Busboys & Poets’ Focus-In! Films series presents The Royal Road for their March film of the month. The film is written, directed, and produced by Marlon Riggs Award winner Jenni Olson. She is an expert in LGBTQ cinema history and is currently the Vice President of Marketing at Wolfe Video.
The Royal Road was an official selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The film explores butch identity, the quest for unattainable women, and the Spanish colonization of California. Olson lends her written voiceover to this one-of-a-kind California tale about “landscapes and desire, memory and history—and the stories we tell.”
“I have always been interested in telling queer stories in interesting ways. In this case I wanted to combine this poetic narrative of a butch dyke pining over unavailable women with these other stories of California history and my fascination with ideas about nostalgia,” explains Olson.
This butch-identified film explores her gender identity and obsessions with various women.
This film is not the first for Olson. She has been making films for over twenty years. One of her previous films, 575 Castro St, was a short that was commissioned for the MILK website where she had the opportunity to shoot on the set of the MILK movie.
“I make movies as a way of grappling with themes and ideas and stories—and learning about myself and the world,” says Olson. “Engaging with audiences is such a wonderful part of that. I really look forward to talking to the D.C. audience.”
The Royal Road screening and Q&A takes places on March 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Busboys & Poets located at 625 Monroe Street NE, Washington, D.C. Focus-In! Films is a monthly series that screens films with a focus dedicated to social justice, peace, art, music, and/or community value. Films are free with a suggested donation of $5.