Program 38: Sensitivity Training
Directed by Melissa Finell
Serena Wolfe (Anna Lise Phillips, Home and Away, Revolution) is a brilliant and successful microbiologist. She deals in formulas and facts, not so much feelings and etiquette. Painfully abrasive both in her lab and in social situations, she blurts out whatever’s on her mind, oblivious to the effect her words have on others. Unsurprisingly, her sharp tongue has left her with few friends and a pretty solitary life.
Serena’s research and development depends on receiving a prestigious grant, but when her penchant to speak without a filter gets her in deep water with her company, she’s denied the grant until she passes sensitivity training. Enter her impossibly bubbly, continually optimistic sensitivity coach, Caroline (Jill E. Alexander, Mad Men, Silicon Valley). The Glinda to Serena’s Elphaba, Caroline realizes early on that she’s got her work cut out for her. But as the training progresses, and the women get to know each other, their conversations about life and family have Serena slowly softening, one baby step at a time. And before long, she’s not only questioning Caroline’s role in her life, but wondering what she should do about it.
This charming film by first-time director Melissa Finell, features several familiar faces, including Amy Madigan, Gregory Itzin, and Charles Haid. The witty script gives the actors plenty of chances to exercise their comedic chops, which they do magnificently. More than that, it provides an unexpectedly touching and honest look at what true friendship can mean to a woman who didn’t even realize how lonely she was.
— Georgia Beers
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – OUTshine Miami LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Twist Seattle LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Woodstock Film Festival