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Reel Affirmations Hosts D.C. Premier of What it Was



Friday, December 12, Reel Affirmations will be debuting the new film What it Was by director Daniel Armando. After the success of Boys Like Us, Armando is back with a beautiful story that highlights both the lesbian and the Latin communities.

In the film, Arlene Chico-Lugo plays lead character Adina, a successful, bisexual, Latina actress that is returning to New York after the end of her marriage and the death of her sister. Adina finds herself exploring new relationships with both a butch body artist and a male college student, as well as rekindling an old flame.

The death of her sister, as well as a tumultuous relationship with her mother, seem to be the main source of her inner struggles, but are rarely seen on screen. What it Was is not as much a story that you are being told, as it is a woman’s life that you are coming into the middle of when it is already in full swing, like figuring out a puzzle. It’s the feeling when you get to know someone new and are given little pieces at a time as you explore who they are.

Cinematically, the film is absolutely stunning. Armando focused much of the direction on the intimate moments and touches. With the camera work of Ryan Balas, the viewer is able to be drawn into close-ups of the body, eyes and lips. The dialogue is also a beautiful element of the film, mostly in English but also breaking into Spanish, much of it takes place off screen as the images twist through Adina’s past and present experiences. Set to a score by Sean Balas the film truly brings the viewer into the dreamscape that has become Adina’s life.

What it Was will be playing at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters at both 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Director Daniel Armando will also be on-site for a Q&A between the films. General admission is $10 and VIP is $25 and includes beverages and snacks. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit