NIGHT – Columbus International Film & Video Festival
- OPENING NIGHT – Wicked Queer Boston LGBT Film Festival
- CLOSING NIGHT – BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION, Women’s Gala – Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION, Ladies’ Spotlight – OUTshine Miami LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Frameline San Francisco LGBTQ International Film Festival
High Falls Film Festival
Jeanette Sears / USA / 2017 / 11 minsAfter a terrible date set up from her roommate, June decides to focus on enjoying her bike commutes around the city and beating the NYC summer heat. Oh but fate has a different plan!
Precedes: Program 08: Signature Move