How Does It Start

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    How Does It Start

    Directed by



    15 min

    • English


    It’s 1983 and 12-year-old Rain wants sex, the only problem is she has no idea what that means. With her self-absorbed parents distracted by their recent divorce, Rain is left alone to navigate the complexities of love and adulthood, and learns to do it her own way.



    Lola Wayne Villa
    Elixa Dean
    Lola Reid
    Alex Rubin
    Lindsay Beamish
    George Basil
    Amber Sealey
    Ava Berkofsky
    Patrick Nelson Barnes
    Alexis & Sam
    Jeffrey Brodsky

    Director's Statement

    This film is shedding light on a fairly universal part of women’s lives that has largely been avoided in cinema: the pre-teen curiosity about sex and all the accompanying physical feelings that come with it. This age-appropriate and natural exploration is extremely common and developmentally appropriate, however to date, it has usually been explored through the lens of abuse and by sexualizing young girls in a way that is very adult in nature. What we are doing with this film is allowing a young girl to be the instigator of her own sexual investigations. This film also deals with the topic of documenting one’s life in order to better understand it. Keeping diaries, journals, and mementos is often a more female gendered pursuit, outside of literary circles. Girls are commonly given diaries from a very young age, and they seek clarity and comprehension about their lives through these sources.

    Amber Sealey

    Amber Sealey

    Amber Sealey is an award-winning director, writer, actor, and producer. She has been supported by Sundance, Film Independent, Women In Film, The Future of Film is Female, and is a fellow of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. She was selected for WeForShe’s DirectHer program, as well as Film Independent’s Directing Lab and Fast Track programs. Her DWW short, HOW DOES IT START (2019), will premiere at Sundance 2019. Her feature NO LIGHT & NO LAND ANYWHERE (2016), was theatrically released and won a Special Jury Award at LAFF and IndieWire said the film could “further cement Sealey’s reputation as one of the most promising directors of female-driven stories working the U.S. today.” Executive Produced by Miranda July, it won the Indie Vision Breakthrough Feature Award at TCFF. Her second feature, HOW TO CHEAT (2011), won Best Performance at the LAFF, and won both Best Narrative and Best Acting at BendFilm Festival, and was released by FilmBuff. Her first film, A PLUS D, was released by IndiePix. She has directed content for AOL, Yahoo, and Oath, among others.