Author: Courtney Gardner

Courtney Gardner

Courtney Gardner is a film fanatic, photographer, and care supervisor. Outside of her day job, Courtney dreams of becoming a director. In her downtime, she interviews her way through film festivals in order to highlight the incredible talent and diversity among directors, actors, film crews, and production companies. Her mission for the film industry is to not only find representation but to maintain it at all costs.


Articles Written by Courtney Gardner:

Keke Palmer emerging from a forest on fire.

Blast from The Not-So-Distant Past: Krystin Ver Linden’s “Alice”

Inspired by actual events, Krystin Ver Linden premiered her directorial debut, “Alice,” at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film focuses on the stories of Black Americans held in servitude over 100 years after the abolition of slavery. Unfortunately, Ver Linden’s mixing of a period drama of a Southern plantation with a 1970s Blaxploitation film… Read more »

two women lying in bed.

New Year, New Queer: Am I OK?

“Am I OK?,” the directorial debut of Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, is a contemporary take on the traditional coming-of-age genre. This comedy, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by HBO Max, provides the anticipated humor you’d imagine from Notaro’s work as a comedian, but it left this reviewer with… Read more »

Woman with sunglasses close up

Seeing Agnes: Chase Joynt Reframes an Iconic Folk Hero

“Framing Agnes” (2022), Chase Joynt’s directorial feature debut, serves as a critique of the way the media dissects transgender people. The move also serves as a wholesome reminder that despite the media’s twisting of the private lives of these individuals, there is so much humanity than often falls out of the spotlight. The movie had… Read more »

All You Need is Love…

Harvey Milk understood that visibility was one, if not the most, critical component to acceptance; he didn’t think anyone should have to live in shame or hide who they are. Instead, he encouraged people to come out (with their gender or sexual orientation) to help show people that they did in fact know LGBTQ+ people,… Read more »

Bill Tipton and his parents.

An Extraordinary Trancestor

The Bay Area recently allowed their movie theaters to reopen, which meant that one of my first cinematic experiences in public would be attending the opening night of No Ordinary Man, the latest from directors Chase Joynt and Aisling Chin-Yee featuring invaluable insight from Marquise Vilsón, Thomas Page McBee, Stephan Pennington, Scott Turner Schofield, Kate… Read more »

Painted face with the text, "Venus as a Boy"

Venus Personified

Among the lunar-like scenery, a fearless mountain range rises from a delicate veil of dust. A man runs through the parched oasis with ominous clouds building above him. Simultaneously, a gentle yet disembodied voice declares, “Welcome to the Venus Experience…The universe is trying to tell you something.” Back on Earth, Venus as a Boy, written,… Read more »

Two women sitting at a restaurant.

The Evolutionary Turning Point

The Golden Days of Hollywood are far behind us. We have successfully moved away from booming voices, formal dialogue between characters, exaggerated movement, and embellished facial expressions. Currently, we are living in the age of method acting, a true milestone for the film industry. Method acting encourages actors to embody their character in every sense… Read more »

A young woman smiles and holds her younger brother.

Let the Armor Fall Away: “Lupe”

Lupe is the directorial debut of Andrè Phillips and Charles Vuolo. Lupe tells the story of the film’s namesake, a young transgender Latinx woman who has recently immigrated to New York City from Cuba. During Lupe’s childhood, her sister Isabel went missing and was believed to have been taken to New York City, where she… Read more »

A man leans against a wall as a second man lays his head on the other's lap.

The Vulnerability of ‘Monsters’ in “Unforgivable”

Last April, the Human Rights Watch stated that the conditions in which El Salvador inmates live are inhumane. El Salvador’s prisons have a maximum capacity of just over 18,000 prisoners, but they are currently holding more than 38,000 individuals. Upon entering the penitentiary, you will notice thousands of individuals trickling out of cramped cells. Gang… Read more »