Filmmaker Isabel del Rosal was present for a screening of her award-winning debut feature film “Walk With Me” on Friday night.
The event took place at the Lapham Meeting Room as part of the Port Washington Public Library’s Pride Month celebrations. Be the Rainbow, a Port-based LGBTQIA+ organization, co-sponsored the event.
“The library’s mission is to be an inclusive center for community engagement, knowledge and personal enrichment,” said Adult Programming Coordinator Jeff Zeh. “And I believe tonight’s event fits squarely in that mission.”
The film, which takes place in Brooklyn, follows a young mother, Amber (Devin Dunne Cannon), as she divorces her husband and starts again.
She meets Logan (Bridget Barkan) soon after and the two become friends before falling in love. The film explores affection, coming out and self-acceptance as it follows their relationship.
A Q&A session was held after the film’s screening. Following a few questions from Zeh, individuals in attendance asked and gave their impressions.
“As a Brooklyn-born girl, it was a love letter to Brooklyn,” said one attendee. “I just felt the borough like we were there.”
Many questions were about the characters, who a number of people in the audience said was the film’s highlight.
“I just wrote from a place of me,” said del Rosal. “When we had money in place and things were getting ready, all of a sudden, I was like, ‘Wow, I just wrote something.’”
Other comments surrounded the film’s original soundtrack by Juno-nominated singer-songwriter Amanda Walther. She wrote 16 original songs for the film — four were performed by Barkan.
Del Rosal said she listened to Walther’s music on repeat while creating the film. She claimed it put her in the right frame of mind.
Already friendly with Walther’s brother, she contacted her and shared the script.
“She read the script and as a queer woman herself, it resonated on that level,” del Rosal said, “but also as a form of art and an opportunity to write music for the film.”
Another audience member asked about the film’s joyful ending. She said it was unusual because “historically, queer films have had really tragic endings.”
“We were talking before about how it just struck so many people on so many different levels,” the viewer said. “And I just wanted to say I appreciate that and that we felt the love very much and the passion, but you didn’t have to give us that.”
Del Rosal said “cliche” scenes like a falling-in-love montage were important for her to include. It was a step toward normalizing queer love, in her opinion.
“Our pockets of the world are shifting and it was very important to me to go with it,” she said.
“Walk With Me” won Best Outstanding Actor and the Spirit Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival as well as Best Emerging Filmmaker and Best Female Composer at the Manhattan Film Festival.
Del Rosal also revealed that the script for her next feature film, which will be a supernatural thriller, is finished. She is currently on the lookout for funding.