This week TFF had the pleasure of chatting with a very talented FAB femme who is also the CEO and Founder of M.PoWeR Productions. Her latest project Xen: The Movie is set to debut this fall and highlights the erotic side of LGBTQ media.
Aside from working on her own films, Keesha has been spotted acting on Between Women, and directing a number of plays including "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf", "The Vagina Monologues", ”The Wiz”, and "Aida".
During our interview we discussed everything from her new project to her thoughts on erotic media. Enjoy the interview, share with friends and make sure you're keep your eyes open for Keesha in the future!
The Fab Femme: Tell us about your inspiration for Xen: The Movie. What made you want to step into the field of “erotic media”? Were you nervous?
Onyx Keesha: There were many things that inspired me to write the film XEN, the main thing was that of representation I saw of lesbian women of color that truly showcased us in our fullness. Often times it is either over-sex (mostly male written) or our sexual side is not shown at all. I wanted to create something that was hot but also real, something that showed lesbian women in all of our fullness. While Xen is an erotic film, and we are quite graphic with the sex scenes, it is at its core a story about relationships, love, women… and SEX!
TFF: I am new to the erotic media world, but I truly feel as though it is needed. To many times, as women we feel it is “not lady-like” or in appropiate to be sexually free, to talk about sex, to want it… I believe that any sex-positive work is important and has it’s place.
OK: Nervous, that is an understatement. From the table read to the first screening, my nerves were on 100. But that is a good thing, I believe in my work so much, I pray others see the message it and enjoy it. Not to mention I blush because I still can’t believe I wrote it.
TFF: The trailer for the film shows a series of snippets including intimate sex scenes among different people. How did you choose the people who would be a part of the project?
OK: Well casting this project was all about trust. I needed the actors to trust me this was new for them and it was new for me. So I did not do a tradition casting call. Instead I reached out to my circle and “whispered” what I was about to do, I ask to see if they knew anyone that would be interested. To my surprise I got an amazing response. My cast is amazing we truly are a family. It is funny, I am working on my second erotic film and it has been overwhelming the amount of submissions I have received from actors wanted to be in the film.
TFF: What was the experience shooting the film like? Were there awkward moments among the cast/crew because of the nature of the film?
OK: Well I have an amazing Director of Photography, Dï Thomas, and she was such a trooper during this troop, we captured some pretty intimate moments and Dï so more than she bargined for through the lens, but she is so professional it did not phase her and we created art together. Shooting was actually really fun, we have alot of inside jokes that came from set, and we all bonded. There were not really any awkward moments my cast was so professional and fun it was one of my easier shoots.
TFF: What was going through your head while you were writing the first script? Were you nervous about the feedback your work would receive?
OK: Oh, man I was so nervous, I felt exposed. I felt like all eyes would be on me, people would say I was a freak (which they did say). Xen centers around fantasies and I have a few extreme ones in the script. All I could think was OH MY GOD am I really going to make this film.
TFF: Since we’re on the topic of sex, give our readers that are couples up a quick tip on how to keep your sex life fresh.
OK: Keeping you sex life fresh is all about being open. Try new things…new places… put it that extra effort.. connect…it’s about the full experience not the orgasm.
TFF: Yes, say it again for the cheap seats in the back! What peaked your interest in erotic media and sex within the lesbian community?
OK: That’s simple we are under represented, I do not feel as though we see images of all the flavors of lesbian love in erotic media. Everything from Stud/Femm, Femm/Femm, Stud/Stud and everything inbetween, we are so much more that what is currently out there.
TFF: Tell us a little about the film festival Zen will be shown at this fall.
OK: So honored the XEN was the only film to be shown at this years SEX DOWN SOUTH conference and it was an honor
TFF: Last question. What message are you hoping to spread by way of your film?
OK: The message I want to spread is that lesbian erotic is beautiful, it sexy, and it is necessary in telling our stories.