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BendFilm: The Maiden and the Princess

Filmmaker Ali Scher, 27, was apologetic as she hurried away from a late lunch to prepare for the showing of her short film, “The Maiden and the Princess.” “I’ve got to get all princessed up,” she said.

“The Maiden and the Princess” was Scher’s thesis production when she graduated from the University of Southern California film school in May 2011.

Starring film veterans David Anders and Julian Sands with newcomers Tallulah Wayman Harris and Lora Plattner, the 18-minute film (www.maidenandprincess.com) is a parable told in fairy-tale style.

When little Emmy Adams (Harris) kisses a girl instead of a boy on the school playground, she must face the Grand High Council of Fairy Tale Rules and Standards. Headed by Sands (“Boxing Helena,” “A Room with a View”), the council places her in a “hetero-normative” fairy tale to send her down the “right” path in life.

Luckily for Emmy, she meets Hammond, a rogue narrator played by Anders (“Alias” and “Heroes”). “I like Hammond because he is frustrated by the rules, and he breaks them,” Scher said. “He tries to give people the story they need instead of the story they want.

“Hammond is a reflection of me. Emmy’s story isn’t necessarily my story, but it’s a little about me and (my girlfriend) Olivia. School is a confusing time for kids, especially for those of us who are more gender non-specific. Society doesn’t know where to put those girls.”

Scher directed the movie, which she co-wrote with frequent collaborator Joe Swanson.

“My resolve as a filmmaker is to make film for girls to create strong women who don’t think they have to be rock stars or fashion designers,” she said.

“The Maiden and the Princess” shows today at 6 p.m. at the Regal Old Mill
(before “Free Samples,” with Jesse Eisenberg) and Friday at 3:30 p.m. in a shorts block at the Tin Pan Theater.


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