I put on KCRW’s The Business to wind down after a morning run with this week featuring an interview with Desiree Akhavan, the writer and director of The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Her second feature centres around a young woman — played by Chloë Grace-Moretz — who is caught fooling around with another young girl and subsequently shipped off to a gay-conversion summer camp.
Akhavan’s war stories hit home in so many ways. Ever since she started out Akhavan had a vision of screening her debut feature at Sundance, Robert Redford's celebrated film festival, a dream that came true with Appropriate Behaviour in 2014. She held fast to these visions of grandeur when she would be "swept up into a world of consistent employment in Hollywood” Except that nobody ever came knocking: "No one speaks very honestly about that moment after your first feature premieres and then what do you do next?"
After a period of soul-searching, Akhavan hit the ground running with a new spec script — co-written with Cecilia Frugiuele (her producer) after securing the rights to the 2012 book of the same name (written by Emily M. Danforth). The film would take home the Grand Jury prize at Sundance this year, eventually selling to Filmrise and Vertigo.
I can sympathize with Akhavan’s personal journey. After making my first film I felt confident in the knowledge that my future would be a little more assured. While this dream failed to materialize, the experience empowered me with a whole new sense of perspective.
"Nobody wants to launch you" Akhavan makes plain, and while I second that notion I believe such a stark reality can embolden and push us to new heights. Necessity is the mother of invention and out of the struggle to finish my first film has come the desire to publish my first book. While my future is far from certain, I've only conquered the tip of the iceberg. Only God knows where I go from here.