Jun 25 2011

Frameline Blog Entries from University of Wisconsin Students

This year at Frameline, the festival had student guest bloggers from the University of Wisconsin contribute to the Frameline Blog.  Here are a few of the posts regarding Leading Ladies.

I find it difficult, yet extremely easy to describe the film Leading Ladies because the experience of the film was overwhelming. To be honest, I went into this film not knowing what it was about and I even forgot the title, but the impact that this film left on me was huge. A film about two lesbian dance partners? To me, this was unorthodox and I thought that it was going to completely lose my attention about halfway through, yet it gave happiness throughout.

Besides just watching the film, the director and two of the main actors talked about the film in a sense I had yet to see at the Frameline Festival. Those involved in the film were excited, funny, and were willing to talk to me after the show for a few short minutes. I could not think of a better film, or director to bring back to the Eau Queer film festival, especially because of the mutual understanding of the Midwest attitudes toward queer people. Plus, I may also be slightly biased because of my love for dancing. —Bryton Fredrick


I fell in love with the film Leading Ladies almost instantly. With its carefree spirit and mindless antics what wasn’t there to love about it? I had more likes about not only the story itself but also how the film was produced and put together than I had dislikes. For starters, I loved that the characters were not hypersexual. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched any gay themed film and the main characters or important characters were portrayed as extremely sexual beings. I also loved that the actors, director, and producer all had this amazing chemistry on screen as well as when they came on stage afterwards. The story itself was amazing. It was well written, funny, light hearted, and very fun. After seeing this film I will never look at a grocery aisle the same way again.

Unfortunately, like with all films, there were negative aspects to it as well. Besides a couple personal issues I had with character flaws (ahem, the mother driving me absolutely bananas and the friend/dance partner being a “stereotypical” gay man) there wasn’t too much more to complain about. While the film wasn’t slow paced by any means it did take a bit too long to get to the gay component of it.

Overall, I found this film very easy to fall in love with. It was simple and light hearted without too much “in your face” drama like some of the films that I have seen. And for all those reasons I feel it would be a great film to bring back to Eau Claire. The queer aspect of the film slyly makes it way present and you don’t really see it as “just” a queer film. –Tatjana Trommershauser


When contemplating which films to bring back to Eau Queer Film Festival, Leading Ladies always comes to mind, it would also be a great idea to invite the actors and/or directors to come as well. The film did a great job of presenting the message of LGBT issues in a non-threatening environment. Even though there were sad moments, I would consider the film to be, overall, light hearted.

After hearing from my classmates that the students pursuing a dance minor were not encouraged to create a same sex performance for the use of their capstone, I was saddened and appalled. The films use of same sex dance partners would help to broaden the minds of the Eau Claire community. The dancing within this film is impeccable. I have seen same sex dance partners perform prior to this film, but I had never seen it in such a beautiful, inspiring way. Their movement was so fluid, and clean; every time dancing would begin it literally took my breath away.  —Lindsay Miklya

Original Content: http://blog.frameline.org/2011/06/leading-ladies/

Jun 22 2011

Pre-order for Leading Ladies DVD Goes Live!

Today the pre-order for the Leading Ladies DVD goes live on Wolfe’s website.  The street date for the DVD is Sept. 13, 2011, but you can go ahead and order now to be one of the first to receive the DVD!

Wolfe DVD Cover

Click the DVD cover above and you will be taken to the Wolfe website to complete your purchase.  By using the affiliate link from this page or purchasing via the Leading Ladies website merchandise page, the cast and crew will receive a greater percentage of your purchase price.

Jun 22 2011

Put Leading Ladies in Your Netflix Queue!

Netflix DVD CoverClick here to add Leading Ladies to your Netflix queue.  Please also leave a five-star rating and maybe write a little review!

If you have a “streaming only” account, you probably won’t be able to add the title at the moment, as it will be released only on DVD for the first little while (but you can still add a five star rating and review!).

The number of people who have Leading Ladies in their queue will greatly affect the number of DVD’s Netflix orders for their initial purchase, so even if you’ve already seen the film or ordered your own copy on DVD, please place Leading Ladies in your queue!

We’ve also got a handy little widget (check it out in action to the right).  The code for you to cut and paste to add the widget to your own blog or web page is here:

<a href="http://movi.es/BW649" title="Leading Ladies on Netflix">Leading Ladies on Netflix</a> <script src="http://jsapi.netflix.com/us/api/w/s/sp100.js" settings="id=http://movi.es/BW649&q=1&h=if"></script>

If you want to let your Facebook friends know, that would be fantastic!  Here’s the event to which you can invite your Facebook friends to let them know all about how to add Leading Ladies to their queue.

Jun 16 2011

The Leading Ladies Official Motion Picture Soundtrack

It’s finally here!

Thanks so much for your patience.  The final Leading Ladies soundtrack has 18 tracks of musical goodness from musicians all over the planet!  Thanks also to our friends and artists who lent their music to this work.  Please support them by visiting their websites and purchasing more music!

Soundtracks are available at Leading Ladies festival screenings and also via the Leading Ladies website merchandise page.




Complete Track Listing:

  1. “Go On With the Show (Sister, Sister)” by Havilah Rand
  2. “Pasos” by Malena Muyala
  3. “Japanese Girlfriend” by Earwig
  4. “Wallflower Girl” by Havilah Rand
  5. “California (Bella Luna)” by The Randys
  6. “Everybody Loves to Be Loved” by Burgee
  7. “Me, Me, Me, Cha-Cha-Cha” The Danny Leisure Orchestra
  8. “Miss Thing” by David Berger and The Sultans of Swing
  9. “By the Bye” by Danny Leisure and The Suites
  10. “Chasin’ the Blues” by Crytzer’s Blue Rhythm Band
  11. “Kitty Kat” by The Randys featuring Dandy Jim Beam
  12. “All Night” by Havilah Rand
  13. “God Said I Could Have You” by The Old Ceremony
  14. “Don’t Parade Your Scars” by The Old Ceremony
  15. “Mercy” by Marie-Juliette Bird
  16. “You Want a Piece of Me” by John Painter featuring Shannon Lea Smith
  17. “Skyline” by Alva Leigh
  18. “How it Begins (5-6-7-8)” by DB3

Jun 15 2011

Leading Ladies in SF Weekly

We are the feature photo for Frameline in the San Francisco Weekly today.



It’s Here, It’s Queer, It’s Really Big

The buzz on the international festival circuit for the past several months presages a strong year for gay and lesbian cinema. That means a likely banner edition of Frameline35: the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, which includes more than 200 films from 30 countries. Pick a day, pick a program, and the odds are unusually excellent that you’ll find films to move you in multiple ways.  [. . .] Leading Ladies (9:15 p.m. at the Castro) promises more drama with a kick — along with the occasional well-executed dip and twirl — with its tale of rambunctious, rival ballroom-dancing sisters. Benji Schwimmer, the breakout star of So You Think You Can Dance, lights up the big screen in a crucial supporting role.

Nice press!

Jun 2 2011

DVD Release Report for “Leading Ladies”

Wolfe Video has captured the domestic distribution rights to filmmakers Daniel Beahm and Erika Randall Beahm’s high-energy romantic musical comedy, Leading Ladies.

If this independently produced film was instead a studio-driven production, it would have had a major theatrical roll-out.  Instead, the filmmakers took the festival circuit approach beginning in April of last year –at small venues such as the Sonoma International Film Festival (where it captured the Showcase Award in its debut outing) and the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival.

More festivals followed.  More awards.  Then a move to the international circuit, where Leading Ladies was also well-received.  Word spread.  Toes were tapping.  Audiences and critics were singing its praises and now Wolfe Video has a genuine early fall sleeper on its hands.

This early announcement for DVD, coupled with additional film festival exposure (the closing night film at this year’s San Francisco United Film Festival on June 27), gives Wolfe plenty of time to work the streets and build awareness.

In the competitive world of ballroom dancing –think: combat staging grounds for Dancing with the Stars, etc. –there is Sheri Campari (Melanie LaPatin –an actual dancer who handled the choreography and was featured as a dancer in such films as Dance With Me and The Thomas Crown Affair), a stage mom on a mission.  She is a force of nature.

She has two daughters in their early 20’s.  One is Anastasia (Shannon Lea Smith) –known to all as just “Tai –and the other is Antoinette (Laurel Vail –The Echo Game), the “ugly duckling” of the family who answer to Toni.  You can see early on where mom has her priorities, Tasi will be the star and Toni will be her support, even to the point of dressing the role as her partner in the seemingly endless practice sessions (the stand-in lead).

End of story, right?  If you believe that, then you’ve never seen a really good MGM musical from the golden days of such fare.  There will be twists and turns, elaborate dance numbers, wonderful (and original) music, love interests and a certain “leading lady” will shine.  This is a keeper.

Leading Ladies-DVD Release Report-June 3Funny that there was no mention of Benji Schwimmer (season two winner of So You Think You Can Dance) or the fact that Melanie LaPatin is a regular choreographer on the show.  I guess that means the film can stand on it’s own merit!

May 1 2011


Less than two years after starting pre-production on Leading Ladies, we are very happy to announce that the film will receive distribution in North America via Wolfe Video.

The film is slated for release via the typical outlets (Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Blockbuster, Xfinity VOD, Time-Warner VOD, Official Website DVD, distributor direct DVD, etc.) in early September 2011!

Now begins the work on cover art, DVD extras, trailers, advertising, promotion, etc.

It never seems to end! [smile]

Apr 14 2011

We are Movie Geeks Review Leading Ladies

Posted by Travis Keune


LEADING LADIES is a quirky but charming comedy with a classical sensibility. Co-directed by Daniel Beahm and Erika Randall Beahm, the film is about two sisters and their overbearing stage mother, once a champion dancer. The light, playful nature of the film is evident from the opening credits. Great care was taken in staging, choreographing and staging the entire film to work whimsically with the musical score.

Shannon Lea Smith plays Tasi Campari, the younger sister and something of a wild princess. Tasi is also the dancer of the two sisters, her mother’s protégé. Laurel Vail (THE ECHO GAME) plays Toni Campari, the introverted and calm sister who often serves as the voice of reason in their family. Melanie LaPatin, a choreographer and actress in real life, plays the Campari girls’ mother Sheri. She’s a colorful, energetic handful of a woman with passion for what she does, whether her daughters always appreciate it or not.

While Tasi’s relationship with their mother grows more strenuous, Toni’s gay best friend Cedric (Benji Schwimmer) takes her out to a gay club where she meets Mona, but her sudden, unexpected revelation is dampened by Tasi’s bombshell announcement that she’s pregnant.

There’s an authenticity to Toni that draws the attention to her very aura, a sort of glow to her presence and personality that says “I’m a real person.” Vail scales back her performance as Toni, resulting in a very relatable character with real emotions and real insecurities.

Tasi’s pregnancy comes about abruptly, but LEADING LADIES is primarily Toni’s story and the pregnancy serves as the elastic waistband that pulls the Campari sisters’ relationship back into shape as Toni’s newly found romance is revealed to those around her, but the sisters’ secrets prove harder for their mother to swallow.

The Beahm’s have incorporated a wonderful attention to detail into LEADING LADIES. The viewer’s focus is immediately engaged by the richness of color and detail in the set design, the lighting and the wardrobes. The varied styles of music pair nicely with the film’s visual mood shifts, while the stunning confidence with the camera and composition is impressive for these first-time filmmakers.

LEADING LADIES is a feel good movie with a message and a joy to watch, and quite possibly one of the most endearing and sincerely uplifting movies I’ve seen in 2010 so far.


Apr 8 2011

Leading Ladies gets an “A” from the Palm Beach Post

‘Leading Ladies’ appears to be star of last weekend of film fest
by Hap Erstein

THE FILM: Leading Ladies

WHERE IT’S PLAYING: Muvico Parisian CityPlace, 7 p.m. Sunday

THE REVIEW: Picture Baz Luhrmann’s fairy-tale dance competition flick, Strictly Ballroom, crossed with the Broadway musical Gypsy. Oh, and throw in a sweet lesbian coming-out tale for good measure. There is plenty going on in Daniel and Erika Randall Beahm’s first feature film, but they juggle it all adroitly, including a few high-energy dance turns.

Stage mother Sheri Campari dotes on her prettier daughter Tasi (Shannon Lea Smith), grooming her to inherit the family mantle as ballroom queen. But when Tasi gets pregnant, Shari is forced to focus on her other, plain-looking daughter, Toni (Laurel Vail).

Toni blossoms from the attention, or perhaps it is because she has accepted her sexual orientation with the help of decidedly more experienced club regular Mona (Nicole Dionne).

The performances are very winning, the direction is extremely assured and you have got to see the explosive 11 o’clock supermarket dance number.



Apr 7 2011

LL Review in the St. Louis Vital Voice

From The Vital Voice (Joshua Barton – staff writer):

Love on the Dance Floor
A Different Kind of Romance in Leading Ladies

A dysfunctional family comedy paired with a coming-of-age lesbian musical-romance set on the ballroom floor could be the single-sentence synopsis of this award-winning independent film.

The dysfunction lies in the mother-daughter relationships between sisters Tasi and Toni and their overbearing and demanding mother Sheri. Sheri is a red-headed Italian and a former ballroom dancing queen who chain smokes and bitches as if she were a drag queen. Tasi is the spoiled, prima donna Sheri rides like a stock horse for a ballroom championship while Toni is the more pragmatic, plain jane. The women bicker and butt heads as they prepare for an upcoming championship but along the way Toni finds love on the dance floor with blonde-bombshell Mona forcing her to confront not only her identity but also a stubborn Sheri.

Leading Ladies has floated around the international film festival circuit and for good reason. The film is a refreshing and upbeat take on the traditional “coming-out” story. The choreography and music combined with a lesbian plot line turns what could have been a boring movie into a romantic and charming musical. The acting is fresh and energizing and although it may not be Oscar worthy material the actors pull you into their characters as they move into new territories of relationships and love while dancing across the screen.

Dance buffs will appreciate the bold choreography but even if you have two left feet Leading Ladies is still a feel-good movie with a sweet theme: love leads.

Show Dates
Fri, April 15th at 7:00 PM