Wild Nights with Emily


The Loft Film Fest is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment.

Special thanks to our film sponsor, The University of Arizona Poetry Center!

Preceded by the short film, Counterfeit Kunkoo

In this laugh-out-loud, emotionally-engaging period piece that’s part sketch comedy, part historical burlesque, Molly Shannon transforms 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson from tragic spinster to irreverent lesbian heartthrob.

“The best lesbian comedy in years!   Molly Shannon is brilliant and warm as literary icon Emily Dickinson.” – Jude Dry, IndieWire

In Wild Nights with Emily, writer/director Madeleine Olnek (The Foxy Merkins) asks and answers the question: Was Emily Dickinson really a stoic shut-in, as the history books indicate, or was she much more? Planting her tongue firmly in her cheek, Olnek reclaims Dickinson’s identity from the throes of patriarchy, exploring her wildly vivacious side and her lifelong romantic relationship with her best friend and brother’s wife, Susan (Susan Ziegler), recasting her life story through the lens of a love that was (unfortunately) unspeakable in her day. Driven by a crackling and hilarious performance by Molly Shannon that captures the passionate drive of a woman breaking all the rules, Olnek’s film is a deliriously absurd revisionist take on a creative genius and the many men and women who tried – and failed – to bring her down. (Dir. by Madeleine Olnek, 2018, USA, 84 mins., Not Rated). Other festivals: SXSW; Outfest Los Angeles  | Tucson Premiere

Counterfeit Kunkoo In a city that houses millions, Smita finds herself fighting beasts of a different kind as she discovers a strange pre-requisite to renting a house in middle-class Mumbai. She would make an ideal tenant – except for one glaring flaw. She is a middle-class Indian woman without a husband. An intimate perspective on the ‘ideal Indian female’ in urban India. DIRECTED BY Reema Sengupta, 2018, India, Hindi/Marathi with English Subtitles, 15 mins.

Special thanks to our community partners, Lesbian LooksLiteracy ConnectsAntigone BooksYWCA, Bookman’s Entertainment ExchangeWOSAC, &  University of Arizona Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.